Owl City - Maybe I'm Dreaming | Skillshare Projects



Owl City - Maybe I'm Dreaming

For my project, I will be re-designing the album cover for Owl City’s first LP Maybe I’m Dreaming. This is one of my favorite records of all time. If you've never heard it I suggest you go buy it on iTunes immediately.

I've been a huge Owl City fan for quite a while. I still remember the first time I ever heard Maybe I'm Dreaming. I was in the college computer lab browsing the internet instead of doing homework and I stumbled upon Owl City. I was captivated from the first note. I fell in love with his bright dreamy quirky synth pop sound. I spent many summer nights falling alseep to this record. It seriously became the soundtrack to my dreams.

Original Album Cover:
Unfortunately the original album artwork for this album is pretty bad. It has terrible clip-art stars and a really bad typeface. It doesn't convey any of the life and energy of the album.


My concept for the album is based on the closing track entitled “West Coast Friendship.” The song makes reference to waking up beside the ocean in California. I want to portray California as the beautiful and dreamy paradise that midwesterners (like Adam Young of Owl City) so often perceive it to be.

Main Idea:
I want to have a boy asleep in his bed which has been washed ashore onto the beach. The boy and the bed will be in the foreground. In the distance there will boats, surfers, and possibly parasailers in the ocean. Along the shore will be lifeguard towers, palm trees, and beach umbrellas and possibly children playing and people sunbathing. In the background will be a cityscape and pier basked in golden sunlight against a bright blue sky. The pier will be inspired by the Santa Monica Pier, which has a ferris wheel and a roller-coaster. 

I would also love to do a night version where everythings lit up and there are fireworks exploding in the sky. Not sure if I'm up for that challenge. Perhaps further down the road when I have some free time I'll come back to that idea.

Bright and vibrant colors. Warm yellows, oranges, and pinks with cool blues and greens but not too "rainbow." I want it to have a slight faded/worn feeling, like an old postcard, but very subtle. Here are some images that evoke the the feelings and mood that I want to convey.

I'm a fan of illustrations that have a minimal & geometric approach with flat textured shapes, simple lighting and bright colors, much like the work of The Fox and King, DKNG, & Invisble Creature. I tried to find images of beaches and buildings that were rendered in this manner.

Thumbnail Sketches: 
These are rough thumbnail sketches exploring composition possibilities.

Thumbnail #1:

This is my first composition. It's not fully developed, but this is more or less the basic layout from which I'll begin to build on.

I'm not sure if the bed and the boy need to be more prominent. I kind of like that they're tucked in the corner and the focus is on the environment.

I also thought it would be fun to try to incorporate the type into the comp by placing it over the ferris wheel. I was thinking I would have Maybe I'm Dreaming written on an airplane banner. 

I need to further develop the shore. Ideally I'd like to incorporate beach umbrellas, a lifegaurd tower and some palm trees. I was also considering placing some beach homes along the base of the taller buildings but I'm worried the composition will become to hectic and crowded if I try to add too much. Also, because of the time constraints of my buys work/school schedule, I may have to keep it relatively minimal.

Thumbnail #2:

I feel this thumbnail has a stronger composition than the first. This variation doesn't have the type on the ferris wheel, but it still has the album title on the airplane banner which I like.

I like that the boy is standing beside the bed with footprints in the sand.

I also like that the pier is the middle ground with the cityscape and hills in the background.

Still not exactly sure how much I want to cram onto the shore. I can imagine it getting over crowded if I'm not careful. I don't want the composition to feel cluttered or overwhelming, I think the main visual element sthat I want to be present on the shore are the beach umbrellas. Maybe a lifegaurd tower closer to the pier.

In the ocean I opted the remove the boat and have focus be on the surfer and crashing wave.

Once I nail down the composition I'm going to begin working on refining the individual elements (the ferris wheel, the bed, the buildings, etc.)

I plan on doing some more detailed sketches later this week.


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