Getting ready to do a photo shoot tonight for my new album, which of course, has “album covers and concepts” on my mind. I’m a very visual as well as musical person, and there literally have been times when I already had conceived of the album cover’s ideas and concepts, even before I was 100% sure of what music I was going to do on the record! There are many more artists than we think who conceptualize in this way, and I feel that it shows a definitive direction on the part of an artist, and can even serve as further inspiration in terms of what music is going to be on the recording.
It’s very important to have a strong sense of how you, as an artist want to be represented in all your photographs as well as album covers, and sometimes, it may take actually seeing the photographs, before you actually determine just what that image will be. This is also a good way to work, especially if you are looking for something extremely real that absolutely represents “you!”
Still, it can be fun to try out different ideas and concepts before the photography begins, and even though I had many ideas put on the back burner for album cover concepts, this one really took hold late, and ended up taking the lead (pun intended!)
It’s worth it always to use really good art people in the creation of your album cover, because the last thing you want, unless on purpose, is a really unprofessional-looking job! This is unfortunately the case quite often, and even as fair as I might try to be, I will somehow be slightly dissuaded by a really bad album cover or concept! Of course, these days, almost anything really does go, and there are many wonderful “retro” looks that you create for your cover that can harken to, and conjure up all kinds of new and intriguing ideas. You basically want something that is going to heighten the curiosity of the person who might be holding the cd/album in their hands, and will want to influence them to take that next step to buy it, and listen!
The old days of actually having a large, full-sized album cover in your hands while listening to its contents was a glorious high point for sure, and this album is also going to be released as vinyl as well as cd, so we can take full advantage of the larger format, and all that extra “creative room” it allows us! I, of course, also harken to the vinyl era, as my first 4 albums were strictly vinyl, and had all that wonderful space to play with! This album will open up, so it will have 4 surfaces total, and should be a blast to create! The music is ready, and now it’s time for the cover!
So remember, the idea of your cover art must really be a fun process, and you never know just what direction the whole visual process might go in……just like the music itself! Have fun with it, and let it truly “speak” for you, and what’s going to be listened to once it’s opened up!