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"Overlooked" Album Artwork - When Inspiration Strikes

Updated: Sep 1, 2021

My older brother, Mike (1iAM), is a music producer. I am a graphic designer. As you might expect, this has led to amazing, creative collaborations between us. "Overlooked" was no exception.

"Missed Calls" and "Ignoratio" are 2 other projects I've worked on with my brother

Mike contacted me one afternoon, asking if I had the time to work on some artwork for him. He has been on a real music streak lately—working on songs with artists such as Deric, Lukas Vui, and LilJoe211. As soon as he asked for my help, I knew I wanted to be a part of whatever he had cooking up.

His new project? A song collaboration between Deric, and LilJoe211. Deric is an up-and-coming artist out of Atlanta. LilJoe211 is a Bay Area hip-hip artist with a pretty substantial sphere of influence. With hits on their music reaching the millions, I knew that whatever I created had to be something special.

Mike sent over the song, and almost immediately I started to develop a vision for the end product. Anyone who is in the creative industry knows that this is a rarity. Most projects don't start out with an epiphany. But every now and then, when you are working on a project that you are truly invested in, a sort of magical pipeline can form. Regardless, it didn't matter what my "great idea" was unless the client signed off on it. I wanted to make sure my vision was aligned with his, so we hopped on a call.

On our call, I went over my idea with him. In the chorus of the song, Deric sings these super catchy lyrics:

"Take this potion, drown emotion"

I latched onto the image of a "potion". When I was pitching the idea to Mike, I mentioned that a potion was simple and iconic. It could be perceived in a number of different ways since potions in pop culture are known for a bunch of different effects. He liked the idea. The wheels were now in motion. I started drafting some compositions.

The composition was clean, and the hand-lettered text gave off the vibe I was going for. Now that I had a tangible example of my vision, I was able to hop into the process of creating the assets.

For this piece of artwork, I knew I was going to be creating a 3D model of the potion bottle (Mike had seen my recent 3D work, and wanted that to be incorporated). I started gathering reference.

I cannot overstate the importance of finding reference photos. I think as an artist and designer, the pressure to create something totally new and unique can be debilitating. Once you accept that everything comes from something, the process of creation becomes a more organized and focused endeavor.

Once I had some solid references, I was able to get started on modeling the assets. I use a 3D program called Blender. It is completely free and open-source, so it is perfect for someone like me who only dabbles in 3D modeling (for now).

Now that I had the assets, it was time to move on over to Photoshop, and work on the final composition.

Since I already had a sketch of the rough layout, there wasn't a whole lot of guesswork here. I knew the potion bottle would be the primary focal point, but I still had to figure out how I wanted all of the other information to be incorporated. I ended up settling on a couple of options and hopped on a call with Mike to go over them.

Each option had its benefits, and Mike was happy with all of them. When it came down to making a decision, he went with option 2. He told me that he really loved how simple and focused it was. Having all of the information towards the center created a very strong focal point, and that's exactly what he was looking for. So I sent over the final files, and patiently awaited the public release of the song.

On July 16th, 2021, the song was released to the public on all major streaming platforms.

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