Last updated on May 18th, 2023
What Is A “Visual Artist”?
A few of our previous pieces have dealt directly with visual representations of your music/brand such as photography, EPKs, wardrobe choices, etc., all of which could be considered forms of what we’re calling “visual art.” However, the term “visual artist” does seem sort of broad, doesn’t it? Given that we’re exploring what makes a good visual artist this week and why you should employ extra care in selecting one, let’s take a second to unpack what we specifically mean by “visual artist.”
Essentially, a visual artist is someone who crafts graphic content for you. They can conceive new ideas, develop ones you already have, render your photographs with nifty filters and software tweaks, make logos, and so on. It’s pretty amazing what a well seasoned visual artist can do with a few rudimentary images or fragmented ideas, which is why they’re next up on our list of People You Need To Know.
Why Hire A Visual Artist?
As we’ve already discussed, the social media dynasty that is reigning supreme over all of us right now demands original, refined, and striking visual content from anybody trying to stand out amongst their peers. This is especially true in the music world. No matter how much you might detest the “superficial generation” or its effect on the “true meaning” behind the music and art, it’s not going anywhere, which means that your need to appease it isn’t either.
Plus, good visual art is a really cool thing to have, and it’s been a part of the equation for at least as long as you’ve loved music. Think about that trademark Rolling Stones tongue. The Misfits skull. Led Zeppelin’s little emblems that denote each member of the group. The Grateful Dead’s dancing bears. These are genius little motifs that market not only they band they represent, but a culture as well. It’s almost like a badge of honor for Deadheads to sport that iconic skull with the lightening bolt running down the middle. If you have good visual art, you have the perfect material for great looking merchandise. Ergo, you have another avenue of income and publicity for your music.
A Bit About Sedona
Your best bet is to turn the reins over to someone who knows what they’re doing and has some professional experience with visual art – also, someone who is well seasoned in whatever digital software artists are using to produce the best material. Sedona Feretto has been a good friend of mine for close to six years. She’s an actress/writer/visual artist who moved to Nashville from Los Angeles a few years back.
Every time I need some new graphic done or a certain picture accentuated with some nifty tricks, I reach out to Sedona. As far as visual art goes, she’s the best I’ve ever encountered. She designed my podcast logo for me (The Devil You Know), organized my EPK, built my music website, crafted up an album cover of mine, and has overall established the perfect strike between my vision and her own ideas while producing excellent work for me whenever I need it.
Here’s what she had to say about visual art in music.
How would you define visual art?
“Visual art for music is something that, for me, evokes emotion while also maintaining the message and integrity of the music it’s promoting. With today’s world full of apps, creating a unique visual art piece is easier than ever, but the market is also far more saturated. Art that represents music should highlight the story/message that the song or album is communicating. If you have a mismatched cover/photo, you risk losing the potential to bring in new listeners.”
In that sense, I couldn’t agree more: it takes a sort of fluency in artistic language that, no matter how seemingly esoteric or vague, can easily be exchanged between the musician and the visual artist from start to finish. Take a look below at this unbelievable piece she developed for me a couple years ago. I told her exactly what I wanted (bleed over imagery, ghostly wisps, etc.) done with these pictures taken by local photographer Kylie Rebecca, and she absolutely killed it without any hinderance.
How do you keep clients coming back?
“Well, I’m an artist myself. I act, write, sing, etc., so I understand the value that goes into every piece of someone’s art. Mechanically speaking, it’s important to familiarize yourself with what you’re working with so the client is getting their money’s worth. I use Adobe Creative Suite and Canva, both of which are great programs.”
I’m not afraid to admit that I don’t know the first thing about either of those editing platforms or how to even start learning to use them, which actually makes things easier on me. I don’t have to burden myself with learning something I’m unfamiliar with, and by asking someone else for help, I get excellent art done while making a new friend in the process. Because I trust Sedona and am confident in her reliability/effective set of skills, I keep coming back to her. Take it from a return client – it’s how these things work.
What's one of your favorite pieces you've made?
“I made for Cassidy Barker’s website. She’s an author who I was honored to work with, and it was a really fun challenge to create her designs! I also crafted the logo for an album by The SLVR Tongues a few years ago [currently Jericho Rose].”
Why is it important to have good visual art for your music?
“It’s impossible to have perfect visual art for music, but anything “less than” is really doing that song a disservice. Why would you spend so much time, energy, and money into producing and performing a fantastic song just to have some throw away art accompanying it? Especially in todays world where social media is now a requirement for so many artists, you have to think of your brand as a whole, and a stunning piece of visual art is part of the package when it comes to getting new listeners.”
Once again, we’re reminded that this facet of your music is a requirement, which means that executing it properly is pivotal to success. If you’ve having difficulty conceiving ideas for your art or manifesting your music’s themes into images that properly represent it, reach out to friends/peers in the trade and, and definitely ask for advice from someone like Sedona. These are people who have a keen interpretive eye for stuff like this, so don’t discard that asset when it’s right there in front of you. While a picture may not be worth a thousand lyrics, it’s certainly worth some extra attention and care.
Looking For The Right Visual Artist?
Musicians: join our platform to collaborate with skilled visual artists and take your brand to the next level with eye-catching album artwork, music videos, and promo materials.