Arik Roper (born 1973) is a freelance illustrator and painter based in New York City. Born in New York City, Roper grew up in Richmond, Virginia. His parents both being artists, his creativity was encouraged and he spent a great deal of time drawing. After graduating from the School of Visual Arts in 1995 specializing in illustration and silk-screening, he began as a freelance storyboard artist for various ad agencies, and a storyboard revisionist for MTV Animation. Later he was able to exercise more creative and personal styles while shifting into the world of music-related visual art and packaging. Roper has since developed a name and devoted following creating record covers and music merchandise for a wide variety of bands including cult underground legends such as Earth, Buzzoven, Sunn O))), Sleep, Howlin' Rain, and High on Fire, as well as more mainstream acts like The Black Crowes. He is a contributing artist and writer to the highly-regarded and cutting-edge Arthur Magazine as well as the music magazine Revolver. Arik has also designed hand-made screen-printed posters for a pantheon of concerts and events including shows at the famous Fillmore West in San Francisco for Bill Graham Presents and film posters for Magnolia Pictures. He has since branched out into more diverse areas of fine graphic illustration, watercolor, sequential art, and animation. Roper's work encompasses a diverse field of design and distinct style, ranging from black and white illustration, to meticulous lettering and logo design, to rich abstract psychedelic color and landscapes that often seem to exist in their own universe. The imagery springs from the depths of a fertile imagination, invoking psychedelic visions, ancient dreams, and idyllic natural environments. With an interest in mythology, consciousness, psychology, religion and other timeless subjects, Roper mixes the light and the dark within his art to reveal imagery which is at once strangely unique, distantly familiar and always soaked with an earnestly fantastic aesthetic. His latest book project, Mushroom Magick (Abrams, 2009), is a vividly surreal collection of exotic fungal species from around the world.
Some record covers include: Dopesmoker for Sleep, The Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull by Earth, and Live At Fillmore, Before the Frost, After the Freeze for The Black Crowes, and all all Weedeater albums. He is often associated with the band High on Fire in particular, due to his ongoing working relationship with the band.