Woe to the Inhabiters’ “Mountain Mover” Design + Video

So some friends of mine have started a band called Woe to the Inhabiters, a Christian Metalcore band giving praise to the most high with their unique form of rock’n’roll. While I respect what these guys do and are about, I have to sympathize with them because they thought it would be a good idea to get me to design the cover for their demo, “Mountain Mover.”

My initial idea was to roughly draw some hands clasping two sides of a mountain in ink on watercolor paper, keeping the design minimal.

My drawing looked stupid. So I tried something else.

I painted an 8″x10″ canvas red with a white spot in the middle, then designed a stencil in Photoshop that was a collage of items including an anatomical heart with barbed wire around it, a stylized cross and a flame. I then got together source images of John the Baptist, a Cherub, an open Bible and three small crosses. After staining them with strong coffee, I wanted to arrange them around the painting and finish with some digital effects.

The coffee all but ate my images and my stencil didn’t turn out well. So I tried something else.

This time, I took a great artist’s rendition of Christ (stock photo) that showed pain and heartache, but strong passion and created a stencil of it. I then created a second stencil depicting rays of light protruding from behind him. Using the same canvas I had already painted on, I sprayed over it with the new stencil, scanned the painting in and added some digital effects in Photoshop. Finally, I branded it for the band with their logo and album title, delivering a design the band loves and I’m pretty happy with, myself.

I am in the process of having prints of the non-branded version made and hope to be selling them soon. Until then, enjoy the photo and the video of how I made it.

click to enlarge


  1. The finished product is pretty awesome. You know how sometimes when you buy an album and you stare at the jacket art while listening to the music because you think the art is so cool. I definitely think this is a stare-worthy cover.

    On another noted, I am seriously impressed that you guys can get by with a 4 cup coffee maker. Most days the 4-cups get the job done, but there are more days than I’d like to admit that the coffee maker has to brew two pots. ; )


    • We get by with the small coffee pot mostly because Erin doesn’t drink any of the coffee that comes from it. If she drank any at all, we’d certainly have to get a bigger one, because the two large cups that come out of it are mine, all mine!

      Also, thank you so much for the nice words about the Mountain Mover piece. It came out a lot nicer than I expected it to. The guys in the band are thrilled with it and I get to see the printed proof around Thursday or Friday next week. I’m so excited to actually have prints to put in the shop!


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