Mac Miller “Diver” Tattoos

March 12, 2021

Sometime in 2018 I worked on a music video for Mac Miller’s Come Back to Earth. This was prior to his passing.

The story for the video goes something like this: A creative partner of 20+ years, Eric Tilford (who I eventually co-directed the Good News music & tribute video with), showed Mac a video we made some years back. The video showcased a “diver” character falling/floating past all kinds of symbolic objects deep in the ocean. It was a reflective and medatative experience which we used to call an “ambient” video back in the mid 00’s. Mac was immediately drawn to the central character - a somewhat retro-future deep sea diver, in a stout, hard shell of a suit, with light emitting from its eyes. The character was designed by prolific designer/illustrator Todd Hippensteel, who was part of our group of creatives at the time and a good friend to this day. Eric redesigned and directed this completely new version of the experience for Mac. I offered art-direction and production support, and it was animated by Tim Clapham at Luxx, an animation studio based in Sydney, Australia. You can see the full-length music video on YouTube here.

Eventually Mac wanted a version of the character as his avatar, which is used across his social media to this day. I worked with Hippensteel to develop it into a one-color graphic. What’s been most surprising about this entire experience is the  numerous amount of fans that have tattood the character, in all sorts of manifestations, onto themselves - a  testimant to Mac’s seminal influence upon, and lasting importance to, his listeners. A small selection of them is laid out in the above collage.