Ive had so many projects over the years, for fun, publication, paid, and just leisure in some cases. And dare i say my graphic design work has gone and gotten way better from back when i started. One of the projects i spent a considerable amount of time working on was related to Tewey. a fledgling rap artist.. and also my cousin. (everyone has to start somewhere)
Tewey’s debut mixtape was called Take Notes. Which i remember he was spelling “TaKe NoTeS” It was 7 tracks of a 14 year young man trying his hand at something that was his biggest passion. Exactly how the title of the tape came about, you would have to ask him about. But being as i had to analyze and think of the graphics for this stuff, i like to think that at the time, my cousin had hardly been doing this for much more than a year or two when the idea of a mixtape came about. i Remember his interest took off so incredibly fast, and he studied like a champion, listened to so much music, picked up a lot things, tried a lot of things, and wrote so much lyrics that whenever i came over or we had one of our haphazard recording sessions, he would have hundreds of lyrics and ideas ready that he had just been writing. to me thats where his take notes concept came into this
As far as an art direction, there really wasnt one. we started from scratch on everything. I had not done much graphic design by the time this was made, i knew little to nothing about the software i was using, i just knew it was fun and wnated to do it more and get better at it. i however wanted to keep it simple, with my skillset being what it was. i stuck with one font, The Abandoned treasure which you can find on Dafont.com, and it was consistent for all things related to this project
The main motive, Tewey sitting down and writing on a note pad was derived from the title, simple as that. it was a basic shot on a Canon Ixus 100/200 camera, we kept it black and white on the final cover, i think it was just because everything else on the final cover was a either black or white. might have taken a bit of inspiration from Wax’s album cover for his Continue Album that had been blaring on my shitty car speakers for a good long time. or it could be a slick marketing tactic from me because my shitty logo would be displayed somewhere prominent on the design. I was co producer after all!
That picture went through a few renditions, first one being as simple as possible, where Tewey had drawn out the cover himself. (rendition 1) and that was the intended photo we were going to use, until i realized, “oh shit. the picture needs to be square or it wont fit” and so i had to adjust the canvas size accordingly. which created an excellent space at the bottom to place the title. Thats when i started looking for fonts that we could use that looked alright and handwritten.
And boom. i found the before mentioned Abandoned treasure font. To be fair i had used it on a different project from before and might have had a certain bias towards it as a result. (to be published later)
Further, i thought, well that picture is good and all, (i snapped it myself, duh) but what if i make something more out of that notebook? and so i experimented with a picture i had taken of him more recently, even borrowed my moms dslr for that one. but i knew nothing about photography, ligthing, hell even masking in photoshop was at this point foreign/newly aquired knowledge to me. i just noodled around with whatever i understood. and i understood marking an area and pressing backspace would remove stuff. and also the liquify tool came in handy as illustrated in rendition 2. the idea behind it was, illustrating his lyrical content in a way that made people think a certain way, you could end up having thoughts like “this guy is drawing a picture of a different version of himself,” or “he is providing his mind to people his way, in a way that might be different. because the image on the paper is colorful, everything else in his world is seemingly black and white”
More noodling ensued, and photofilters also were something i tinkered with, aswell as the standard gradients in photoshop. Along with my shitty logo that i had cooked up in illustrator and was so very proud of XD but thats where the random rendition come from. it in really had nothing to do with anything. and me and the artist settled more or less on rendition 2…. well
Until 2 days before the mixtape would open for download. i sent him a new version, where i had incorporated pictures from a previous photoshoot. i had changed the main motive a bit more, so the picture of him holding his head in his arms was still there, but not as visible, along with the original “Tewey” that he drew on the piece of paper, along with the lyrics to the first verse of one of the more lyrical and socially conscious songs on the mixtape, “I Wonder More”. And i decided more or less myself that this was the best version, also i incorporated his new logo that i had created, because everybody kept pronouncing his name incorrectly, the logo was supposed to look like the number 2 and the letter E combined. thats the way you pronounce it. though my graphic design and illustrator abilities at that point were very much… not good.
The mixtape was published on August 25th 2013. And is propably one of the most interesting projects ive had, because graphic design is one thing, i also did two full music videos, all promotion, social media packages, produced on some of the tracks, did physical copies, printed everything, and all in all, beyond the musical content, i contributed a whole bunch to this project. It was a massive learning expirience and i’m happy i did it, because it opened my eyes to so many routes within media, and opened my mind to being resourceful without prior expirience and with little to no money.
The Artist himself i remember was all smiles and enjoyed the process, being cousins and bestfriends at the time, we never had as many arguments with one another as we did when making this and his other projects that ensued, but if you don’t but heads with anyone, you wont progress in your field. and if you give up, you close the door entirely. Thats what this project ended up being.