Mike Stilkey – Paint my Books

Mike Stilkey wurde 1975 in Los Angeles geboren, lebt und arbeitet heute auch dort. Seit jeher war er schon begeistert von der Malerei und zeichnete viel, nicht nur auf Vintage-Papier, Plattencover und Buchseiten, sondern auf die Bücher selbst.

Mit einer Mischung aus Tusche, Buntstifte, Farben und Lacke lässt er auf vielen Büchern, fantastische und skurille Charaktere entstehen. Er möchte mit seinen Bildern dem Betrachter ein anhaltendes Gefühl von Verlust und Sehnsucht, Gefühle mit emotionaler Tiefe vermitteln.

What is art? How do you define yourself as an artist?

To me, art should evoke an emotional response from the viewer. Art can be a painting, music, poetry, etc. When I create art, I keep this in mind. The emotional connection is crucial. I think that as long as I’m creating pieces that I’m emotionally connected to, then other people will probably have an emotional connection to the work as well. In my work, I try to convey a deeper meaning beyond just the visual image.

How is an idea born? For you, what is inspiration?

Music is a huge inspiration to me. Fairly often, I can visualize a painting to accompany a particular song. I also enjoy visiting the library for inspiration. I will grab about 20 random books and pore through them looking for things that interest me. There is a local library a few blocks from my house that I visit regularly.

Which artist/artists do you admire and how do the influence your work?

Honestly, there are too many to name. I’m influenced by every artist that I’ve ever seen that I’ve liked. I find that while I’m inspired by images, I’m also really inspired by execution, technique and approaches to creating art. For example, I find that Picasso’s approach to art is extremely inspiring. I saw an interview with him where he explained that he creates work for no one but himself. He never had the audience in mind; he just wanted to create art without having to worry about how people would react to it. I’m not sure if that’s true or not, but I’d like to believe that this is possible. It’s very liberating.

What is your next projekt?

I am working on a solo show for LeBasse Projects in Culver City, CA. It’s scheduled for October 2011. I am really excited about this, as it’s my first solo show in L.A. in about 3 years.

Thank you very much, Mike!

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