Behind The Artwork: More - Jeremy Riddle
Each time our creative team is tasked with designing new album artwork, it feels like an opportunity to breathe new life into the project. It’s a mixture of figuring out how to honor the artist’s creative vision, co-laboring with Jesus, and discover a new facet of God’s imagination in the process.
The creative process for Jeremy Riddle’s “More” is a beautiful example of this. After a handful of meetings and explorations, our team met with Jeremy to present mood-boards and compositions (potential album covers and art directions). We left this meeting with a freshly decided art direction and set about creating assets for artwork and a marketing campaign.
This album process taught me a lot about the reality of miscommunication, especially when my role is to steward someone else’s vision. Our team started moving forward with what we thought was an approved art direction and began to develop artwork elements for the promotion of “More” - among them a full page advert in a magazine.
My error as the designer was that I didn’t verify the advert with Jeremy - which might seem an obvious thing to do - but we’re all human and sometimes these things just get missed! Unfortunately the advert went to print and upon seeing it, Jeremy reached out wondering how this direction was chosen.
Needless to say, there was a series of concerned text messages back and forth sorting out the confusion. We talked and eventually began to imagine another art direction that intrigued both of us.
I set up my work station at a local coffee shop and spent a Sunday in serious “rebrand” mode. Jeremy and I exchanged voice memos, mining out what a new and improved direction could be. I had no idea how to resurrect this album cover, so I asked Jeremy to go back to the basics and tell me what “the More of God” looked like to him. He replied, “It’s the Holy Spirit moving and breathing within us. That’s the More of God. That’s the essence of this album.”
Jeremy had mentioned something about using a dove - as a representation of the Holy Spirit - to which I responded internally “Heck no! I’ve seen one too many doves in Christian design over the years!” As I sat there trying to figure out how to proceed, I felt the Spirit whisper, “Try the dove”. So I did. And it hit me - what could it look like to physically depict the Spirit moving and breathing among us?
I began to play with glitch effects, separating the black and white like a prism, exposing the vibrant, limitless colors that laid hidden. This process even brought me revelation, about just how much “more” there is to discover, mysteries about God that lay in waiting for us to encounter.
I added a simple title and sent Jeremy one comp of my dove album cover attempt. To my surprise, he loved it and just like that...we landed it. Sometimes the most simple solutions are only a Sunday afternoon away. Our choices to re-prioritize and sacrifice time “off the clock” to lean in for creative breakthrough don’t return void. My motivation changed, it returned to being about the purity of the search rather than simply finishing a task that I was, frankly, very ready to complete.
In moments of frustration or lack of inspiration, Holy Spirit is always waiting and willing to help us. Whatever “creative mountain” you might be facing today, it’s nothing that can’t be solved with Holy Spirit. It’s humility and honor that bring your creative breakthrough, all the more so when your craft is serving someone else’s vision.
Jeremy later shared a thought with me that really sums it all up:
“In war, you always focus your force against whatever poses the greatest threat. So what is it about our creativity that makes the devil so afraid? The only logical conclusion I could come to was this: our creative works must be incredibly destructive to the kingdom of darkness.
One of the most powerful weapons God has armed us with to destroy the works of the devil is our creativity. When creativity is filled with love, filled with courage, filled with hope, filled with light, filled with God, and is then expressed... it releases breakthrough into people's lives.
The time has come to stop creating timidly or safely within the parameters of what no one could possibly misconstrue or critique. But to flood the earth with salty, light-filled works of creativity that carry kingdom breakthrough and destroy the works of darkness.”
I pray that the melodies, lyrics, production and artwork of "More" challenge and inspire you to live your creative best, leading all those around you in the worship of our Savior...ever in pursuit of His glorious face...the More of God in every day life.