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Michelle Lynn Thompson Sings-“A Year Ago Yesterday” New Single

By March 25, 20242024, Blog, News
K. Randall Wilcox Art+Design-East Nashville Branding & Graphic Design

Hey friends!

Michelle Lynn Thompson is back with another single this month! This one is a tribute to a dear friend she lost to cancer far too soon.

“A Year Ago Yesterday – chronicles a moment in each of the three last days of my sweet friend, Sarah’s, life. My best friend’s daughter, I’ve known her since she was a baby. Diagnosed with cancer at age 27, I walked this journey alongside her and her family and was honored to be in the sacred space of her last moments at age 29. Sarah shared love and kindness with everyone. We will carry this torch for her in her honor along with her three young sons. My husband, John, and good friend, Zach Bevill helped me bring this song to life with their voices and guitars. Sam Wade captured it all in his studio and Bryan Laurenson mastered it. NOT ONE of them let me pay them. So this song cost me nothing to make. That means when you “pay what you want” for this song on Bandcamp, the proceeds will go toward her organization, “Sarah’s Smile of Illinois” to help us and her sons continue her legacy of love and kindness. BE GENEROUS!!! Thank you! – Michelle❤️🌸”

Michelle is a super talented singer, song-writer here in East Nashville.

Always fun when you get to collaborate with talented artists.

You can listen to her latest single and support here: Michelle Lynn Thompson Sings


Here’s a little back story on the design elements we chose to honor Sarah and her family with.

I had gone to Michelle’s house a couple of months ago to shoot some stock images so I could build a library of assets that that we could use for key art down the road.

One of them was this little textured flowered frame. Michelle had a couple photos of Sarah to choose from as well but they needed editing.

STEP 1: The first thing to do was properly size the main file so when it was time her key art would be ready to post on social as well as bandcamp.

It’s always a good idea to get file dimensions first and build your templates off of that.


STEP 2: Time to edit out the frame background. I needed the live area opened up where Sarah’s photo will go and then mask out the outer edges so I can tinker with what possible backgrounds to use.

K. Randall Wilcox Art+Design-East Nashville Branding & Graphic Design


STEP 3: Once I got the main frame ready to go, it was time to work on Sarah’s image and figure out what elements would really capture her spirit and light better than the siding she was photographed against.

K. Randall Wilcox Art+Design-East Nashville Branding & Graphic Design

ABOVE: PRE COLOR CORRECTIONS

K. Randall Wilcox Art+Design-East Nashville Branding & Graphic Design

ABOVE: POST COLOR CORRECTIONS


STEP 4: With the background stripped out in the preferred photo, it made it much easier to scale and adjust the sunny hillside background layer. I added some adjustment layers to help punch up the color some and finalized cleaning up her hair line. I also lightened up her eyes.

K. Randall Wilcox Art+Design-East Nashville Branding & Graphic Design


STEP 5: I dropped the retouched image layers behind the frame and adjusted the Photoshop layers accordingly,.

K. Randall Wilcox Art+Design-East Nashville Branding & Graphic DesignSTEP 6: I tried several aged papers, stone, parchment to go behind the frame and her composited image but nothing was really flowing until I found some cool linens that might frame this composition better.


STEP 7: Finally, once I was at a solid place it was time for some over the shoulder time to tweak things and lock in a winner.

We decided we really like the torn edge paper look so it was really easy to repurpose that form her first single. The linen background was also used in the torn edge strips to give it that collage, scrapbook Michelle loves so much.

I also like the little flower silhouettes that adorn either side of the song title.

K. Randall Wilcox Art+Design-East Nashville Branding & Graphic Design


Well, there you have it. A small behind the scenes of how I created this key art form start to finish.

This is a bit simplified but I wanted to give potential clients a little bit of the process on how stuff is created. Its never a snap of the fingers and “bam we have a winner!”

One thing I really enjoy with any client is the collaboration we do during a project.

So if you have some graphic design needs or looking to a brand refresh, I ‘d love to chat.