I'm sure it's safe to say art and music go together like peanut butter and jelly! So of course wanting amazing and professional looking artwork to go with your music is only natural.
It's important for an artist or band to have their own logo. It's important to have appealing art that connects with the music its being designed and released for.
Unfortunately, with no funds, you probably feel like you won't be able to have the professional quality art you want representing your music. Maybe you need flyers for the next gig? A music artist always needs graphic designs for merchandise like stickers and t-shirts. What about artist/band profile images?
Welp, as luck would have it, the internet is riddled with a lot of tools just waiting to be utilized!
I've been designing my own artwork for many moons now and in the past few years I have used four specific websites to create my own artwork. I didn't have to spend an arm and a leg on photoshop or another software and I never had to spend a dime on a graphic designer. I only had to use these four sites that I am going to share with you so that you can create your own quality artwork with out spending money.
The First Thing You Have to Do: Make It a Habit!!!
If you really want to make professional quality artwork that represents you as a music artist then you need to visualize yourself and your art as an artist. Start taking pictures of scenery that appeals to you like; fog filled forests, your favorite street corner, or a roaring stormy ocean! Take pictures of you in the studio, performing at shows, or posing for profile photos. It really doesn't matter what your into, if it triggers your creative side visually, photograph it!
You want to build an archive of images you have taken yourself or that you own. This is important if you don't want to run into issues over copyrights because you used a random image found on google thinking it was ok to use. It should be easy for you to collect content with todays smart phones that are designed to have amazing cameras!
I do understand that not everyone feels super artistic about taking pictures and don't exactly always think to observe their surroundings, looking to find the art around them, let alone thinking to even take a picture at all. If it's not your cup of tea to photograph things you can still find image sources online that aren't copy-written and/or belongs to the public domain. If this is how you decide to build up an image stockpile be sure to collect and archive images you know, beyond a doubt, won't come back to haunt you with a lawsuit for copyright infringement.
Ok... Now that I have emphasized the importance of building an image stock pile, lets take a look at these sites and see what they are about!
The Four Gems
I have used these sites for years now and I am capable of creating exactly what I want using these recourses. They are all very easy to use with a practical user interface. These really are great tools and I'm happy to share them with you!
Search and download images for free!
This website offers an archive of free photos that can be used with out ever having to look over your shoulder. All you have to do is type what your looking for in the sites search bar and any images they have related to that topic will pop up. When you find an image you want to use all you have to do is click "download". It will get saved where ever you want it to and you will be able to use it with out ever getting involved in a copyright lawsuit because they are royalty free.
I'm sure there are more sites like this out there, I just never looked for them myself so if you can't find something in Pexels archive you want, I suggest trying a search engine. You'll most likely get the best results using "Free Stock Photos" and "Royalty Free Photos" as the search's key phrase.
2.)Canva - Graphic Templates
Free Photos and Design Templates!
I love this site because they have free photos and templates you can use to help design images for anything you could possibly think of. If you have to create flyers for the next gig, make promotional posts for social media, or if you decided to write a book and wanted to create art for the cover then it's the perfect tool for for the job. Canva has templates for anything you could imagine and lets you edit and download them free while also saving your designs for you to come back to update or finish later.
Give it a shot! They have templates for album artwork, youtube, and so much more!
Advanced image editing for free!
It's similar to Photoshop and allows you to edit and download your images. I only use this site if I need to edit or create an image in a more technical way like; creating images with no backgrounds, or if I wanted to use multiple images to create layers for a new image entirely. I also use Pixlr to fix images and run them though filters.
It really is a great service and I highly recommend using it!
Create free QR codes!
QRCode Monkey lets you design and download QR codes. QR codes are great for marketing and promoting because it generates a code in an image form that can be scanned by anyones smartphone. That code, after being scanned, will prompt the user to be directed to what ever the creator of the QR code wanted you to be directed to.
You can use this code generator to send people to your new single. You can create a code to send people to your website. The possibilities are endless so be creative in how you use them. I personally created one to put on my business cards that will prompt you to my "10 Free Beats" download page, which subscribes them to my mailing list, allowing me to send emails in the future.
Have fun with the new toys and if you know of any other similar sites that are free to use, I would love to know about them so please share! I hope you enjoyed this article and get something of use from it.
Please give me some feedback and share your favorite image editing tools by leaving a comment below.
Until next time, stay creative!