Cover Stories: The Artwork For “Lil Uzi Vert Vs. The World” Came About Through Social Media
In order to win the affections of pink-haired love interest Ramona Flowers, Scott Pilgrim must defeat her seven ex-boyfriends in 2010's colorful cult-classic Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Apparently, rapper Lil Uzi Vert can relate.
His latest release, LIL UZI VERT Vs. THE WORLD, features cover artwork that transforms him into a cartoon character with his own love interest, Brittany (who also has pink hair), on the brain, and includes tracks like "Scott and Ramona" that are directly inspired by the movie.
Recently, the project's cover designer, 20-year-old St. Louis artist Fvrris, chatted with us over the phone about the story behind the artwork, what it was like working with one of his favorite artists, and how he got commissioned through a chance Instagram direct- message. Here's the cover story behind LIL UZI VERT Vs. THE WORLD.
How did your relationship with Lil Uzi come about?
In December of 2015, I listened to LUV Is RAGE, and I really liked that mixtape. It’s still probably one of my favorites. I just direct-messaged him on Instagram and sent him some pictures I made—like artwork I made of him from some pictures I found online and just manipulated. I sent it to him in his inbox for Instagram, and he liked what he saw. I said, “I’d love to make cover artwork for you if you’re willing, unless you already have an artwork guy.” And we started texting from then. I made the cover for “He Did It” and that video, the visual, for him. Then, I made [the] “Money Longer” cover for him. And then, yeah, Lil Uzi Vert vs. The World. He just texts me whenever he needs some work, and I send him some designs and see what he likes, and we work with it.
What's going on in the picture?
He laid out how it’s essentially going off of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. I started off with the head of him with Brittany on top of his head. I saw it online and manipulated that into [it] and sent it to him. He loved it and wanted to go off of that. He told me he wanted those four guys at the bottom and wanted them to look a certain way. There’s an underlying story at the bottom that he didn’t really tell me about. I think it’s more for the audience to come up with their own story. He never really told me the story specifically, but I think it’s about Brittany’s past relationships, like “P’s and Q’s,” kind of. If you listen to that and then look at the bottom, it makes sense.
The background was just a design I had that I thought fit really well with it and almost showed his mind process; like what his mind’s like visually—just very colorful, abstract, kind of out there. And then the money in the corner’s like just how he’s trying to get to riches and how he has gotten to riches. We collab-ed on it; it wasn’t really just all my doing. He really helped out with making it as well. It really was a back-and-forth process between me sending what I had, and him saying, "Let’s do this instead of that."
How long did it take to do it?
It was over the course of, I’d say, like a couple of weeks to a month, and we probably spent around like 20 to 30 hours working on it. Twenty hours total, I guess. He had shows and stuff, so whenever he’d have time, he’d hit me up and we’d work on the cover for a little bit, mostly just texting back and forth.
We on every blog 🙄🔥®🕊 my brudda thank you for bringing my vision to Life 🚀® https://t.co/wwLldXZHup
— Uzi London ++® (@LILUZIVERT) April 15, 2016
Did you have to do any research for the references?
He asked me at the beginning of the process if I had seen the movie, and I’d heard about it but never seen it. So in the beginning of the design, I didn’t really have much clue as to what the story was about. I watched it one night, and then saw how it’s just a very artsy, kind-of-out-there movie. But it’s just really cool, and I tried to portray that within the cover. It’s just a really colorful movie, and I really wanted to show that—just a lot of colors and vibrant imagery.
What tools did you use to make it and were there other drafts?
Only Photoshop. I was trying to make Uzi’s head seem more 3D cartoonish, but that just didn’t work out and didn’t really fit. And we were going to have it where the hair was going to be dreadlocks like his actual hair, but it just didn’t fit with the theme, so he wanted to keep that cartoon/anime feel to it. I changed the background a couple of times. It just didn’t really look right, so we made it how it is now. It was going to be a black background, but he wanted it to be white.
Were there any memorable experiences during the process?
I’d say just the whole process, bouncing ideas off each other, seeing what worked and what didn’t. It was just creative minds at work, I guess. I’d have like little fanboy moments almost, but then I’d have to calm myself down. You can’t be a fan and work for someone like that. It doesn’t work.