There are a few artists/designers that I really idolize. Michael Cina is one of them.
Michael is a highly accomplished designer, doing work for clients like Facebook, Nike and Google. Some of my favorite client work he's done are his Ghostly album artwork. He's also created multiple typefaces (including the stellar Ramsey). On top of all that, he produces some beautiful paintings.
One of the things I really admire about him is that he intentionally maintains a pretty even balance between client design work and personal artwork. His dedication to that balance has evolved into his artwork overlapping into client projects giving them a really unique feel.
While I lived in Minnesota, I have the privilege of meeting up with Michael a few times. Not only is a phenomenal talent, he's a super nice and genuine dude.
This is a guy I want to emulate.
Here are a few examples of his paintings and album art for Ghostly. He has a ton more work on his various sites, so check those out. Links at the end of the post. and make sure to check out the video segment/interview above from MN Original.