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Content Creation Music

Designing Album Art For My Favorite 11 Albums In 2019

In 2019, there were albums that made such an impact on me that I just had to design something for them. I’m an extremely happy person any time I can use my creative skills to celebrate things I enjoy. Last year, I did a Top 10 design series. This time, when I was putting together my list, I had to include 11 to properly capture my favorites of the year.

11. Lana Del Rey – Norman F***ing Rockwell
I felt that going pop art-esque fit with overall vibe of Lana.

10. Wale – Wow…That’s Crazy
This one inspired by the dark photo of Wale I found and the fact that it’s rumored this would be his last studio album possibly a la Jay-Z’s The Black Album.

9. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Bandana
This one is pretty self explanatory haha.

8. Ari Lennox – Shea Butter Baby
Designed a whole product label for this album! Little touches are present such as 12 oz (representing the 12 tracks).

7. Rapsody – Eve

What’s a queen without a crown? What’s an MC without a mic?

6. Big K.R.I.T. – K.R.I.T. IZ HERE

Took my illustration of K.R.I.T. and turned it into a full album cover with custom crowns above and below. “M” is also for Mississippi.

5. Beyonce – Homecoming The Live Album

Since Beyonce did a whole tribute to HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges & Universities) for her Coachella performance, I created a custom college seal for the occasion.

4. Snoh Aalegra – -Ugh, those feels again
Kind of an old school illustrated scene of hot-air balloons of the yarn of love with tear drops. The track “Charleville 9200, Pt. II” was a major inspiration.

3. Lucky Daye – Painted
Took the inspiration from the album title and ran with it. Love’s paintbrush with various colors – which also doubles as a musical staff.

2. Tyler, the Creator – IGOR
Illustration of Tyler as IGOR prominently featured. I did illustrations for each track of this album I loved it so much.

1. Little Brother – May The Lord Watch
My favorite album of the year! Illustrated the stars of the show and added some classic old school vinyl type text. Included a little nod to UBN. (“Youuuuuu are watching U-B-NNNNN!”)

Love projects like these! Hope you enjoyed my interpretations!

~b.

Categories
Design

The 5 Mics Project: Using My Talent To Celebrate Greatness

5 MICS is a design series I started celebrating my personal 5 favorite MCs in hip-hop, the rappers whose music and style I love.

I analyzed their photos and pulled what I considered the most recognizable elements of them. Then, I sketched out what would eventually become simple illustrations of each. I created a general face/head template and then applied the unique elements on top of that.

Notice the Miles Davis one up top I did for fun.

Like with each design series I do, I created a system of presentation that would be consistent throughout. I took the microphone I made, duplicated it 4 more times, and put the mics in formation to be the 5 Mics project logo. With each MCs illustration, I drew additional inspiration from a project or other specific bit of information about the artist.

 

RAPSODY
“There’s levels to this but I’m a whole new floor.”
The colors in the background are inspired by the cover of her EP, Beauty And The Beast.

LOGIC
“But, I’m not defined by the sales of my first week
Cause in my mind the only way I fail; if my verse weak”

The background here refers to Logic’s skill of solving Rubik’s cubes at an incredible speed.

J. COLE
“Cole under pressure. What that make? Diamonds.”

His 2014 Forest Hills Drive album was the inspiration for the background.

LUPE FIASCO
“It’s hard being a Lupe fan, go to Harvard to be a Lupe stan.”

Background is “All Black Everything”.

BIG K.R.I.T.
“If it don’t touch my soul, then I can’t listen to it.”

The purple was inspired by the Cadillactica album. The lightning cut was inspired by Mt. Olympus. The crown refers to what K.R.I.T. means (King Remembered In Time).

One of the great things about being a graphic designer is having the ability to pay visual tribute to those that impact you. We should all use our skills and gifts to deposit as much positivity into the world as possible. The 5 MICS design series is just one example of me creatively saluting some of those who provide greatness to the soundtrack of my life and the life of others.

~b.