Looking for new album art? This is your guy.
At BolderBeat, our main focus is music and everything that makes music happen. So today we’d like to present local artist Michael Maloney. Canvas, resin, print, digital media, Photoshop, costuming, animation- Maloney, who creates under the moniker OhhMika: The Fox King- has done it all. Originally from Pennsylvania, The Fox King moved here a few months ago somewhat by chance in one of those I-was-visiting-and-never-left scenarios. I met Maloney when coordinating the song artwork for the recently featured Whiskey Autumn vocal track series, and the more I chatted with him, the more I wanted to share his work. Maloney is a true artistic asset in the Boulder community, and one who is really hoping to work with local bands for their art needs. Read on:
So did you always draw? Or where did things begin?
My dad was actually a tattoo artist, and so when he was working on tattoos, I would sit down with him and my crayons or colored pencils and we would draw together. As a kid, we never went without, but I didn’t have whatever I wanted whenever I wanted it either. So I actually would make my own toys- paper dolls, different sculptures, and drawings. I was really my own source of entertainment and as I got older, I just stuck with it. I became a lot more serious in college- I took different art classes for my major in graphic design and I started a sketchbook where I would track my progress and reflect on my drawings.
And so what about now? I know that you do a lot of digital work- is that your focus?
So I do a lot in Photoshop- collages with different photos that I take. But really I’m a traditional artist- I do a lot of drawing and I like the physical aspect of making art. That said, digital is much more convenient since I don’t have to buy supplies. I actually have programs where I can simulate oil and canvas or sculpting, and I just finished a 3D printed figure this week, an anime character that I created. I spend a lot of my free time on art- I explore around Boulder for Photoshop collages. Sometimes I find animal bones or claws and I turn those into different resin pieces. And then I am working on a comic book character- I’ve done digital illustrations for the character and also created a real-life costume of him. I’m also making my own deck of tarot cards.
It’s so awesome that you explore such different mediums- is there anywhere specifically that you draw inspiration from for your work?
Nature is a big physical inspiration. With photo collaging and illustrations, I use a lot of fractals, patterns, animals, and plants. And some things have been inspired by psychedelic experiences.
Sweet. I know you mentioned wanting to work with Boulder bands. Talk to me about that.
I am definitely hoping to work with local bands. I can do album art, flyers, merch, and anything else they want. I have some art prints of my own up on Society6, so I could help them design their own prints and posters too. There is so much I can do digitally, and I have experience in making merchandise- hats, t-shirts, etc. I’ve also been trying to learn how to do lyric videos with After Effects, like the ones you see on YouTube where the art in the background is all original and the band’s lyrics are on screen. Still playing with that though!
I actually make my own music too- I do 8-bit covers and I write atmospheric metal songs- really tight polyrhythms with really pretty, echoey transient sounds on top of [the track]. So I understand the process of creating music and how important it is to communicate music visually with something like album artwork or posters.
Righteous. You can preview more of The Fox King’s work on his Instagram and his Facebook page. To work with him on your next art project, send OhhMika an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or message him on Facebook. And if you want to buy any of his prints, order them here.
All photos per the artist featured. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.