Russell Mills

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Russell Mills
Russell Mills (born 1952) is a British painter, designer and ambient musician who created paintings that were used for several Nine Inch Nails releases. Other bands and artists he has worked for include Brian Eno, Cocteau Twins and David Sylvian.


In art school, Mills began creating artwork inspired by lyrics from Brian Eno songs, which were later used in the book More Dark Than Shark. Starting in the 1980s, he was receiving commissions to create artwork for album and book covers. His style began to evolve from traditional drawing and painting into a more abstract collage-oriented style, with many organic elements and items from nature being used as materials. His paintings are sometimes seen as visually mirroring the sometimes ambient sounds of some of the albums he designs covers for.

He has done many exhibitions over the years, created multimedia installations and also designed sets and lighting for performers such as London Contemporary Dance Theatre, Wire and Terry Riley. He has also made two albums of semi-ambient music (Pearl + Umbra and Strange Familiar) under the name Undark, by creating sonic collages from unused sounds given to him by musicians he has connections with. Additionally, he has made ambient music to accompany his various installations, sometimes working with frequent collaborators Ian Walton and Mike Fearon.

Artwork For NIN

The cover art for Closer To God is frequently misattributed to Mills. It was actually done by photographer Joseph Cultice, though he is uncredited on the packaging.[1]

Cargo In The Blood

Cargo In The Blood art book/multiple

A limited edition art book/multiple containing Mills' art for Hesitation Marks was released in December 2015. It was priced at $300 and the following information was given on the site set up at

"Nine Inch Nails and long-time collaborator and artist Russell Mills present Cargo In The Blood, a deluxe, limited edition 320-page book collecting all of the works the artist created for Nine Inch Nails’ Hesitation Marks album. Each volume also includes an original mixed media painting created by Russell Mills specifically for the project. Available exclusively on, Cargo In The Blood is limited to 2000 copies and will be available to order 12/16/15 10am PT."


  • Limited edition 320 page book featuring Russell Mills’ art for Hesitation Marks
  • Original Mixed Media Painting by Mills housed in a COR-TEN steel frame
  • Custom laser-etched steel card numbered between 1 and 2000


  • Each set is bound in a plush cotton and rayon flocked material
  • Exterior features debossed and foil stamped lettering and unique hand cauterized mark
  • Pages printed with Metallic Silver and 4CP UV inks
  • Measures 15″x 13″x 2″at 11 lbs

A 10 minute film about the inspiration and process for the artwork of Cargo In The Blood as well as Mills' work for The Downward Spiral was also made available for viewing.

External Links

This page was last modified on 4 May 2019, at 16:44. This page has been accessed 27,233 times.