Shaun Miller haunts the local record stores of Chicago, buying some vinyl for the music, but others for the album art. His pop psychedelic style of art, but not too psychedelic mind you, grabs the attention of any music appreciator who finds comfort in the heavy reminiscence of flipping through your parents records, or even of those memories of watching Electric Company. Miller’s work, also featured on multiple albums, can transport its viewer to a time and mindset that may be further in the past than it seems.
“Music’s always had a huge visual element to me. My Dad’s a big music collector, and I grew up going to record stores with him on weekends. I’d kill time there looking at album covers and wondering what the music inside sounded like,” Miller recollects. “I’ve always loved the pop psychedelia of the 1960’s and 70’s – one that’s mainstream and not overly psychedelic. So artists like Milton Glaser and John Alcorn were there from the start.”
Miller’s project The Brighter Days Ahead with Colemine Records is his self-proclaimed most well-known. Colemine released a series of weekly singles, highlighting their artists during the early stages of the pandemic, and released a compilation album once the record pressing plants reopened. The album cover is brightly colored, and somewhat minimalist in it’s psychedelic design, but it tells an elegant story without clutter.
Currently, Miller is working on a few exciting album covers and also designing a logo for a Milwaukee-based podcast, for which he was once a native.
“Jumping back and forth between different types of projects really helps me. If I pause a personal project to work on something for a client, I’m more energized when I get to come back to it. And if I had an artist block on it, usually the time away helps me solve or come up with a different solution for it,” Miller stated regarding maintaining healthy work flow.
“When I’m creating, I’ll listen to different things, but it’s usually something upbeat. Lately it’s been a lot of old soul, R&B, and instrumentals.”
As an artist, it can be difficult to find mentors or even peers that assist the uphill battle of garnering a client base or niche. Miller harkened some success to a specific business partner in the beginning phases of his career.
“I’d like to give Luke Barham of Super Fan 99 Records a lot of credit. He reached out early on and gave me my first professional projects working with bands, creating album art and logos, etc. That helped tremendously and gave me the push to refine my style and really figure out the process of creating art.”
Some final thoughts from Miller related to advice for young creatives.
“It’s really important to set aside enough time for personal projects. It’s very rewarding doing work for others, but you need that balance. You want to keep creating projects that are uniquely yours. You’re making art to express yourself after all.”Back to Latest