London-based electronic artist Ámaris Wen is a synth-pop-inspired musical artist with a new record on the shelves – Love and Oceans. The 10-track album explores themes related to women empowerment, toxic relationships, and mental health struggles as Ámaris strives to provide listeners with an escape route through her music.
However, Ámaris brought her listeners more than just music – she brought a visual experience as well, with AI-generated cover art and images to accompany the album and inspire new beginnings.
Intrigued by her use of AI, and how the visuals played such a key role for this release, we sat down with Ámaris to learn more about the art behind the music and how it impacts the listening experience.
Who created the artwork? How did you decide on that artist?
Ámaris Wen: “I created the artwork with the help of an AI app, and then edited it so that I could use it for the cover. We did the same thing for the cover of “Visionary.” I first had planned on having a photo of water, or the ocean, as the cover artwork, but then used this AI generated photo because I felt that it had a certain underwater quality to it and it really captured the mood of the album.”
What’s the story behind the album and the artwork? Is there a particular theme or narrative being displayed on which you can elaborate?
“At the beginning of last year, while I was still working on the album, I stayed in a small apartment for a few days while on tour. In the room, there was this picture hanging on the wall with the cover artwork of Dire Straits – Love over Gold, which is basically just this photo of lightning flashing through the sky. I thought it was such a cool cover artwork, and it really inspired me to maybe have a picture of reflections on water, or a photo of the ocean on the cover. This then evolved into the idea of having something ocean related as the cover artwork. The theme of the album is ‘love and oceans’, and I really wanted that somehow displayed in the artwork, something that could transport a sense of longing, and at the same time not be too gloomy.”
Where would you be most excited to see your album artwork postered, or displayed?
“I think if people would want to hang an album artwork somewhere, that’s always a nice thing for the artist that created the cover! And if your artwork inspires other artwork- even better. I’m a very visual person and frequently hang up pictures in my small studio that somehow inspired me, and when I first moved to London, I took photos of every corner that I found interesting.”
Who are some of your favorite visual artists?
“There are too many to mention all of them- but I really like art that’s creative and tries new things. I’m also really interested in AI generated art, and I think it’s something that can be really useful and help your creativity.”
What do you think more people should appreciate about album artwork?
“I think that visual aspects are really important for an album. It doesn’t always have to be a video, even something like separate artwork for each song can already help getting across the mood of a song. As a kid I loved to open an album I’d just bought and first study the booklet, it was this nice experience of unwrapping a new album. And I think even if it isn’t a booklet, some visual components can really help transporting the message of a record.”
Please elaborate on the medium(s) used when creating the art. We’d love to know how the artwork was created.
“The cover for Love and Oceans was AI generated. I wanted to try something new for the cover artwork for the single “Visionary”, and started experimenting with AI. I knew what I wanted though, and it took a couple of attempts until I had a photo I could use. With AI, it really depends on the prompts and sometimes you need to polish your prompts to get the results you want, but I think this medium has so much potential. You can create pictures of yourself in space or underwater without needing to actually fly into space.”
Have you ever purchased an album solely because of its album artwork? If yes, did the music live up to the artwork?
“I didn’t listen to it only because of the artwork, but I loved Doja Cat’s Planet Her artwork! When I discovered the cover, I headed over to Spotify and listened to it.”
When people look at the album cover artwork, what do you want them to see/think?
“It’s always hard to have expectations as to what people should think or feel if they watch or listen to your work, because everyone interprets it in their own way and feels something different. The album is supposed to soothe you after a breakup, and I thought that the artwork could transport that. As it sometimes can be with breakups, the surge of emotions and sadness can feel like being in an ocean, but it’s also a chance to move forward.”
What’s your favorite thing about this album cover?
“I think my favourite thing about it is that it evolved like this. I didn’t know what I would end up with when I started working on the artwork, and I still was able to get a photo that really fit the album.”