Inspired By: We the Kings

2. we the kings visual journal entry

This was the second music inspired artwork I did, but it was the first where I actually let the music inspire my brushstrokes.  This was an actual assignment to listen to music and make a piece showing what you felt while listening to it.  I chose to listen to We the Kings for this piece.  For those of you that don’t know, We the Kings are a pop-punk-ish band.  I put on two of their albums, We the Kings and Smile Kid, while working on this project to get my inspiration for the piece.

I think I started this piece with blue and green, thick vertical stripes.  Then I started adding on top of that.  In the bottom left corner, there’s an image transfer of the band.  There’s also a cd in the top right corner that my freshman roommate had given me for art purposes since she didn’t want it anymore.  I don’t remember the cd itself but I knew this was the perfect piece to use it for.  I really like how it reflects and shines depending on the light on the piece.  I started layering colors on top of the stripes as I listened to their music.  There was a lot of swirls and lot of color intensity because when I listen to We the Kings that’s what I feel.  Their music is very layered and the different colored swirls and splotches reflect the energy of the music.  To balance the cd in the top corner, I did two electric guitar image transfers on the bottom right.  I also layered paint over the image of the band so only their faces could be seen.

This piece is visually representative of the music.  It’s what I felt when I was listening as opposed to the last piece which played more on the lyrics.  I’m going to add a few of my favorite We the Kings songs to the Inspired By Playlist for this piece.  As you can see, I really liked We the Kings when I was 18 or so.  I do still listen to them now (even as I’m writing this piece)!

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Inspired By: We’ll Be a Dream – We the Kings feat. Demi Lovato

1. we'll be a dream visual journal entry
This is one of the first artworks I did that was related to music.  I was taking a class called 2D Design and Color as a freshman in college.  Every week, my professor gave us a visual journal entry to do.  These visual journal entries were to be done in mixed media including paint, drawing, text, magazine cutouts, and anything else you could find.  It could be anything that fit under that particular theme.  I’m not sure what this one was but I remember being inspired by one song in particular.

Again, since I don’t remember this particular theme I can only assume.  It could have been about love…that seems to be my best guess here.  I was inspired by the song, “We’ll Be a Dream” by We the Kings featuring Demi Lovato.  That song has a very pretty and light melody to it.  The lyrics also inspired my design of this particular piece.  There are several references to dreams, night, and love in this particular song as well as being safe with someone.  I listened to the song on repeat and designed as I listened to it.  After a little bit of time, you start to feel the song and understand the lyrics.

In the background on the left, there’s cutouts of a poem I wrote about someone I had liked a lot. He was a guy from high school that was nice to me and I thought we had something.  I’m also a poet so sometimes I incorporate my poetry into my designs as well.  Also in the background are images I felt were relevant to the piece: stars, shiny diamonds, words that were relevant to the song, and images that added texture to the background such as the crumpled hill on the bottom right.

Overtop of those background images I applied paint going from a dark blue to a light blue and then finally to yellow.  The colors escalated that way because the song mentions dreaming and lights going out several times.  It has a very hopeful melody that made me think of a happiness at the end which is why the yellow is in the top right corner.  I also cut out several couples from magazines to show this sort of dream-like love that the song talks about.  My original plan was to keep them all faceless or have them with their backs turned since I didn’t want it to be any sort of specific couple.  There are two couples looking at stars whose backs are to the viewer and one other couple looking that I chose to show their faces because I had gone over a lot of that area in dark paint and wanted them to stand out.  The seated couples have white outlines on them sort of like thought bubbles as if they were in someone’s daydream.  I also wanted to show that love was the main idea of the piece by adding red and pink hands that looked like hands holding each other in the shape of a heart.

I chose to show the words “We’ll be a dream” because other than that being the name of the song I was inspired by, it sort of was the theme of the piece.  This was my interpretation of love that was very dream-like…sort of as if it was in someone’s daydream.  This was very close to me personally because this kind of daydream love was the only kind of romantic love that I had known: love in a very beautiful, hopeful dream.

This was the first of many musically inspired design pieces that I did.  It helped me to discover my design style.  I’ll add the song to a playlist of all the songs that I mention in this “Inspired by” series.  Enjoy!