A regular occurrence in my adventures as a self-employed designer scoping out cold contacts on Twitter (see for instance our previous drinking game on Don’t put a Parental Advisory Label (PAL) on your album cover artwork) is something along the lines of the following…
“Who makes cover art need it today”
“I need artwork same day in the next 5 hours”
Equally, I see a lot of replies to these sorts of tweets…
“DM me ASAP”
“Follow or DM ASAP”
It’s arguable that cover art is slightly less important than it used to be, as the almighty algorithms have more power now as to whether people will discover your music (All Glory to the Algorithm) on digital platforms, compared to the age old time of going into a record store. But, your artwork is still crucial. It is the visual representation of your art, and is it a part of your art.
You didn’t rush the music. You shouldn’t rush the cover.
Start thinking about the artwork while you’re making the song. What does it make you feel? What are you picturing in your mind while working on it? Keep a note of these things because it will all help when you come to the point of creating artwork, whether its creating it yourself or commissioning.
And once you’ve got your initial concept, just sit on it for a day. Save it, close it, and leave it a little while. Everyone is different, but I often get those moments of bathroom brilliance. Sat on the throne, and think “Oh if I did this then…” and so on, a great idea to work into your project appears.
Not rushing it means you can take the time to tweak things, add little details, and ultimately be happy long-term with the artwork.
The one exception to all of this is if you have the absolute clearest vision in mind, and you/your designer channels this perfectly. But for those times when it doesn’t match up, my advice is still to take your time, and plan in advance. Don’t rush it, and equally don’t let anyone rush you with it.
And have a lovely rest of day!