The artwork matters as much as the music
Having a good visual helps to brand yourself as an artist. You have a face, you have a music style, you have something that makes You different from others.
People scroll through their social media feeds at a fast pace, so what is going to catch their attention? A good picture. And that will make them click on your album.
Take a scroll through memory lane
- Which album covers do you remember from the top of your head?
- What is it about them, that you remember most? You might remember a color, an outfit, or special typography.
- Close your eyes and listen to your album. What images come(s) to mind? Ask your friends to do the same exercise, if they agree. What image do they see? Is there something in common with yours?
- Are your tracks happy? Sad? Melancholic? Which colors go with that emotion? Should you use pastels, bright colors, or black&white?
- Do you want to show an object, a place your love, or a picture of yourself?
- What should your listeners feel when they see your artwork?
- Does the artwork fit the title of the album? Does it fit the names of the tracks?
- Do you prefer a clear or an abstract image?
Some tips on how to get started
You can take a great artwork picture with your phone camera. Pay attention to the lighting and add a few touch-ups on your computer. Play with saturation, contrast, and filters. Maybe you know an app that can help you with that.
Taking pictures is not for you? Maybe you have a friend who is passionate about photography, ask her to help. She will be excited to have her picture on the cover of your album! If not, visit your nearest art school and we are sure, you will find a student ready to help you out.
Or maybe you like to draw or know someone who does? Go for it! Spend some time with the creation of your artwork, a good image needs some planning and effort.
What about using stock pictures?
Stock pictures are tricky and we recommend you stay away from them. They will be used by other people as well and are not unique to your album. However, if you are skilled with picture editing, and got some great ideas you should go for it!
Make sure that you own the right to (1) edit the picture, (2) use the picture for your own work, and (3) use the picture in a commercial context (e.g. for selling your music). If you do not have those rights it can get you into trouble later on. And honestly: you don't want anyone to use your music without your agreement, then don't do so yourself with other people's art.
One final, and very honest advice: when our team at Jamendo finds a great artist with a “bad” artwork, we are a bit reluctant to post it on social media.
Investing in good artwork proves you are investing in your musical career. It shows your fans that you are serious about it.