Visual artist Melody You is making waves among Hollywood stars and online fans alike by creatively reimagining the album art of famous musicians as receipts on Instagram.
In an interview with Hypebae, You detailed her journey to viral stardom due to the popularity of her Instagram platform, @albumreceipts. Since the spring, with the coronavirus sheltering most of the country to the confines of their homes, she has been remixing the discographies of artists by redesigning the track list of albums onto an infamous piece of paper people usually trash or scrap.
According to Asian news publication Bandwagon, her Instagram account gained over 93,000 followers in the span of three weeks.
"I launched @albumreceipts back in early May as a fun project to focus on while in quarantine, and I remember it was a few weeks later when Ariana Grande had noticed my work and the thank u, next album receipt that I made for her. She gave me a shoutout on her Instagram and my account blew up so much that day, which was super exciting,” You said.
Growing up, her family was supportive of her artistic interests and stood behind her as she tackled intense visual art classes and participated in art competitions. Although art was always a passion of hers, the artist said she didn’t start taking her art career seriously until earlier this year.
“But even though art was a huge passion of mine, I never really considered pursuing anything creative as a career, because I felt like it was such an intimidating field to go into,” You said. “It wasn’t until earlier this year, after doing a few non-creative marketing internships, that I realized I never really felt quite fulfilled with my major, and decided to switch into art direction."
Originally, the album receipt concept was a brainchild of the artist’s friend known as Pepe. Together, they worked on an album receipt for singer Frank Ocean, which turned out to be one of You's favorite and most viewed pieces.
“I think one of my favorite album receipts is the Blond by Frank Ocean one, because I collaborated with my friend Pepe who is the original creator of this album receipt concept. We worked on this one together and I felt like it was a full-circle moment, because it was his receipt that inspired me to launch this account in the first place,” she said.
The visual artist revealed that her artistic process is driven, in part, by fan requests and personal passions. But she also accepts commissions from music labels and fellow artists.
“It’s kind of a mix of doing albums that I’m really into at the moment, albums that are popularly requested by my followers, and albums that are requested by the music labels and artists that I work with. But 100 percent of the album receipts that I make are ones that I personally love, and I also jam out to them while working on the receipt,” she said.
Now that she’s built a loyal following on social media, You said maintaining her platform has become a bit of a full-time gig. She said she aims to create as many receipt projects as possible in a timely manner.
“I just felt like now that I had this platform on Instagram, I needed to create as many receipts as possible and fulfill as many album requests as I got when I had the chance,” she said. “It got to the point where I was on Photoshop and Illustrator like six to eight hours a day, and it quickly turned into a full-time job.”
In the future, Melody You is considering selling @albumreceipts merchandise, posters and apparel. She recently purchased a receipt printer and is excited to drop a new batch of art for her supporters.
“I am absolutely thinking of selling Album Receipts merch, posters and framed receipts in the near future. I’m an avid wearer of hoodies and crewnecks, so I’m working on developing those at the moment and I cannot wait to share them with my followers. I actually just recently purchased a receipt printer — I’m playing around with that idea and I’m so stoked,” she said