"Self-Portrait," 2012

Mika's new album, Origin of Love, came out last month. His drawings have been shown at Blink Gallery in London.

Describe your art in three words.
Sex in a graveyard.

Describe your music in three words.
Mischievous joy chasing.

Which came first, the art or the music?
The music. The art was an obsession since I was a child but I was forced into music after being kicked out of school.

What is the relation between songwriting and making art for you?
When I write a song I see a movie in my head. The song is the soundtrack to that movie. The colors, styling, art direction, all of that, are all in the tone and colors of the lyrics and music. The artwork for the albums, however, is more like illustration, like the illustration of a book.

How do you express yourself through art in ways that you can't through music? And vice versa?
My drawing style is limited, and subsequently I have to communicate much more simply than I can with music and lyrics. I find that like songwriting, however, the best pieces are the ones where the process seems effortless, even if it really wasn't.

How do you make time for both? And do you make music at different times of the day than art?
I'm a writer but also a performer. The two are like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I'm not sure which one is which, however. I can't mix writing with performing. Drawing is like a third thing. I can't do it when I'm doing the other two. They are siblings that all hate each other.

What are you currently inspired by?
Barnett Newman -- he can make me cry, and early American photography and scenic painting from the Bolshoi Theatre in the '50s.

What are you working on right now?
A tour that looks like the chimney-sweep scene from Mary Poppins meets Stanley Kubrick; an album for a Swedish singer that sounds like Joan Baez; and a house in Miami that involves collaborations with 11 artists, including young South American painters and my comic[book] heroes like Jim Woodring, who are doing murals, designing furniture and even lighting plans.

Song For Sorrow EP, 2009

Coca-Cola botle, 2010

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