In Love & Death, 2004
Ink & Watercolor on Paper

Album cover for THE USED

Alex Pardee says: “In 2000, I quit my job as an operations supervisor at a credit card company and dropped out of the community college that I had been going to for 6 years. I decided to try being an artist full time.

"I managed to get various small jobs, and in early 2004 I was working on a black & white comic book with Sam Kieth called OJO when I got offered a job by Warner Bros Records as the art director for the band THE USED.

"In an attempt to help re-brand the image of the band, I worked for 5 months creating so many different album covers, styles and looks to give the band a more artistic representation to fit their music, and after about 30 different attempts at a cover, it was THIS image that I turned in as a last final attempt a day before our final approval meeting, and everyone unanimously agreed that this represented the band in a new and exciting way.

"This experience was significant in my career not only because the 'heart in a noose' image became somewhat iconic, but because I was able to do something with this project that a lot of artists hadn’t been allowed to do, which was getting the support of the band and the label to include my name and signature in some of the advertising and on the record. With the band selling more than 600,000 copies, that meant that my art was reaching so many more people than I could have ever done before. From that point on I was able to use this as a springboard to continue getting more creative opportunities."