While Future fans have eagerly awaited Friday's midnight release of his new album Dirty Sprite 2 for some time now, a person with an important role in the album just learned the project's existence yesterday. Sanja Tošić is an artist based in Slovenia who created the cloudy swirl of color featured on the cover art of DS2. But she only learned about the album's existence when The FADER asked her about it.
Tošić says she sold the rights to her image to Future's label Epic Records through Shutterstock, where she has a few collections posted.
"I'm 110% it's mine." Tošić said over Facebook chat. "I'm selling these images on stock sites. This is the one. [It] Belongs to series Silky Smooth. This picture was sold last month."
When asked how much she was paid for the image, Tošić demurred and explained that she only receives a certain percentage of the total price through Shutterstock. She then added that the lowest of all her sales paid out $0.33 and the most she ever made on one sale was $80.00.
The FADER spoke with a rep for Epic but they declined to elaborate. Calls to art production at Sony were not immediately returned.
Rachel Ceccarelli, a communications manager for Shutterstock, explained that Shutterstock offers a higher-end service called Premier for "publishers, ad agencies and Fortune 500 companies" that offers "custom license packages, additional indemnification and help with researching the collection to select an image."
Ceccarelli did not confirm that the DS2 art is indeed an image licensed through Shutterstock. "We can’t confirm it's our image, as we have a non-exclusive relationship with our contributors and they can contribute their work elsewhere," she said. But she did say that labels have turned to Shutterstock for album art before. "We do know of one case, where the label’s in house agency had done a custom shoot for the cover, but the images weren’t quite right," she said. "They came to our Premier research team and within a couple of hours, we provided the image the label and artist would ultimately use for the cover of a popular single."
For her part, Tošić's says she likes the final DS2 cover a lot, and that she's become a Future fan. "I checked his album right away," she said. "I don't think I heard about him before. I would also like to buy a CD for myself."