So, yeah. I got it into my head to make a friend a mixtape (there really is no equivalent or comparable term for the burned playlist so I stick with mixtape) and while compiling the 17 tracks that would ultimately make up the hour of music I also got it into my head to create a cover for the disc from scratch, much like Nick in Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist.
Sounded simple but, really, it was a bit more complicated than I'd hoped. I actually thought I would stress over the tunes more than the sleeve art but I was very, very, wrong. The music came quickly and the actual design came to me very late in the process. I knew that it had to be Jelly bean themed, but other than that I had no idea what I was going to do. Do I paint something? Are there a bunch of dancing Jelly beans all over it like some twisted California Raisin knock off? What materials do I use to accomplish this unknown project?
I knew, at least, that I would need a digi-tray to set the disc in but soon discovered they are harder to find than you might think. Digi-trays are not in high demand on a retail level and do not get stocked by your average, and even your not-so-average, music stores or big box stores. I found some online but I didn't need to order 200 of them, nor did I want to pay $40 for overnight delivery. I wracked my brains and came up with, what I thought was, an ingenious plan.
Hit the music stores that carry used CDs. They often have bargain discs for $5 or less and if they happen to have a disc held in a digi-tray I could buy it for a paltry couple of bucks, peel out the tray, and utilize it in my own far-out disc sleeve. This was something I was able to accomplish at a local shop called The Vinyl Exchange. I found a couple of weird world music discs in cardboard sleeves with digi-trays for $2 each and I was in business!!
I also found an Imogen Heap album and the first volume of Freakazoid!, both for $2, so that was equally awesome.
I grabbed some craft supplies from a local dollar store (cardstock, construction paper to cut into jelly beans, etc.) and proceeded to assemble the case for the disc.
It wasn't a difficult process but it was time consuming. I created and folded the cardstock cover and glued the digi-tray in. Then I cut out each individual jelly bean (all different colours) and glued them on to the cover one-by-one. Lastly, I grabbed a Sharpie and wrote up the liner notes and song info. I wanted to do something design oriented on the disc itself but I didn't have the time or materials so I just left it blank.
I was pretty happy with the results with the exception of how egg-like many of the jelly beans came out, and I attributed the image on the inside of the case to Monet rather than Van Gogh which, as an Art History student, shames me greatly. The person I gave it to doesn't know the difference but I felt like I should still cop to the fubar publicly so perhaps that will go some way to evening out the karma.
I enjoyed the experience, overall, and will likely try it again. I've put together another playlist for the same friend but I don't think the effort for the first one was appreciated much so I may shift the next project to someone else. I'll post images of that one as well when that happens.