The time has come - your freshly mastered track is ready to schedule for release - next you want to find some original cover art that suits your music and will stand out amongst the sea of other new releases.
In most cases, the process of creating cover art is to employ a graphic designer, artist or photographer - seems easy enough? Does your network extend to the right people to lean on and help, are you limited by budget, do you even end up owning the artwork, what formats are you required to build and export to sell and promote your release?
Our friends at music artwork marketplace Kolect have detailed their advice on finding & choosing the perfect art for your music.
How to find & license artwork for music
What is exclusive artwork?
Copyright is a complicated beast and the biggest surprise to artists after commissioning artwork is to discover that unless a graphic designer signs over exclusive rights of the image created they are still technically the owner of your album art.
By obtaining an exclusive art license the licensee [buyer, you] is given the right to commercialise the IP [artwork] to the exclusion of all others, including the licensor [seller, artist]
It's important to release and promote your music with the reassurance that you can exploit your artwork for commercial gain.
<p style="padding-right: 50px; padding-left: 50px; padding-top: 20px; padding-bottom: 20px; color: #5934E8; font-size: 1.5rem; font-weight: 500; background-color: #FFFFFF; border: 3px solid #5934E8; text-align: center;"><u>Did you know?</u><br><br>In 2010, Vampire Weekend released their second studio album, ‘Contra’ - unknowingly with a copyright infringement within the album cover art. The outcome, a settlement outside of court, Vampire Weekend paying an undisclosed amount to the model Anne Kirsten Kennis and a counter sue claim on the legitimacy of the copyright with the photographer Tod Brody.</p>
Finding artwork that speaks to you
Just like your music, art also tells a story - don’t settle until you find something that connects to your project. That speaks to your work. That speaks to you.
Art is subjective, just like your music - how you connect to it, and someone else does may not be for the same reasons, but at the core, it’s connected. Album artwork can reinforce the overall concept, contextualise the emotion or message of the song(s) or your project. Use this asset to your full advantage.
You deserve that perfect image, an image that encapsulates the meaning of your music. Artwork that transcends the run of the mill stock footage and something that you can call your own that nobody else has. A unique creative stamp that sets you apart and honours your music.
<p style="padding-right: 50px; padding-left: 50px; padding-top: 20px; padding-bottom: 20px; color: #5934E8; font-size: 1.5rem; font-weight: 500; background-color: #FFFFFF; border: 3px solid #5934E8; text-align: center;"><u>Did you know?</u><br><br>In 1991, Nirvana’s second studio album, Nevermind and it’s iconic album art - you recognise the image, but what was the inspiration behind it & how did fans connect with it..
According to Geffen Records art director Robert Fisher, Nirvana’s lead singer-guitarist Kurt Cobain had seen a documentary on babies being born underwater, and “thought the image would make a cool cover.
That vision was a bit too graphic, so we went with the swimming baby instead.” On the contrary, fans have interpreted this image as a metaphor for Nirvana, a neophyte band being reeled in by corporate rock’s big bucks - either way, the fishhook was added in post production Cobain’s direction.</p>
Leverage your art to sell your music
The more reasons to promote your release, the more you can talk and engage with an audience. Your artwork isn’t just a thumbnail on your Spotify profile, treat it so much more - an excuse to post on your social media platforms, your tour art, sell some merchandise.
The artist you’ve licensed the art from has a story, include this in your press release/ social copy, let this form a deeper insight to the reasons to why you connected with the art. Your art is additional content, use it!
What is Kolect?
Kolect is a marketplace of emerging and trending artists who create amazing artwork for music artists like you. Artists can browse, purchase, license and design unique and exclusive artwork for their next release.
Ditto Artists can also get an awesome 20% discount on all artwork across the site. Just use the coupon code DITTO20 at checkout.