WRATHCHILD by IRON MAIDEN
(This week, we are taking a look at some of the amazing artists associated with some of the best music ever made. You can’t think Heavy Metal imagery and not think about Iron Maiden, and the amazing work Derek Riggs has done throughout their entire career. For our first installment, we bring you the incredible Derek Riggs – FATS)
Derek Riggs was born in Portsmouth, and is self-taught in his art, both in his traditional painting and in his digital work. He also attended art school, but he was expelled after complaining about the course. Riggs’ most famous achievement is his work with Iron Maiden and his creation of Eddie, the band’s mascot and subject of their album and single covers. Riggs’ first picture of Eddie was originally entitled “Electric Matthew Says Hello,” and was actually painted for a possible punk cover. Iron Maiden’s management came across it while looking through Riggs’ portfolio, and asked him to add hair to the figure to make it look less punk-like. The resulting picture was used for the debut album, Iron Maiden, released in 1980 and Riggs went on to work with Iron Maiden throughout the 1980s and into the 90s, creating many of the band’s famous album covers. In 1992, however, the band decided to accept contributions from other artists for their next album, Fear of the Dark, resulting in much less input from Riggs in recent years.
Riggs has also designed the cover of World’s Only Female Tribute to Iron Maiden, the self-titled debut album by the all-female tribute band, The Iron Maidens, a piece which was inspired by the Killers album, featuring a similar “Kinky Sex Shop” which featured in the Iron Maiden artwork.
He has also worked with Iron Maiden lead vocalist Bruce Dickinson for his album Accident of Birth, Stratovarius for their album Infinite, Gamma Ray for their Power Plant album, Artension on their 2004 album Future World, Gillman on their 2003 album Cuauhtemoc, and with many other bands and companies most of which are featured on his website.