Shortly after the recent premiere of their new single “Wystarczasz”, Warsaw experimental post hardcore band MELISA check back to our pages with a follow up single “Śnienie”. To celebrate, we have teamed up with art designer Agnieszka Marcinkiewicz (Loving Artifacts Studio), who crafted a couple of beautiful pieces in support of the record and sat down with us to explain her collaboration with MELISA, and dive into the details of her amazing work.
“It’s hard to believe, but it was originally supposed to be a dub track.” – comments MELISA‘s guitarist and vocalist Mateusz Romanowski.
“Last March, when we first met in this line-up, I was listening to a lot of New Age Steppers. I was thinking a bit about whether it would be possible to introduce some sound solutions from dub music to our own music. We did not get anything dub, but we were definitely the least “our” track so far. Relatively melodic, in 4/4, if I could sing it better, maybe some radio would even play it.”
Words by Agnieszka Marcinkiewicz
I’m Aga Marcinkiewicz, and I’m a graphic designer and printmaker.
My love and speciality is linocutting which I use to illustrate and visualize concepts, stories and mental processes. I belive that character and uniqueness of analog graphic techniques allow creating realizations that have very original form.
Additionally, for me, it always meant a deep connection with the subject I am working with. My crazy passion for linocut began with a moment of realization: “I’m not at all good at this technique, so I have to master it”.
It all started with a tiny portret, but then my linocuts were becoming bigger and more complex. This journey has led me to a creation of 200×70 cm work as my graduation project, which were the culmination of all these years of studying, growing, and mastering this technique. Sometimes I think I didn’t choose lino, lino have chosen me.
In January 2022, I and Melisa started to collaborate on their project “Zasługuję na istnienie”. I was supposed to create a full visual identification of the album, as the band was intrigued by my diploma“Self–Carnation” (“Samoucieleśnienie”). This project presented curled up figures placed in an universum of emotional forms, and the band wanted me to prepare art pieces with a similar ambience. I started the process by having a detailed interview with Mateusz Romanowski, about the project, history of the band, last album covers and their music inspirations. I noted everything he told me and gather all the information in a mind map. After that, I had a brainstorm session while listening to raw versions of their songs to synthesize all the meanings of “Zasługuję na istnienie” and translate these into a visual language.
That was the way to establish symbols of identification through colors and forms.
Coloristically “Zasługuję na istnienie” focuses on red & pink which are manifestations of life and healing powers in human psyche. Moreover, olive green relates to mental wounds and blockades. These two forces contrast with each other, telling a story about building a new better life that is rooted in crises, disasters, and all these hard emotions and experiences.
Also, such contrast tells the truth that there’s no life and light without darkness and chaos; otherwise it would be an impossible nirvana vision, and not the real experience. As sometimes, people say that stars shine brighter when it’s really dark. At the center of the work there is a character located in an emotional picture full of unbridled energies that often escape our understanding, but by focusing on self, this character is able to remain calm and safe despite everything that is happening around. It’s a metaphor of resilience: the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, ability to somehow cope with life.
After carrying out the process of visualizing the music of Melisa I started printmaking, preparing versions of album cover artworks at workshop of Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, where I used to study. The process wasn’t easy because as an artist I always experiment, search for new solutions, and prepare many versions of a project to choose from.
I worked for days, making 20 works using lino matrices and the technique of monotyping to create painting-like effects. Many times, matching these two techniques caused problems with printing – I had to test it many times before it worked. I and Melisa chose three that you can see on the covers. The few of the remaining linocuts are available at the shop of Koty Records in Gold Boxes as a limited series of original prints to buy in preorder of discs (check on…)
The animation of the linocuts brought them even more to life because by adding motion to this project an effect of “microlife of emotions” was created, which tells us a story about the biology of the soul. Constantly, inside our heads and bodies physical, emotional and spiritual processes are taking place. The stream of consciousness is flowing – we are changing, becoming different with every moment of our lives. Natural flow of all the inside energies is making us healthier, but every blockade causes chaos and brings illnesses into various parts of our bodies. From my perspective, Melisa’s music is about letting oneself flow and feeling free after a long time of withholding.
I’m very grateful I could collaborate with Melisa! They shared with me a lot of artistic inspirations, gave me freedom to create, and space for my potential to thrive. It was a great pleasure to work on a project that combined such interesting music, creative people and my favorite technique. Also, Melisa’s work took me to a place where I could reflect on how strong is human capability to heal, how tough times in life can make us wiser, stronger and even more beautiful if we only decide to use our power to create bright diamonds from dark coals. I hope you enjoy “Zasługuję na istnienie” album, as much as I do!
black metal i las
Ale może idź, już nie chcę
Nie chcę Ciebie, nie chcę przedtem
Stoisz jakby przed tłem
Miałem rację, to zwiędnie
Twoje bycie na czas
to niebycie na czas
To mnie nie parzy jak napalm
Ta habituacja trwa lata
Jak wyścig na czas
Ja za kruchy na
to brzmi jak sen, to brzmi pięknie
to rozwija się, to polegnie
to staje się nagle letnie