“People will judge your music and your perceived creativity based on your image and album covers”. -David Bean
Why is the above comment important for artists to understand? How can we go about making sure our image, branding, websites and album covers don’t scare away potential fans?
Last month, CCM Indie had the pleasure of attending the Indie Ignite Conference presented by Westar Media Group. It was a great conference, full of opportunities for some of the industry’s best and brightest to bestow their knowledge on eager indie ears. One of my favorite sessions was one session run by a well-known photographer, David Bean (Leann Rimes, Ja Rule, Nikki Taylor, Jack White). His topic was: “The Artists Image: How Important Are My Photos and Album Cover Really?”
After a hysterical look at some of the best and worst album covers of all time, he concluded with this:
“Your image and album covers are one of the most important things to consider whether you’re just starting out, or if you’ve been doing this as long as the Rolling Stones.”
Your image and brand should be a priority in everything that you do, understanding that potential fans will judge you on the basis of how you look, how your website looks, your CD artwork, etc. before they even hear a note of your music. A poorly constructed website or poor quality photos could mean the difference between someone listening to your music or not. If the ways in which you represent your brand don’t look polished and eye-catching, it leads people to assume your music will be the same. I can say from experience that rarely have I seen a situation where an artist has a shoddy-looking web presence, but the music was actually good. Unfortunately, the quality of the website, EPK or photos is a good predictor of the quality of the music.
As Christians, we are called to do all that we do, to the best of our ability. Putting up half-baked websites and poorly constructed bio’s doesn’t do God any favors. Rather, it makes us look careless about our desire to communicate effectively through our music. It’s not enough to say that God has called you to a life of music and then assume you can get by with just the bare minimum. If you are serious about pursuing a career in a field in which you feel called, the best advice I can offer is to look at those who are successful and figure out what worked for them. Beyond that, you need to consider bringing an experienced consultant on to your team to help you navigate some of the decisions you’ll be making regarding your brand and image.
CCM Indie can help. We are now accepting submissions for artists who wish to participate in a consulting program to grow their career and ministry. If you’re interested please submit your EPK to me: LKirkendall@SalemPublishing.com. We are taking a limited number of artists at this time and you will be contacted if you’re selected.