Simple Artistic Tools For Musicians

A great way to get taken seriously is to have some artwork.

Artwork will draw in people, but sometimes it may take too long for you to make things by hand, and creative computer programs are too expensive… are they?

I would like to introduce you (unless if you’ve already been introduced) to a couple of good and simple free programs that will help you out with artwork for anything like CD covers, website art, and merch art.

Gimp and Canva

(By the way the are FREE)


I have been using Gimp for the past 5 years, and I have enjoyed every bit of it! Think of it as a free Photoshop, but of course it isn’t as fancy, the big thing though once again Gimp is FREE. So if Photoshop is just not in your budget then I am sure you can afford this. I have used both programs, but I have been using Gimp a lot more so honestly to me it is a lot easier since I know my way around it even the keyboard shortcuts (a big time saver). Gimp will work for most art projects, even if it’s simple photography work or making drawings in the program, it will be nice for your brand.

Doing my CMA portraits, I would do the faces in Gimp. Here is an example with Willie Nelson.


Gimp Download Page

Differences Between Gimp and Photoshop



Another great and simple program to use is Canva which is an online art program. I actually learned about Canva in my Digital Marketing Strategies class, and I am glad I did. All of the artwork you see on this site and our social media sites are typically a mix of Gimp and Canva for example our images we use for Cage’s Not-So-Fairy-Tales: The “Flying Ant”, but there are some that are made by Canva all alone, like the art for How To Get Out Of Creative Drought or Vox AC15C1 Review. The portraits I made for the CMA 50th anniversary are made through Gimp and Canva as well. Although you could just make everything in Gimp, I like to work smarter not harder (although it still is a lot of hard work) and do the creative backgrounds in Canva with a lot of their pre-made shapes and picture sizes including sizes recommended for CD’s, Facebook Covers, and Instagram Posts.


Just for a little heads up: although I believe Canva is a great program, it is still pretty new so it has a lot of glitches and bugs not yet ironed out, I believe a lot are caused by its rise in popularity so more and more people are using it and the servers are weakening, but there could be more to it than that.

Canva’s Homepage

Both programs are once again are simple, pretty good, and FREE.

Combined, these programs will produce some  pretty great artwork as long as you know what you’re doing (Shouldn’t take long with a couple of video guides.).

Thanks for reading every one, and get creating!

–  Kaleb Cage


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