- Peter, a 19-year-old who runs a Lady Gaga stan account known as “FAMEKILLED,” went viral for his whimsical redesign of the cover of Katy Perry’s forthcoming album, “Smile.”
- His design elicited reactions from YouTube beauty guru James Charles, rapper Iggy Azalea, and Perry herself, who tweeted “calling you for next record.”
- While Peter doesn’t think he’ll actually be called on to work on Perry’s next album cover, the self-taught designer said he wants to study graphic design and work with artists professionally.
- “I’ve always loved making concepts and would love to become a creative director for artists,” he said, adding “because I think being a fan makes you know more of what the fans want and expect.”
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A 19-year-old Twitter stan went viral for his colourful redesign of the cover of “Smile,” Katy Perry’s upcoming fifth studio album, and got a shout out from several famous faces – including the artist herself.
The album artwork, officially revealed by Perry last week as part of the promotional campaign for “Smile,” slated to be released on August 14, featured a blonde Perry donning a clown nose with the album’s name inscribed in blue text inside a large red box.
Its design elicited a range of feedback, including a positive reception from loyal Perry fans, known online on as “Katycats.” Others weren’t thrilled with the album art, particularly when they compared it to Perry’s previous four works.
“I actually wasn’t planning to make a ‘Smile’ cover redesign, but once I saw the hint of clown and circus visuals, I saw a potential and immediately imagined what it could’ve been on a bigger scale,” Peter, known by his Twitter username “FAMEKILLED” told Insider. “Once I started putting it together, it came along so well, so it took me about one or two days.”
His Twitter account has more than 7,400 followers, though Peter has been around on “stan Twitter” in some variety since 2015, he told Insider. Peter – a superfan of Lady Gaga – said he’d describe “stan Twitter” to someone unfamiliar as a place where fans of “pop girls” come together in a way similar to the way sports fans unite behind their favourite teams.
???? Smile cover redesign ???? pic.twitter.com/VqTzrwjM8s
— ً (@FAMEKILLED) July 10, 2020
Stan Twitter has existed for years, and the culture even longer on other websites like Tumblr. It’s received greater national attention recently, particularly for headlines that claimed stan accounts for K-pop groups helped orchestrate a messaging campaign that influenced turnout to President Trump’s June rally in Tulsa.
Other stans have recently used tactics to help drown out racism online, as Insider’s Palmer Haasch previously reported.
The self-taught graphic artist shared his work on Friday. Since then, it’s been retweeted more than 12,000 times and received over 80,000 likes. His design further utilised the clown imagery from the official one, turning Perry’s blue and white checkered outfit into a circus tent inspired by the FX television show “American Horror Story.” Using Adobe Photoshop, he also added exploding fireworks and a winding roller coaster behind her.
“This is so good!” the Australian rapper Iggy Azalea, who is most known for her 2014 collaborations with Ariana Grande and Charli XCX, tweeted.
This is so good!
— IGGY AZALEA (@IGGYAZALEA) July 10, 2020
YouTube beauty guru James Charles piped in, writing “oh my GODDDD @katyperry change the cover to this!!!!!!!”
oh my GODDDD @katyperry change the cover to this!!!!!!!
— James Charles (@jamescharles) July 10, 2020
Perry seemed to catch on to the widespread reaction to the fan art, sharing the design in a tweet that has garnered more attention than the original, with 16,000 retweets and more than 160,000 likes.
calling you for next record! ♥️???????? https://t.co/H23U5ojvAe
— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) July 10, 2020
Perry wrote, “calling you for next record,” in response to the design.
Calls for Perry to consider changing the artwork have circulated across social media, and nearly 200 people have signed a Change.org petition calling for the album artwork to be switched.
“I was so happy people loved it so much,” Peter told Insider. “I’ve gotten big reactions to previous designs, but this was on a whole new level.
“I think people are so into it because it seemed like this is what we all wanted it to be,” he added.
Peter, who asked Insider not to share his last name – many accounts on “stan Twitter” keep their online personalities separate from their real-life identities, doesn’t think Perry was seriously inviting him to design the cover for her next album, but he’d welcome the opportunity.
“OH IM ALL FOR THAT,” he tweeted in response to Perry.
“I’m not a full stan but I do like her old eras,” he said, in reference to Perry’s previous works that include her 2010 release, “Teenage Dream,” which launched some of her biggest hits like “Firework” and “California Gurls.”
After his tweet went viral, others pointed out some negative tweets he had sent out about Perry’s recent work, though he said that type of behaviour is par for the course on stan Twitter.
“My previous tweets were personal opinions about the song and cover – not hate for no reason,” he said. “And I usually post these opinions in a sarcastic, mean tone, like most of stan Twitter does.”
Peter plans to study the field in college and one day work professionally with artists.
“I’ve always loved making concepts and would love to become a creative director for artists,” he said, adding “because I think being a fan makes you know more of what the fans want and expect.”
For his next project, Peter said he’s working to finish a design to submit for Lady Gaga’s recently announced collaboration with Adobe, which asks fans to submit their own art as part of the promotional campaign for her recent release, “Chromatica.”
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