STRAWBERRY MOON RELEASE
SCOPE: SUMMER–FALL 2021
ROLE: ALBUM COVER DESIGNER, SOCIAL MEDIA & MARKETING MANAGER
In close collaboration with my sister Kathleen Monje (as the Creative Director), I was tasked to create marketing strategies for Jet Stream's new single, Strawberry Moon. This includes producing a set of cohesive digital assets and creative visual content for Facebook and Instagram such as profile icons, stories, and promotional teasers, among a few other things. But before all of this, I was given the opportunity to contextualize the song through a cover art illustration.
ABOUT JET STREAM
Jet Stream is a soulful pop-rock band formed by two lifelong best friends Joe Molnar (vocals/guitar) and Saurav Sridhar (bass/drums) in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. With Strawberry Moon as their latest song release, they hope to give their growing audience a catchy, feel-good summer anthem about a couple's big hopes and woes woven together while they find solace in escaping from it. You can find the full lyrics here.
Just like any other project I've worked on, I begin by asking a bunch of questions that lead to abstract ideas, long-winded conversations, and a hundred arrows pointing to even more ideas that are later shared by and with my team.
THE COVER ART
To complement the thematic elements of the song's lyrics and musical production, we have decided to go with a loud, out-of-this-world color palette and visual clues. The textured gradient hues reflected a velvet sky like mentioned in the song, as well as the synths, drums, and bass guitar that layered on top of each other. If you're curious, I took inspiration from Steven Universe, an American animated TV series created by Rebecca Sugar for Cartoon Network, to create this aesthetic approach. Details like the moon's craters and strawberry seeds, or the shooting stars were especially fun to illustrate.
Of course, this process consisted of countless of iterations, hours of brainstorming and making small decisions that led to big changes.
This was my favorite part of illustrating the cover art: I got to draw cartoon heads for the artists! An exciting little project within a project. I chose to draw this with Procreate on the iPad so I could achieve the drawing style I wanted, which is a free-hand approach with bold strokes.
Fun fact: You probably figured this one out—the featured artist in this song is me! I've always loved singing ever since I was a kid, and being given the chance to produce a song with this band was a very special moment and I call myself lucky to remember it forever.
When it comes to song releases and increasing audience engagement, consistency in visual content is key. That is what will differentiate artists from the rest. To create a consistent digital presence for Jet Stream, I curated variations of the existing elements I had already made from the cover art. The most exciting stuff I did were promotional content such as Instagram teasers, icons, and other social media banners both before and after launching the song.