8 easy steps to create your Artist Image and Cover Art for your music
If you are like me, you probably wish that your music could speak for itself, right? If only everyone could just see music…
Since that is not the case, people often first see the picture (or video) that goes with your track or your artist profile before listening or reading.
So would it not make sense to match that image with what you want to bring across with your music and what you want people to know about you as an artist? Don’t worry, this can actually be done in a very authentic way.
Here are the 6 steps:
Step 1. Define what your music sounds like. Is it loud, soft, kind, angry, happy, industrial, soulful, weird, simple, high energy, uplifting, sad or something else? What are the types of images or even just colors that you see when you listen to your own music with your eyes closed? Write down the words to describe what you see or feel.
Step 2. Now that you have a first visual idea, go to google.com and search images based on those words and look at the results. What type of image do you see that matches well with what you envisioned earlier? By searching images, you should get an idea of what type of image and color (combinations) you can use.
Step 3. You can choose to adjust your image to the style of music you create, as many do. It is your creative decision but one advise; put your own character in and avoid blending in with the masses. Choose to be you, you are unique, by default.
If you are not sure what makes you unique; my uncle always says that the dent in a piece of furniture, is what gives it character. Use it! (he sold antiques btw 😉 )
Step 4. Throw away the images you might have saved earlier as they are mostly copyrighted. In stead, go to sites like Pexels , Pixabay or Freephotos.cc where you can find free and copyright free pictures of high quality.
Step 5. Now decide on your avatar; your headshot photo. People like to connect and relate to people. Listeners can relate better to you when they see your face, your expression and your personal style. It can provide a lot of depth to your profiles but of course, your style can also be not having a “face”. Choose what you are comfortable with and what best fits you.
Step 6. Find a font for your Artist name (soon we will do a post on how to find a good Artist name as well). It does not have to be a very unique font, like you have probably seen some of the headline DJs use, but at least you should choose a font and use it consistently where you can. Consistency is key in this whole process. If you want one of those unique logos, you are probably best off spending US$ 25 to US$ 50 and have a graphic designer create something pro for you.
Step 7. Sign up for a free image creation tool like canva.com (we use it all the time) and use your Artist name (in your font) and the selected avatar and pictures to create images and banners for your online profiles on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and of course On The Ground Sound! Let the examples in Canva guide you on how to style the images.
For your Artist profile as well as the Cover Art for your music on OTGS we recommend using images of 1140 px wide by 400 pixels height. Here is a cheat sheet for the other platforms:
Step 8. Make the imagery consistent between your different profiles. That does not mean that you need to use the same image. It might be even better to make some variation so people get a little different view. What it does mean is that you should keep similarity between the images that you use. There needs to be some link between them, you can try applying the same filter or adding the same design details to them. They should radiate the same vibe.
If images are chosen well it can really amplify the emotion that your music triggers. Once you have it set up, you are set for a while. Maybe do it again every 6 months or if you are really into it, every 3 or 2 months to keep things fresh and interesting for your audience.
We will be posting more in depth tips on how to do marketing and social media soon as we know this is one of the hardest things for artists to get right and we struggled ourselves for many years with it.