Every Friday you have the pleasure of being acquainted with a whole bunch of amazingly talented people. I’ve asked an array of creative souls to answer a handful of questions to give you an insight to their colourful life and to fill you with inspiration for your weekend!
This Creative Friend *Friday we meet a much loved mate and majestically visual artist Mikey Brain.
I know you and the wonderfully vibrant artist Mikey Brain. How would you describe your work to others and what makes it so creative?
My Illustration and figurative work blends conventional character and figurative techniques with slight abstract tweaks, often-referencing different themes such as Science-Fiction, different eras, tribes, races, religions and cultures within the same piece of work. I also love the relationship between figurative work and geometry.
When was the first time that you remember realising that you are a creative person?
I remember painting and drawing from as early as I can remember –and used to write and graffiti as a teenager. I always had sketch books and made work, but started to concentrate more on art around 2005-2006. I was living in a house-share with other creative types in Birmingham (people making music/djing etc) we had no TV so I read more, painted more and collected music etc. It was a period of creative growth.
Tell us about your most exciting project to date…
I love painting on a large scale and have had the opportunity to work and instillations in Ibiza, Rome and at festivals such as Secret Garden Party and Gotwood. These projects always excite me. I enjoy working on a regular basis for Hot Creations – helping develop an identity for their music using my illustration.
..and your most unusual project?
I have been painting a 1950’s airstream out the back of the legendary DC10 nightclub for Paradise every year – it’s a fantastic project, a weird and wonderful little space and a great challenge to illustrate.
If you could interview a creative person (past or present), who would that person be?
Difficult question, but I love Keith Haring, I would love to have hung out with and interviewed him. He lived in a creative and interesting time, during a cultural boom of art and music in New York that birthed house music, hip hop, punk graffiti and his own distinctive style of painting. I Would be fascinated to hear all about it.
What do you do to get into your creative zone?
I love coffee – I usually get a strong cup of black coffee, and then I crack on!
Do you ever create hidden meanings or messages in your work?
Very often there are meanings and messages that are more like codes than secrets. They can be decoded and cracked, or alternatively due to the objective nature of art people may find their own messages in the work – and that totally cool too.
What was the biggest opposing force that you encountered on your creative path?
Self-confidence and self-belief can sometimes be a struggle – especially when working to a brief. There is always an anxious 10 minutes when I submit a piece of work waiting for the client’s reaction or response – this can often be agonizing. Learning to accept and develop from criticism is a key skill that has been valuable to learn on my journey.
How do you know when a piece or project is finished and needs no additional work?
This has always been difficult. I used to have a ‘smoking break’ to give me time to contemplate what needs doing on a piece of work, and whether it has realised the set intentions- but I have stopped smoking as much so now I usually have a cup of tea and reflect on what I have done. I always find it hard to finish work – and the understanding that less can be more is crucial.
What is your favourite colour? Does this colour describe your as a person? Please explain?
I love the relationship between colours much more than any specific colour – for example red, white and black. It is no accident that we see this combination of colours in advertising and striking illustration, book covers etc. I like to find complementary colours and play with new relationships all the time, although red, white and black always draws me back.
* I know it was technically Thursday when I posted this weekly ‘Friday’ feature but hey, I had an important hen do in Palma with my besties to attend! 😉