Papa Emeritus II – Digital Illustration

Man, this feels awesome.

A couple of months ago my 2008 iMac started knocking around a bit. A year or so prior I had already made a visit to the Genius Bar at the local Apple store where it was diagnosed with having a failing video card. After dropping a couple hundred bucks for a replacement I had my “old” computer back, complete with Adobe CS3 and Final Cut 7 and the accompanying Pro Studio components – roughly $2,500 worth of software on a hard drive that would last forever, I was certain, and I would do whatever it took to keep that iMac’s heart beating.

Until her heart started to fail, too. Over the course of a month or so the computer’s performance grew increasingly sluggish. Finder preview would take 10-20 minutes to load, icons would often fail to load and the fans would run at top speed, seemingly for no reason – a symptom an earlier Genius told me was common when there’s something wrong with a computer but it doesn’t know what.

So I backed up what I could, said goodbye to my Final Cut Studio and shut her down one last time. She now sits in a box awaiting a hard drive transplant and a move into her new home: my basement studio, replacing a G4 Powermac that I hope to turn into a jukebox for the bar eventually.

So it took some time working on the old Macbook Pro before I bit the bullet and splurged on a new iMac. She’s slimmer and has a wider display than my previous iMac; she’s brighter and a little sluttier but she’s brand new and runs like a charm, quiet as a mouse.

One of the things that I missed being able to do once my old iMac started to die was those freaky little digital illustrations I had worked on from time to time so I figured I’d go ahead and knock one out over the weekend. I give you: Papa Emeritus II of the Swedish metal band, Ghost.


I was mean to Ghost before I heard them. I knew of Papa’s Catholic bishop get-up and I had just read a story about how the proposed cover art for their sophomore release Infestissumam was causing so much controversy over it’s potentially-sacrilegious imagery that only vinyl printers would touch it – CD pressers and digital music stores wouldn’t touch it. With these things in mind I automatically went into “Oh, we’re a big Satanic band – we’re so edgy – religion is for idiots – everyone look at us, we’re anonymous and dark, deep and edgy” and I wrote them off as another lame-o metal band.

And, as you can probably guess, I was totally wrong about them. Once I gave them a shot – I believe it was the music video for their song Secular Haze – I fell in love instantly. The way they speak of their music is both fascinating and inspiring and I realized that their gimmick and “Satanic” vibe were all just for show – nearly a comedy act of sorts in the way they make light of bands who take their sacrilege too seriously. I was lucky enough to be able to catch these guys with openers Skeletonwitch at the Bijou theatre in Knoxville last year and loved it – these guys are worth your time if you haven’t given it to them already!

The illustration was bare-bones and created solely in Photoshop CS6. I wanted to say the new iMac purred like a kitten during the creation of this but it’s a lie – she didn’t make a sound. I love her, I love Ghost, and I love making art. Here’s to hoping we can all work together again sometime soon.

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