Ben Crowder

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Abstract hymn prints

Me being me, I went ahead and explored what abstract hymn prints might look like.

I Stand All Amazed

Circles and lines representing the first few measures of “I Stand All Amazed”

In Humility, Our Savior

Circles and lines representing the first few measures of “In Humility, Our Savior”

Press Forward, Saints

Circles and lines representing the first few measures of “Press Forward, Saints”

The Spirit of God

Circles and lines representing the first few measures of “The Spirit of God”

I also played around with making one in Blender via depth maps:

High on the Mountain Top

Circles and lines representing the first few measures of “High on the Mountain Top”

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Hymn prints

A new experimental nerdy thing, for people who like hymns, sheet music, and textures:

The first few measures of “Abide with Me!”
The first few measures of “The Spirit of God”

How I make these hymn prints (as I’m calling them):

  • Typeset the first phrase (or so) in MuseScore using the Bravura font, with the spacing trimmed to within an inch of its life
  • Play it out loud to make sure I entered it right (cough) and export an SVG
  • Drag the SVG into a frame in Figma and use the SkewDat plugin to skew it -4°, center it, then export a 4,000px-wide PNG
  • Use ImageMagick to do some erosion and dilation (to simulate age and ink spread): convert input.png -morphology erode disk:18 -morphology dilate disk:16 output.png
  • Texture the image in Affinity Photo and export the PNG
  • Upscale with Real-ESRGAN to 12,000px-wide
  • Downscale a little in Affinity Photo, add 8% monochrome noise, and export the final PNG

I’m still figuring out how I want to do these (full bleed or not, barlines, clefs and key signatures or not, etc.). Also thinking about possibly doing some abstract versions as well, to avoid all these music typesetting issues entirely.


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Four new pieces tonight.

Away in a Manger:

Away in a Manger

Heart, Might, Mind, and Strength III:

Heart, Might, Mind, and Strength III

I’ve a Mother There IV:

I’ve a Mother There IV

Hearts of the Children IV:

Hearts of the Children IV

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New story: Saying Goodbye. About eight pages long, science fiction.

This one came from wanting to write a story with virtual reality involved (which admittedly ended up being more of a bystander in the finished piece) and then my recent experience with my dad took over and became the main driver, though the details in the story are all quite different.


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Two new pieces:

Together Forever II. This one came out of losing my father. (That said, it isn’t actually a depiction of my own family — my parents were divorced and I have more siblings than this.)

Red circle-and-triangle figures arranged in a family portrait. The father is all white.

Abide with Me II. This has felt applicable to me a decent number of times these past few months.

A white circle-and-triangle figure next to a blue circle-and-triangle figure.

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In the Image of Our Heavenly Parents: A Couple’s Guide to Creating a More Divine Marriage, released today, edited by McArthur Krishna and Bethany Brady Spalding, with illustrations by yours truly.

Title page of the book
Table of contents page
Doctrinal foundation page
Chapter illustration

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New artwork: On These Two Commandments.

On These Two Commandments

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New artwork: Before the World Was VII. Exploring the idea of using semicircles to represent Heavenly Mother and Heavenly Father. (The other ways I’ve tried so far include interlocking circles, yin/yang shapes, whole circles, triangles, and circle-and-triangle figures.)

Before the World Was VII

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New story: Bag Field. About twenty pages long, fantasy.

I started writing this story in March 2021 but didn’t get very far. Picked it up again at the end of August and here we are. Ten minutes of writing a day is still working well, by the way, especially when I look back at the year — six stories finished, roughly 90 pages together. Much better than not finishing anything. (That said, I do hope to spend more time on writing going forward.)


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A few new pieces of art.

He Will Deliver Me, about David and Goliath:

A small red circle next to a large red circle.

Everlasting Covenant:

A large white circle above a large red circle.

Nevertheless II, another Gethsemane piece:

A red circle on a dark background.

By Day and by Night, about the pillars of cloud and fire. I’d tried to do this piece multiple times in the past but it never clicked for me until I brought the pillars together at the center.

A tall white rectangle and a tall golden rectangle at center, flanked by a light blue background at left and a dark blue background at right.

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