Like many graphic designers, the line between Michael Cina’s commercial work and fine art practice is generally pretty clear. His experience in the biz goes back nearly 20 years, and though internationally recognized for his more experimental work at WeWorkForThem—the powerhouse studio he co-founded with designer Michael Young—more recent projects with record label Ghostly International have given the artist the rare opportunity to exercise his more painterly impulses as album cover art for numerous bands. Now, Ghostly is making available a back catalog of his artwork to recognize four years of solid contribution to the acclaimed record label and art house.
The story of Cina’s current renaissance started after leaving Young (who heads up what’s now known as YouWorkForThem) to start his own design studio, Cina Associates, simultaneously rediscovering his passion for painting after years of focusing primarily on graphic design. By drawing and painting in his spare time, Cina was able to truly enjoy the process once again. With “no direction, no goals, no pressure,” he began creating purely for the sake of creating, giving him freedom to experiment extensively with various materials, which really shows in his recent work.
To learn more about Cina and his creative process, check out Ghostly’s recent interview with the artist himself, and while you’re there head to the store to get your hands on some of Cina’s original artwork.