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How-To: Creating an EP Cover with Ronin

We have another insightful How-To today, led by our wonderful Creative Partner Bupe Mulenga, aka Ronin.

Ever wondered how musical artists create their EP covers?

Well.. they don't (we do). At least usually...

Fortunately, a small number of artists do create their own EP covers. Our multifaceted, multi-talented CP Bupe is one of them, and he's going to show you exactly how it's done.

Keep reading if you want to learn how Bupe created his EP cover for The Chronicles Of Ronin...


iPhone XS

Adobe Photoshop

When 2 Creative Partners collide...


So! One day at the beach, I happened to take some photos of the sea (as you do). I sent them to Bupe, who loves the sea. A few days later, Bupe sent me the cover of his new mixtape, ft a very recognisable seafront (Southsea). I couldn't believe what he was able to create out of something that was quite honestly... nothing.

I shot the images below using my iPhone XS camera - it's dual lens functionality really is impressive! That's my part done, over to Bupe >


Editing on Photoshop

It all started with the picture that Afiya sent me from the beach. According to most of, if not all artwork guidelines, you must use a perfectly square canvas, of maybe 1,600 to 2,000 px for the artwork to be accepted.

So that's what I did! I started out by cropping the image, choosing the centre of the image to for my canvas. From there, I played around with the brightness, contrast, colour balance (not too much) and the exposure/lighting, with intent of darkening the image. After that, I had to decide on the direction I was going to take the design in.

As always, I had to give the artwork a theme that reflects the music accurately. And seeing as the music has a predominantly spacey, dreamlike feel, I definitely (obviously) had to have space in there, including stars, planets, and colours etc.

Secondary Image & Layering

I found a secondary image online (free to use). As you can see by the finished product, it incorporates many stars and a large burst which I later chose to include. I did this by cropping out the section I most preferred and changing the blending and opacity to melt the image into the ocean.

Now, we have an ocean with stars and flashes of light. And as you can see, the ocean isn't blue anymore, it's a coppery green, bronze gold mixture of hues...

So next, I directed my focus to the additional elements and images that were going to 'personalise' what it was I trying to achieve. On the artwork, I've placed 2 doves, they represent love, freedom, new beginnings and hope etc. I coupled these with a hot air balloon. The basket of the hot air balloon, where a passenger would sit, has been blurred and the balloon slightly darkened. I positioned the hot air balloon first, and then positioned the doves around it accordingly. My companions on the trip.

Creating the Title & Font Selection: The Chronicles Of Ronin

I knew I wanted to use a font with thin lettering. I wanted it to seem handwritten, this was heavily influenced by the scrolls in old karate films. I was particular in my selection process, and managed to find a font that was relatively appropriate.

I curved the writing to represent the curve of the sun, over the horizon.

Final Touches

The final touches were adding the Paradise Highr logo, I changed the blending options on this too and positioned it above the hot air balloon. I then added the Parental Advisory, changed the colours to white, and as always, to highlight my artwork, or anything I've worked on, I add the Japanese characters for Ronin.

The theme of water was a must. A body of water had to be present within the artwork, representation matters. Just like the dove that represents hope, love and new beginnings, the ocean represents the unknown, also astrology... Pisces (two fish)... the vast unknown.

The ocean is a force of nature.

Check out the masterpiece! #CreativeGenius

Listen to Ronin on SoundCloud Design my Artwork

And just like that, this how-to is OVER! But don't worry, if you loved it... there's always more coming ;)


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written by Bupe & Afiya at dev. by us



You're going to have a wonderful week, full of productivity & positive thinking!

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