Skrillex by Nathan Fox Leads Rolling Stone's Record Review
Nathan Fox supplied Rolling Stone with a detailed portrait of Dubstep star Skrillex for its latest Record Review section.
It "was beyond what I was expecting from him," said the magazine's art director, Matthew Cooley. "We have worked [together] on and off through the years on other projects, but this illustration was really well received by both the editorial and art staff at the magazine – not to say the others weren't! I really like working with illustrators who can come up with amazing conceptual ideas that heighten their work ... [Nathan's] heavy line work and bold use of color makes every piece have an energy that just explodes. I can't wait to work with him again in the not too distant future."
Fox's idea to overlay Skrillex's profile with an extraterrestrial's visage came from playing with Alien Ride, a mobile game released ahead of "Recess," the musician's first full LP. "Inspired by the graphics and design, I took a bunch of screen captures for reference and started to see the piece coming together," Fox noted. "The app reminded me of my favorite video games from the eighties and nineties and their heroic covers ... and, oddly enough, the alien on the 'Recess' cover seemed to resemble Skrillex in a way, at first glance. The three lines on its head looked like his hair hanging down across his face and so on." He then listened to the album and it all clicked. "Overlaying Skrillex and the alien created this symbiotic creature that fit with the album and app; the two share the same mind, consciousness, and nervous and circulatory systems."
The artist used Photoshop from start to finish, a departure from his usual process, calling the project "a perfect opportunity to enter this electronic world and achieve the texture and feel of something completely digital." He juxtaposed color effects and mixed layers to reach the final composition. "I really responded to the imaginative space created by the album and app," Fox remarked. "It was a great exploration."
(At right: the final version and initial sketch.)