Imagine a faceless human being. No glassy eyes, no expressive mouth, no lopsided nose. Just indents where they should be, where you’d expect them to be. Imagine that faceless being fervently attempting to convey a message, flailing its arms and all, but not being able to. Because, without eyes, how can you read what it’s thinking? And without a mouth, how can you hear what it’s saying? And without a nose…well, I guess I didn’t pick a perfectly solid metaphor. Essentially what I’m trying to say is, an album cover has to be memorable, it has to be what made you decide to pick up that record or pull out that CD or click that soundcloud link. It has to have an originality and boldness that makes you pause for a moment, hover your cursor over the orange arrow, and decide to see what’ll be on the next page. That’s why I took the creation of my cover very seriously. It was what would poke holes into my featureless being of a song and give it a face. Whenever people remember my song, their visual will be whatever I decide to put on my cover.
The song that I was giving the cover to was called “ego”. It was my own song, which somehow made the process harder. I had this idea of drawing a “big-headed” person. Ever since I started toddling around on my recently aquired and very chubby legs, people would tell me not to be arrogant. (Yep, very useful advice for a toddler). But they’d never say arrogant, they’d say “big-headed”, and for quite a while I thought I had been born with an disproportionally larger head than the rest of my species. It wasn’t until around seventh grade someone explained to me that “big-headed” was “the way old people say cocky”. Then it all clicked. I also stopped avoiding hats.
Since the song was called “ego” I wanted the cover to depict a stereotypical image of a big headed person, partially because I thought it made sense, partially because there was a special story behind it, and partially because, in my mind, it would look awesome. Oh boy was I wrong. As soon as I lifted my pen off of the paper I realized that whatever I’d imagined looked like an alien. An old, drugged up alien at that.
That was no good. This posed a problem because, being as big headed as I am, I thought my idea would be perfect and there would be no reason to have a plan B.
For a couple days I went through the necessary steps of brainstorming: walking around the city in the rain, listening to hardcore rock music with the volume turned to the highest level, and skipping rocks on the East River. None of it really worked, I just ended up with wet shoes, trouble hearing for a week, and losing a really cool stone. My mom saw me battling teen angst and decided to shower me with her adulthood wisdom. She told me to just do something, I don’t have to have a plan, sometimes it’s good to let my hand go off on its own. So I did. I sat at my desk with no preconceived notion as to how these things should go down. I let my limb take control. I went on autopilot, but in a good way and when I looked down I saw an anatomical (probably totally inaccurate) diagram of a head. Okay.
I then used what little photoshop abilities I had to construct a cover and when I was done I didn’t hate the result. I actually kind of liked it. When I woke up in the morning I loved it.