AN ARTIST’S brush with a popband frontman resulted in her painting the artwork for their upcoming album.

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Hitchin artist Sarah Graham was asked to paint the cover for the Kaiser Chiefs forthcoming album Souvenir. Her painting of a stick of rock with the band name and album running through it was commissioned back in February.

The 34-year-old, who specialises in photo realism, had been in contact with the band’s singer, Ricky Wilson, since he showed an interest in her artwork four years ago.

“I was first approached those four years ago, because he [Wilson] had me in mind to do an album artwork for them then, but sadly it didn’t materialise,” she told the Comet.

“We kept in touch, and then all of a sudden, this just came out of the blue in February.

“He got the idea when they were in Blackpool. The album is called Souvenir, and rock is the perfect British example of that.”

Sarah, who was a pupil at Hitchin Girls’ School and North Hertfordshire College, took two weeks to complete the painting - named Kaisers’ Rock oil on canvas - in her Bancroft studio. Some of her works can take as long as six weeks.

“It was a challenge, but I worked long days and really focused,” she said.

The project had to be kept under wraps, with Sarah unable to tell people about what she was doing.

But she was finally able to reveal all when the band made their announcement in last month.

“It was really hard to keep it quiet. I’m quite active in Hitchin, and I just really wanted to tell people,” she added.

“I couldn’t wait to announce it officially.

“Ricky described it as phenomenal, he was really chuffed. He said all the band were over the moon.”

The album, which features the band’s greatest hits, will be released in June.

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