Comic Cover Illustration: Meraki

Mika Nakajima - Pettingale

For my grad project, I intended to create a cover art design for a comic of my own story called “Meraki”.

Artist statement

Artist statement

In my artwork, I create art that sees into a young girl’s mind and transports a young female character into a fantasy/dream world. My artwork aspires to create a positive, joyful, and serene outlook on life, through colours, patterns, and textures. This comes from the influence of reading, from early childhood, Japanese manga and comic books (e.g., Sailor Moon, Bee and Puppycat and, especially, the animation works of Hayao Miyazaki). All these have so much to teach me through the diversity of powerful perspectives they can summon up and communicate to the viewer/reader—whether, for example, using bold strokes and careful framing of the works of great masters or drawing on the joyful and brightly-coloured works of the Impressionists, in particular.

Meraki comic Issue #1


  • The comic story is titled, Meraki. It is a story aimed at teen and young adult audiences (10- to 15-year-olds).
  • Main characters “Meraki” and her older brother named “Ryan” (working names) must use their magical powers to work together to stop evil beings/spirits/ creatures and villains from invading /intruding from another world, while solving other-world mysteries as well as issues that connect to both this world and the other world
  • Theme is fantasy adventure with a mix of reality
  • “Meraki” is a Greek word and concept: “the soul, creativity, or love put into something; the essence of yourself that is put into your creation, the soul of it”.

Meraki comic Issue #2

Approach & Goals

  • The goal is to create at least 3 cover art designs in digital art and or traditional, while have them be narratively connected to each other.
  • Each of the comic covers following a hero journey story. The First comic cover being a start of a journey and the second being a trial/growth and the third being the climax.
  • Work on drawing and coloring 3 cover art designs in both digital and traditional illustration format.
  • Learn how to use Adobe Photoshop with painting and special effects.

Meraki Issue #3 (Work In progress)


  • Clip studio paint EX
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Caran d’Ache Prismalo Color Pencil

Mika Nakajima - Pettingale

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Mika Nakajima – Pettingale is a graduated student from Emily Carr University. She is an illustrator and Digital Artist, specializing in mixed media, illustration, and digital art. Her artwork to date reflects her young girl's mind in its reveries. Inspired by Japanese manga and the animation works of Hayao Miyazaki . She also, marvel at the variety of perspectives artists can share from darker, sharp perspectives with bold strokes and careful framing of the works of great masters, to the shades of those more joyful and brightly coloured works of the Impressionists.
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