You listen to music with your ears, don’t you? So it doesn’t matter what artwork you stick on your website, your new single, your social media. Wrong. It’s probable that your visuals are every bit as important as your music.
Think of it like this. We are bombarded 24/7 with stuff screaming ‘look at me’ and we react to what we like the look of. If your visuals aren’t right no-one is going to listen to your music. It’s a fact. But if your visuals resonate with someone they’ll listen to you.
These days the young hip kids all know how to Photoshop anything. They can take a picture on their phones and manipulate it and zap into social media in seconds. But just stop for a second. This is your one shot to capture someone’s attention before they swipe next. Your moment has gone and they didn’t listen to the music you’ve spent a lifetime working on.
How you present yourself and your art is crucial. You need to think about it because it will influence people and it will determine whether or not someone listens to your music.
If you don’t know how to Photoshop or you don’t have access to thousands of professional images then you either need to employ someone to do that for you or find something to make your life easier. There are stacks of talented graphic designers out there, local and international. There’s organisations like Fiverr where you can employ someone to design your next album cover or concert poster. Or you could do what I do and use an online product like Canva.
It’s no word of a lie to say that I think Canva is one of the internet’s greatest companies. I use it for my day job and I use it for everything I do around my music. There’s a great free version and the full blown paid version costs very little. I cannot recommend Canva highly enough – and they’re not paying me to say that.
The image at the top of this page was created using Canva and so was every image on this website and on my social media. It took me very little time to learn how to use Canva and of course there are stacks of tutorials on YouTube. Canva isn’t just about images you can also create videos, flyers, cards, posters etc etc.
Whatever you use to generate artwork make sure it’s the best you can do, that it reflects your ‘brand’ and that it entices people to listen to your music. To coin the phrase, you only get one shot at making a first impression.
One important note of caution – do not use pictures/photographs that are copyright. If you do then there is a good chance you will be contacted by the likes of Getty Images who will demand a lot of money from you. They will sue you and they will win. Check that you have the right to use every image you post anywhere, on your website, on your social media. If you don’t own the right to use the image DON’T USE IT.