Scott Bickers is the drummer for Jonny & The Mental Breakdowns in the evenings… but through the day is a graphic designer for Blackstar Amps. With an extensive background in the creation of artwork within the music industry and beyond, we asked him to give us his Top 5 tips on how to create your own band artwork cheaply!
1. Ask around – Everyone has that one creative friend who could help you visualise your ideas and bring them to life right? Ok so what’s it gonna cost? A few beers? A copy of your album? Whatever it is it’ll be a damn sight cheaper than paying a pro. Plus, it’ll mean a lot more to you AND to your friend.
2. Create a moodboard – This is what was done before Pinterest! Use this handy app, image searches or even magazines to gather anything that has the vibe that you want, be it typefaces, textures, colours, patterns, imagery or other similar styles to what you have in your head. This will undoubtedly help you construct your final artwork.
3. You have a camera in your pocket – use it! These days we all have DECENT cameras on our smartphones. Use them! Either for final images or ideas as part of your moodboard, this is an essential tool. Also don’t forget to get friends to take photos at your shows – you never know, they might capture the next ‘London Calling’ shot!
4. Draw your composition – Remember those things called pencils and paper? Well try cutting yourself a piece of paper the size of your CD/Record sleeve and start scribbling layouts. This will help you to get your composition right before you commit to the final design.
5. Anything goes! Don’t forget this is punk and it’s YOUR record. It doesn’t have to be polished and perfect, it just has to be what you like or what you think represents the band or the music. Just look at some classic punk album artwork and you’ll see scribbled drawings and crap handwriting….. it’s DIY!!!