How important is artwork, and what can artists do on a budget?

If you’re an artist, you’ve undoubtedly come across the question of how much effort to put into your artwork. Is super expensive artwork important for every track? Is it possible to make a big hit without dropping hundreds on artwork? Today, we’re going to discuss artwork, and give you some information so you can make the best decision for yourself!

Artwork ultimately sets the tone for a release. Often, fans see the artwork of the release before they hear the song. This already creates a mental image of the song in their head, and helps activate people’s imaginations when they listen to your song. If you look back at some of your favorite albums as a kid, you most likely remember the artworks in one way or another.

Thus, there is clearly a large advantage to having well made artwork that makes you stand out. Of course, then you reach the next hurdle - creating such an artwork for every song gets expensive very quickly. Perhaps you’ve already experienced this yourself if you contacted some pro graphic designers and got back quotes that were way higher than expected.

So, what can you, as an artist on a budget, do?

First off, it’s important to remember that lots of dance music classics had simple and poorly designed artwork. It’s not a make or break situation, but having nice artwork can certainly help your brand grow a lot quicker. Don’t get stuck on the idea of only releasing music if you can afford expensive artwork - there are creative and scalable solutions you can use as you grow as an artist.

If you want to be efficient when it comes to artwork, the best option is to find a graphic designer you like and sick with them. Buy some templates and learn some photoshop basics to modify them yourself - that way you won’t be at the mercy of a graphic designer every time you need a small graphic.

Before you go and invest in fancy and expensive artwork, it’s good to do some small projects so that the designer can get to know you and the vibe you want in your artwork. Over time, you’ll discuss color schemes, fonts, and everything in between and beyond, and forge a brand identity which works for you. Once you have the basic concepts for your brand down, creating more elaborate artwork becomes much easier.

Many artists decide to take on their own graphic design fully. While this is certainly something some artists do successfully, it’s important to remember that unless you have prior experience as a graphic designer, you’ll have to put in a lot of effort in order to learn how to brand yourself on a professional level. If you do your own graphic design, it's a good idea to double check your work with a graphic design pro to make sure you didn’t miss any small details that would make your brand suffer.

Artwork is an important part of any artist’s brand. While it’s not a death sentence for your track if the artwork is bad, it’s definitely not helping. Being on top of your game when it comes to artwork will pay off, and with a bit of creativity and a mix of doing some work yourself guided by a professional, you can produce quality artwork consistently!

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