Willie Green artwork pt 2: Days Of Future Past
Last week, I went through the process of how I put together the artwork for Willie Green’s latest release, We Live In The Future. Ramping up to that release, Green had DJ Mo Niklz put together a “Best Of” compilation from his catalog, called Days of Future Past (which you can download for FREE here), for which I also provided artwork. Given that the name of the compilation comes from the famous Chris Claremont storyline that ran in Uncanny X-Men in 1981, we thought it would be cool to take this in an ‘80s comic book direction.
What Green wanted to do was build an aesthetic world that his records live in by thematically tying the artwork together. To accomplish this, we kept the same tower that dominates the skyline of the We Live In The Future album cover.
As usual, I started this with a 3x3 thumbnail sketch done primarily in pencil and sharpie to get the idea together. I try not to get too caught up in these because I know that if I get too attached to them, I’ll end up chasing my tail trying to recreate the original rough sketch. After that, I fine-tuned it and drew it bigger (in this case 9x9) and inked it with a with a nib pen and some India ink. The biggest challenge on this one was the “Kirby Crackle” effect (attributed to Jack “King” Kirby) that you see emanating from the city to light up the sky. I wanted to create an effect that would make it feel like the city was generating so much power and energy that it was actually tearing the sky apart.
Once again, the final step was to pass it off to Justin Keller over at FCA Designs for finishing. After emailing back and forth a million times with Green about colors and where to place the text, we ended up with what I think is a really great comic book-influenced album cover that accomplishes exactly what we wanted it to.
Also, kind of a fun note, the Days of Future Past compilation surpassed 10,000 downloads within its first month of being released and currently stands at around 20,000 downloads. It’s pretty nuts to me that there are 20,000 people out there with this artwork on their iPods.