MM:053 – Michael Cina
Part of the joy of this project has been finding an additional avenue to create and share my own artwork, designing with varying degrees of dedication, all but a few of the 50 plus mix artworks to date. One of my biggest influences since I began working in visual arts has been the work of the fantastic Minnesota based visual artist Michael Cina. A man who dedicates a huge portion of his creativity towards creating beautiful visual accompaniments to musical projects.
Like many, I came to Cina’s distinguished work through Ghostly International, the record label for whom he has collaborated with for nearly two decades. Working with the US imprint, famed for it’s visual identity, Michael’s art & design has adorned record covers by the likes of Matthew Dear, Shigeto, Fort Romeau, Avalon Emerson, Lusine, Gold Panda, Jacaszek and many others. He’s proven incredibly resilient to the changing nature of music, art and technology, evolving his own work and helping to forge the visual identity of a successful record label. Whilst this is only one part of his creative output (Michael has also worked extensively in video, branding and web design) it is this work that has has the biggest impact on me.
A few years back I reached out to Michael and he was kind enough to offer me some incredibly useful advice. In these brief but informative exchanges I learnt that he has an expansive personal record collection and a history of playing records for people – so I was thrilled when he agreed to throw together something for us.
Though his career playing records was largely built around the dancefloor, Michael has a very eclectic collection and if you’re looking for proof then look no further than his Métron mix. Here he treats us to a beautifully soothing sonic waltz encompassing weirdo ambient jazz, new age, tropical folk & experimental synth-pop, featuring records spanning half a century and from artists all over the globe.
It’s easy to see the passion and understanding Michael has for music, and the part that this has played in his ability to forge a long and successful career designing for the music industry. Long may this prolific run continue.
I spoke to Michael about his musical background, how he got into DJing and how he’s evolved his work over the past few decades. You can read the full interview below the Cina inspired artwork below.
Words, images & interview by Jack Hardwicke.