Some things never change. A sort of mantra that was sitting on top of one of my first websites. And I guess it is just like that. But some things do change and here are six that have changed over time on HQCovers.
- Making a virtue of necessity
Back in the early 2000s, I started making my own soundtrack covers due to the lack of high quality artwork available. This whole thing really was born out of necessity. Over time I’ve more and more started tackling soundtrack that I don’t even have. And by now I mainly do it for the fun of it. There are at least a hundred covers sitting in a folder, waiting to be applied to my own music library. I really need to take this on someday.
- The switch from PaintShop Pro…
In my early days PaintShop Pro was my preferred weapon of choice. It was cheap and fairly easy to learn due to its limited possibilities. I still remember that whenever I had to start Photoshop for certain actions, I always felt almost intimidated by its sheer amount of actions and tools. It was a gentle switch to Photoshop, one that I only realized over time. More and more I started making my covers in PS and by now I really feel at home with it.
- … to Photoshop
I remember a conversation that I had with Luis M. Royas a couple years ago. Awestruck by his incredible custom covers, I asked him if he always manages to pull off his ideas. Because back then I really struggled to put my ideas into practice. My covers never looked as polished as I had imagined them in my mind. Naturally this has changed over time and by now I’m fairly confident in the handling of my preferred editing tools. Often times I immediately know the steps necessary to achieve certain results and it has only become a matter of performing the necessary steps.
Making product mockups has become a major part of this whole thing. It has become an obsession of mine and I think I can most certainly say that I have purchased almost all Photoshop mockup templates that are publicly available. I even started making some of my own. By now I regard the mockup as an integral part of conceptualizing and developing any new custom cover. It has very much influenced my way of working.
- Tribute Covers
As you can now see on the newly added front page category, Tribute Covers have become an important part of my journey. And I don’t even know anymore how it got that far or what was the main reason for that particular event in the first place. If I had to guess, I’d say a combination of alleged sophistication, lack of inspiration and plain and simple laziness.
- WordPress Premium
For over 4 years now this website is completely add-free. I’m paying € 99,00 each year without any second guessing. For me HQCovers is more than just a blog. It’s a portfolio of work that has led to some amazing collaborations. It’s also a sort-of diary in which I channel my thoughts and try to talk big. But most importantly it’s my go-to place whenever I feel like taking a stroll down memory lane. It’s a lot of things to me. And hopefully to you too.
One thing that probably won’t change in the near future is that fact that I will keep on publishing unreleased, alternative or in one way or another failed custom covers on this website. And this time it turned into a rather large pile of these so-called “Lost Covers” – which is why I decided to split them up into two blog posts. Today’s is the first one – the other one will follow later this year.
In any case, I hope you can enjoy one or the other cover. And maybe this glimpse behind the scenes will give you a little more insight into the thoughts of a cover designer (oh God, who’d want that!?). Maybe it will help you understand why some works better end up in the drawer – while others don’t.
Or maybe it also shows you that every successful attempt is preceded by many, many failed ones. And that misguided plans can also have a positive effect. That it’s sometimes necessary (and even right) to allow a presumably bad idea to come to life every now and then. Because as a wise and very old man once said:
“Pass on what you have learned. Strength. Mastery. But weakness, folly, failure also. Yes, failure most of all. The greatest teacher, failure is.“