In 2002 I was commissioned to do some illustrations for the Slipknot UK tour brochure. My Photoshop skills at the time were perhaps most politely described as “fledgling” (“oh, so you’re an expert now?” says a voice and, as usual, I don’t listen to it) but looking back at these now, my ineptitudes give them an edge that competence would have smoothed out.
I did all the drawings in one week, while off sick from work, laid up in bed, scrawling on sheets of copier paper, and they benefitted from the speed of their creation. The band has just released their Iowa album – described at the time by Tommy Udo as “the Sgt Pepper of negativity” – and tried to channel some of their attitude into the work but, really, what I was aiming for was a similar effect as to when Kiss appeared in Marvel Comics in the 1970’s. Cartoonishly creepy, permanently trapped on Halloween night, and just alarming enough to unsettle your parents – exactly what a teenager wants from a rock band.
I’ve included here a couple of illos that were finished, but never made it into the brochure. I must admit, I didn’t take this opportunity as seriously as I could have at the time, but it was all coming on the back of a feature on my work in Metal Hammer, so I was getting deluged with interest from bands, rock venues, and also some outright wankers, and it was all on top of a day job, so it was hard for me to keep on top of it and sort the shit from the sugar. Were I to receive a similar commission today, I would be on it like a tiger on a pig.