"Stronger" A CD Cover Design for original music By Brad Dean Alexander

ART BLOG: A CD cover design for Brad Dean Alexander Who? Brad Dean Alexander What? Brad is an excellent piano bar entertainer who just released a beautiful single song called “Stronger” When? This tune was released on February 27, 2021 Brad’s 50th bday Where? On his website Why? Because the Pandemic has spawned many beautiful things from creative types.

The year was somewhere around 2010 maybe. Give or take a year. I was working for Carnival Cruise Lines. I was working a contract on the Carnival Liberty and my job at that time was “Floating Soloist”. Kinda funny when you think about it because EVERYBODY was floating while they worked. So I dragged a big full 88 key weighted keyboard, a big chunky laptop and backup tracks all over that ship. First and last time working with backing tracks but that’s what the job required. It felt kinda cheesy. I lugged that stuff to the Casino, cigar bar, lido and wherever else they decided I needed to be. Probably one of the more physically challenging gigs I’ve ever had because in addition to toting that stuff all over the ship, I had to fly it there on a jet to board from the Port of Miami. Still wondering how I did that without breaking a piece of the gear or my back.

So ‘nuff about that.

While I was working that ship, I met a young, handsome, charismatic, sweet, talented and friendly Canadian piano bar entertainer named Brad Dean Alexander. I didn’t know Brad well when the contract began, but as it happens, he had a brief round of laryngitis during our stint on that ship and I had to sub for him in the piano bar a night or two. It’s not hard to blow your vocal cords out on ships. Six nights a week and likely about 4 hours of singing a night. Week after week. Month after month. It’s a great gig but not for the faint of heart. (or vocal cords)

When I subbed for Brad I got to know him a little better. He had a fan base the size of Asia and it wasn’t long until I realized why this beloved guy was so darn popular. He was just plain fun and he can really rip it at the piano. Irreverent sense of humor, just like i like it, and always cracking me up. I, of course, didn’t see Brad again when I left ships, but much to my delight we have stayed in touch.

Then came the 2020 history changing pandemic. I had been home and working back on land for several years when it hit. Brad was still working ships and still extremely popular. Suffice to say, ships are shut down and nobody really knows when or how they will be back to what their normal was. I grieve for my good friends who were still working in that capacity who have lost the lion’s share of their income. They have all been challenged to find other ways to use their talents and to make a living. They are survivors and creatives don’t stop creating no matter what.

Brad contacted me last month about some of my art. He asked if I would be willing to do the art for a single song he was releasing called “Stronger”. I was on a deadline for commissions. Though I wanted to work with him SO badly because well duh, I’m a big fan, I wasn’t sure I could help him out with creating a brand new original piece. He explained that he liked a lot of the art I’d already created and we could just use an existing piece.

He perused my website a little and said that “Dragonfly” was his pick.

The write-up on my website for “Dragonfly” is as follows: The dragonfly, in almost every part of the world symbolizes change in the perspective of self realization; and the kind of change that has its source in mental and emotional maturity and the understanding of the deeper meaning of life.

Seems that painting spoke to Brad and he felt it would go hand in hand with the single song he was about to release. He sent me the track to”Stronger”. I listened to it to the point of having a big ‘ole ear worm. It is a gorgeous tune with a poignant message about getting through these troubled times. I love it.

The Painting and Ultimate CD cover Design: Dragonfly was actual the brainchild of my friend Carma Godby. She asked me to paint this piece a few years ago. It inspired me to do a little research on dragonflies. I did not know of the symbolism they carry and was quite intrigued by it. Upon delivery of this painting to Carma, she toured me through her Dragonfly themed cottage. Mind blown.

Since the art was already created in this case, I used Canva software (thanx Jamie Wells for turning me on to this) and designed what you might consider to be a CD cover for Brad’s original tune.

I really dig learning new stuff, and I most certainly learned new stuff from painting this piece for Carma and designing this CD cover for Brad.

Here is the link to Brad’s tune: https://bradthepianoman.com/music

Here is the link to the original piece entitled “Dragonfly” : https://www.smithgirlarts.com/.../dragonfly-11-x-14...

Thanks for reading. If you are interested in commissioning an original piece or using one of my designs for a project of yours, please email me at : smithgirlarts@gmail.com.