I love album art. I love the square format and I love making album covers. It started when I was a kid in high school. I had a big audio cassette collection, and I'd make mix-tapes for my friends. Not one to be satisfied with simply making a mix tape, I'd make jacket artwork for the tapes as well. I'd clip things from magazines and comic books and I'd run down to the public library and I'd shell out a few dozen dimes on their photocopier and I'd layer and copy and layer and copy things, until I'd have a multi-fold tape jacket with song tiles and odd credits and I absolutely loved every moment of it.
When I started getting more active with Photoshop and computers, I started making fake cd/record covers.
When I work with bands and musicians, I'll spend a little extra time with some of the proof images and I'll make very small cd-cover examples; things I can show the client to give them an idea of what they can actually do with the images we've created together.
I've had the pleasure of working on album covers with some local musicians and it makes my heart happy when I get the chance to do so.
For me, when I get stressed out and need to relax, I'll sit down and open up some photographs and I'll mock-up some fake album covers. It brings me great pleasure to do this.
There is an example of a recent little "Moment of Zen" when I needed to tune out the world and just relax. I grabbed a video-still from when I worked with Michael Bellar a few years ago, and I made this. I love it.
Make sure you give yourself brief little "Moments of Zen", where you can just spend a little time doing something you absolutely love for no other reason than to make yourself happy.