Now that production and manufacturing costs are so affordable, the barriers to entry for DIY musicians are very few. This is, of course, a great thing for artists. But it can also make it very difficult for talented artists to stick out in the crowd. One way to differentiate yourself from the teeming masses of music-makers is to create highly compelling, hand-make, or limited edition packaging for your album.

One local Portland band, Great Wilderness, recently hand-painted 300 copies of their new EP.

Jamie McMullen, a member of Great Wilderness, had this to say about the experience:

“The band members’ personalities are fun and quirky. We’re all lovers of beauty. We knew we wanted to thank our fans for making it out to our EP release show, and we knew we wanted it to be as fun as possible for them. We wanted them to feel like they weren’t just witnessing the first night of this little EP being born, but that they had a creative part in the process.  So to thank them for coming out to our show and experiencing a one-time-only night, we came up with the idea to give them a one-time-only, personal and specialized EP.

and well… who doesn’t like water colors?

So we decided to take our 300 EPs and individually hand paint them. This wasn’t a chore at all either. We made it a party! It only took the band and 5 close friends, 1 living room, a bunch of cheap water color sets and brushes, not to mention the food and drinks.

That night, we posted a few photos on our Facebook of what everyone could look forward to owning, and the response was great. This project was used as a great promotion for our release show, along with a fun and creative way to distribute it as well!

Also, we traded favors for the awesome hand-drawn album art by Breena ( In exchange for her efforts of creating the drawing that we then hand-painted, we gave her permission to use one of our songs and have it for download for free in her book that she is making, and she drew up our artwork!”

You can check out this unique product and music at

Have you done hand-crafted or limited-edition artwork for any of your releases? How did you do it? How was it received? Please let us know in the comments section below.

-Chris R. at CD Baby

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