Thursday, March 27, 2008

Mika: Life in Cartoon Motion

Mika’s music is catchy, fun and colourful and its good to see his cover artwork is much of the same. I didn’t even know who Mika was but then after checking out his website I realized I’d heard that “Love Today” song many times but never knew the singers name. His music reminds me of Queen meets Scissor Sisters.

Here’s the back of the album.

The characters were designed and drawn by Mika and his sister, Yasmine, who goes under the pen name DaWack. They created little narratives and scenes and then took all this to the ever talented Airside, one of who’s directors is Fred Deakin of Lemon Jelly fame. These ideas were then developed and expanded with Richard Hogg, and later repainted by DaWack. Together they created the magical world that you see on the different releases and posters.

I actually saw Richard talk in Sydney and he was responsible for getting me into Lemon Jelly (and Airside) through their film clips.

Airside sent us me some sketches and cover design notes. It’s interesting to see how it progressed and if you can read the comments some are quite funny.

The single “Relax take it easy” has a die-cut cover that reveals the illustration beneath the title. It’s a nice and simple execution but the texture contrasts nicely with the colourful painting on the actual cover.

The inside cover depicts all the pressures of modern living.

While the back shows the daily life of Billy Brown.

For the collector there’s also the “Grace Kelly” remixes LP and other singles out there all keeping the consistent visual style of the main album.

Mika’s website also carries the artwork and is animated nicely too. This isn’t just a background image job like some musician’s websites.

You can view a full case study on the Mika artwork on the Airside site.

Posted by Ash on 17 September, 2007
Album: Life in Cartoon Motion
Artist: Mika
Cover Artist: Richard Hogg, DaWack, MIKA
Record Label: Island Records
Design Studio: Airside

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