MinaLima is a highly regarded graphic-design studio based in London, founded in 2010 by Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima. Unique and imaginative in style, the studio is renowned as the design team behind one of the largest film franchises of all time, Harry Potter™, which garnered them worldwide attention and accolades. Inspired by their genius for creating idiosyncratic artworks based on magical worlds, who could better illustrate Sylva, Snarky Puppy’s concept album recorded with the Metropole Orkest than Miraphora Mina. Here they explain how the collaboration came about.
MinaLima is closely associated with the Harry Potter universe. Could you remind us what you did earlier for this worldwide fantasy hero?
We designed the ‘graphic props’ for all eight Harry Potter films. This meant objects such as the ‘Marauder’s Map’, the ‘Daily Prophet’ newspapers and all the packaging in the ‘Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes’ shop. We even designed some fictional record albums for the films!
Could you explain how you met Snarky Puppy?
Actually, it was my drummer son Luca who introduced me to Snarky Puppy, and I was hooked straightaway! Inspired by their music, I contacted Michael [League] simply to inquire if they’d ever need a designer, unaware that a new album was in the making. Michael’s swift and enthusiastic reply cemented this creative collaboration.
How did you match Snarky Puppy’s music with your personal design work?
I was fortunate to get to listen to the raw files early on and made sure I really knew them well before having any ideas about the artwork. Michael explained the inspiration behind each piece of the suite, which helped to visualise the stories he was telling in his music. Our work as designers for film is all about storytelling through visuals, so this was familiar territory for me. The album is so full of contrasts, colours and light, and even has moments of menace and drama. I wanted to describe this narrative in the artwork, so came up with the concept of an obscure forest whose shadows become a multitude of colours; a kind of implausible situation that only happens in dreams!
Could you tell us more about Sylva, as a concept album with music and art?
Early on Michael had made it clear to me that this album was intended to be a collaboration of creative ideas, both between Snarky Puppy and the Metropole Orkest, and from the point of view of the visuals. Also, that the five pieces were integral to the suite, rather than being individual songs. There was even talk of not having a title! But when I suggested Sylva (from the word Sylvan, meaning a wooded area) it suddenly seemed right to both of us.
Do you have other projects with Snarky Puppy in the works?
Family Dinner 2 is on the cards … Having been present at the recording I’m very excited about continuing this collaboration!
This is Snarky Puppy’s new album, this is Sylva.