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Festival of Whales Artist and Logo Are Announced for 2020
Lillian Boyd, Dana Point Times

Mika Denny’s roots take her back to the Orange County coastline. With childhood visits to the Ocean Institute and residing in Dana Point during her art school days, it’s only fitting that the experiences that shaped her artistry have led her logo design to be selected for the 49th annual Festival of Whales in 2020.

Photo: Courtesy of Mika Denny

Denny, who currently resides in Santa Ana, submitted an entry in a previous year’s design contest for the festival. The Festival of Whales Foundation Board was very impressed with the submission, says festival coordinator Andrea Swayne.

“This design really stuck out to the board,” Swayne said. “Mika’s artwork is the perfect celebratory feel to represent all the fun new additions we have planned for the Festival of Whales in 2020.”

Denny solely used Adobe Illustrator to create her design. She says it all came down to color and shape.

“I picked out the complementary colors that I know would make the eye happy,” Denny said. “I love playing around with interesting shapes. I love distinguishing shapes within other shapes. And I think that’s pretty evident in this design.”

Denny says she was inspired by Japanese woodblock art for some of the design.

“The splash of the whale tale makes the design pop out,” Denny said. “There are a lot of moving parts to it. The fun part of my creative process is playing around with shapes to create movement.”

Denny was born and raised in Laguna Beach, which has served as prominent inspiration for her love of the ocean and nature.

“Whales, in particular, are such an amazing thing to me,” Denny said. “They are so massive. In Dana Point, they just cruise on by. It’s awe-inspiring. You can’t believe that something that big can exist and be so close to us.”

Denny attended Cal State Fullerton for her degree in graphic design. After retiring from an in-house creative director position to be a full-time mom, Denny had more time to dabble in painting, mixed media work, children’s book illustrations and even jewelry making.

“I’m all over the place with my art. But ever since I was little, I’ve been drawn to it,” Denny said. “I’m so thrilled that something I’ve created is going to be part of something so big. It’s an honor.”

Although a logo design contest has not been held for the past couple of years, the plan is to revive it for the Festival’s golden anniversary event coming up in 2021. Stay tuned for the announcement of entry information coming in the spring.

The dates for the 49th annual Festival of Whales have been set for March 7-8 and 14-15, 2020. For more information on next year’s event, visit

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Lillian Boyd
Lillian Boyd is the senior editor for Picket Fence Media and city editor for Dana Point Times. She graduated with a degree in journalism from Humboldt State University. Her work experience includes interviewing incarcerated individuals in the Los Angeles County jails, an internship at the Pentagon covering U.S. Army news as well as reporting and anchoring for a local news radio station in Virginia. Follow her on Twitter @Lillianmboyd and follow Dana Point Times at @danapointtimes.

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