Behind the Artwork: Moments: Mighty Sound

Behind the Artwork: Moments: Mighty Sound

Let me start by saying that this is by far, my favorite project to be involved with for Bethel Music to date. It's my favorite because I came up with the idea for the art direction as a side project that I worked on for fun.

To give you some context, this album had been in the works but on the back-burner for a good 6 months. Our Bethel Music leadership wanted to release a fully spontaneous, live worship album "at some stage" but weren't actively going after it.

"Moments: Mighty Sound" was originally green-lit as a Spotify exclusive (digital only) album for WorshipU's online platform/school. It was going to be a compilation album featuring the best live worship and spontaneous moments from WorshipU: On Campus 2016 + 2017.

However, as these moments and sessions were being culled, leadership realised that this was strong enough to become an actual album for Bethel Music, so it was switched from an online exclusive for our Worship School to a "silent-drop" digital only album to release in May 2018.

Keeping this project a secret has been the hardest thing for all of us! We've heard these moments both live and in the post production process of the album, so we couldn't wait for the rest of the world to experience the power and anointing on these songs/moments.

In the early stages of this album (when it was still an online exclusive), I was brought on to mood-board and conceptualize what a cover graphic could look like. I spent my free time dreaming up different visual ways to try and communicate the tangible presence of God; what it looks like when the Holy Spirit takes over.

Early "Moments" album cover concepts

As this was an online exclusive, I was given full reign to be as creative and experimental as I wanted - which was a real treat! Once the album was moved from online exclusive to Bethel Music album, the communications team presented the different directions that I'd created to our leadership team and they unanimously chose the cover you see today -- which is our team's personal favorite too!

This album artwork was such a gift from God and it all came together in about 5 minutes. I love that the artwork came the same way these moments did - divinely curated by a loving Heavenly Father using a combination of the off-stage moments (my handwritten scribble on a post-it note and a simple, beautiful, black and white image).

What you see today is really a simplified combination of all those previous concepts (handwriting from one, typewriter font and photo of Brian from another).

Further development and conceptual art direction for "Moments"

My dear friend Rachel Soh from New Zealand (who is our primary tour and event photographer) had taken this beautiful photo of Brian Johnson on tour and as soon as I saw it, it moved me so deeply I knew it had to be the cover for this album.

Rachel's original photo (LEFT)  Edited, cover photo (RIGHT)

As this album is all about intimacy with the Spirit and the beauty of that simplicity, I cleaned up the image slightly -- removing Amanda on the piano (sorry girl) and some of the reflection and clutter on the back of the stage. The aim of the edit was to portray the quiet stillness of a moment with the Lord in worship - times free of distraction.

I love what this photo captures -- Brian, away from the mic, kneeling in surrender, his phone faced-down, silhouetted (because it's not about him). Rach captured a stunning moment in time, one that now gets to serve as a guide and usher to the posture we hope this album leads you into. 

A sample of the album's booklet. I created each spread to align with each "moment", using a quote from a poignant lyric, paired with a photo that sums up that quote.

The final artwork for "Moments" -- soon to be released as a physical CD!

It's our prayer that this album would facilitate your own deeply personal and intimate moments with His Holy Spirit. Moments when His presence draws near and you can't help but bow before Him in surrender and simply worship.

It's my prayer that the artwork would lead you to that same place of worship - that you'd see yourself in the messy handwriting, the silhouette of Brian and the rough, grunge background. That's what we are, messy, perfectly-imperfect people in need of a Savior and it's His joy and honor to come to us every time we posture our hearts in His direction.

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Creative Direction: Lindsey Strand and Tommy Muller
Art Direction, Design and Lettering: Stephen James Hart
Video Editor and Motion Graphics: Bommy Kwon

Behind the Artwork: Heaven Come 2019

Behind the Artwork: Heaven Come 2019

Heart to Hart: Chris Perry

Heart to Hart: Chris Perry