How To Make Your Own Cover Art: 7 Album Art Ideas
So you’ve made a fire track, and you’re ready to put it out into the world. Before you can start marketing your music, you’ll need to create cover art that matches the mood of your masterpiece.
Thankfully, we’ve come up with seven foolproof ways to make album art on your own. We’ll share a couple of cover art creation strategies along with examples so that you can start creating right away. Let’s jump in!
7 Ways To Make Music Cover Art
Here are seven different methods for creating cover art for your tracks. These strategies are meant to inspire you, not restrict your creativity, so feel free to experiment with mixing and matching various techniques as you see fit.
1. Use A Template
There’s nothing wrong with going the easy route! After all, there are many different tasks that demand your attention as an indie artist. You can use a site like Canva, which offers plenty of free templates for inspiration or full-on creation from start to finish.
2. Have a Photoshoot
If you have a concept in mind but don’t know how to bring it to fruition, hire a photographer for a couple of hours. This isn’t just a great way to get cover art; you’ll also gain a bunch of promo pictures for your release rollout.
You can ask around to see if any artists in your network have any photographer recommendations. If you’re tight on a budget, you can ask one of your friends to take photos in exchange for lunch or an outing together. The photos don’t have to be complicated to strike a chord– Great lighting, funky outfits, and confidence as a subject can easily up the production value.
3. Remix a Free Image
One of the easiest ways to craft cost-effective yet expressive cover art is to rework a copyright-free image. You can use a site like Pexels or Pixabay to source images for free; just be sure to read the fine print. It’s best to source an image that’s listed as “Free for commercial use, no attribution required.” This way, you know that you’re free to use the artist’s work in any context.
However, it’s still polite to credit the original source if you can. On release day, see if you can give credit to the original source on social media by tagging them in a photo of the cover art. Who knows? You might even gain a new fan in the process.
4. Create a Collage
For something with a bit more texture, try your hand at creating a collage. This can be done digitally using photo-editing software or the old-fashioned way by splicing together magazine and newspaper clippings—source images with textures, subjects, and colors that directly align with the themes of your song. If you’re creating a collage by hand, be sure to capture it on a flat surface with even lighting.
5. Draw Something By Hand
If you’re looking for a more homegrown aesthetic or find yourself low on cash, why not draw or paint something by hand? Something as simple as a black and white drawing can speak volumes for your music.
Major artists like Grimes drew and created her cover art for years before commissioning the art from someone else:
6. Get Funky In Photoshop
Learning to navigate editing software like Photoshop is an extremely beneficial skill as a musician. There are plenty of free YouTube tutorials dedicated to creating cover art, so you should have everything you need as long as you have some sort of photo-editing software (or phone app!).
You can easily remix an old selfie, travel photo, or anything really to make your album art. Just remember to export your creation at 3000 x 3000 pixels at 300 dpi.
7. Find An Artist
If you have the money but don’t have the time, outsource your creative vision. Sites like Upwork and Fiverr have plenty of freelancers who can help you bring your artistic ideas to life. You can also use a service that’s more design-specific, like 99 Designs.
We're hoping this guide makes it easier for you to take your ideas and turn them into polished, professional cover art that enhances your music. Have fun experimenting with this part of the creative process.