CoCo Artist Michael M’s studio is almost a visual rush of personal experiences. Everywhere you look is an example of collaborative commissions – with his team, Michael takes anything and everything and transforms it into fine art through a wax overlay. Whether it be old clothes, ticket stubs, programs – literally anything – it becomes part and parcel of a mixed media artwork, such as a portrait of a child, a depiction of a pet, or a meaningful landscape. Read on to learn more about the backdrop of this very personal and unique style of art.
CoCo: How would you describe your work?
Michael: I would classify my work as contemporary, at times bordering on pop-art. More than anything the work is 100% process based. As an artist I am extremely calculated and have every step of the process mapped out prior to production. With great attention to detail I feel you provide the collector with a very finished product as well as a beautiful piece of fine art.
CoCo: You used to be in finance. Tell us how your life is different now.
Michael: Finance was always something that served as a means to an end but was never emotionally rewarding. As so many people know, it is so easy to get caught up in the "Rat Race" and sometimes place what is truly important in life on the backburner. By refocusing life on my two passions, art and family, I can honestly say that I feel an emotional success that I don't feel was possible in my past life.
CoCo: Tell us about your space. What about it works well with what you do?
Michael: When my daughter Charlie was three years old, I asked her what I should name my studio and she very innocently said, "My Life." This is a space that was created to do art...YES, but to do art and have the ability to be with my children. It's through interactions with my children that my personal style and approach have evolved into something much deeper. My Life studio does commissions now, focusing on creating a depth of emotion and memory to a fine art piece. It is extremely important that everyone that walks into this space, feels the connectivity as well as the innocence that this studio was so thoughtfully named.
CoCo: Do you have any personal “rituals” that help you with your work?
Michael: I wouldn't say that I have a particular ritual but I do try to draw inspiration from the materials at hand. I will always have a few pieces going at any one time ranging from personal pieces for an exhibit or commissions. After dinner and getting our girls to bed, I return to the studio at night in order to complete any unfinished tasks from that day. It is often at that hour that I will take a step back and see what works-in-progress are screaming my name. It's not the best thing for a good night sleep but I find myself focusing on that unfinished piece and come up with some really great solutions to be excited about first thing in the morning.
CoCo: What is the best part of what you do or the best part of your day?
Michael: I constantly find myself comparing my life now to what I was doing in the world of finance. Before, my focus was on my clients and building a business. I felt my priorities were completely upside down. I now get to wake up to my amazing little girls, (sometimes) take our time getting to school and focus on our own little world. After saying goodbye to my family, I get to head down to my art studio. I could tell you that it's the ability to create what I love most about the studio, but its not. My favorite part of the day, is when I open the door and turn on the lights. My Life, is a great Life!
Feeling inspired? See more work by Michael M. below.