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Artist FeatureCulture

O’ For Art's Sake - Michael Kewish

Dec 7, 2016

Words: PollyannaR
Images: PollyannaR

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How do you wake up in the morning?
Poorly. I hate getting up in the morning. However, after a debatably balanced diet of ciggies and a few coffees I'm usually ready to begin my day.

What’s your biggest fear as an artist?
I think my biggest fear as an artist would be to stop actively making art or if I ran out of ideas.

When did you feel like you’d made it?
I still wouldn't say I've made it! It's hard to gauge that term. I mean, I've done some pretty cool pieces for people that I'd never thought I'd work with and I'm doing something I genuinely enjoy, so I guess that's making it. In saying that, I'm still striving to push my work further and into various creative endeavors.

What’s your priority learning new skills or perfecting the skills you already have?
Learning is detrimental to perfecting a skill, so both I guess? Perfecting skills in every medium would be a dream though.

School or mentor?
I don't study art and wouldn't say I really have a mentor. I've been working with Beci Orpin lately and I've been learning a bunch about the industry and design work.

Practicing or teaching?
Practicing – hands down. I don't mind teaching people, however, it's not ideal. I can't verbalise my technique or style very well, so it just gets awkward.

What’s your daily routine?
My routine is all over the place. To summarise; I'd have to say coffee, various forms of procrastination and then either work or painting.

What’s the best thing about being a country-based artist?
Everyone knows everyone and it's easy to establish yourself as an artist. Whether or not people like you doesn't necessarily matter because there's a high chance they've seen or heard of your work or know that you're into art, which is cool. Being an individual is a pretty cool way to market yourself and your art in the country.

What’s the worst thing about being a country-based artist?
The lack of other young artists that take their creativity seriously, and the large demographic of people that only like landscape, traditional or conventional art. The contemporary or just left of centre art isn't as well received, which breaks my heart.

What materials do you use and how do you source them?
I primarily use black ink and white paint markers on canvas. I don't know when I strayed away from acrylic, but the application of ink on canvas gives me the exact finish I want. There's something that's not perfect about the finish, which makes it so much better.

If I'm not using canvas, I paint onto small wooden plaques I find at Op Shops. I also get skateboard decks from friends or garage sales, then sand them back and paint my own designs.

Words of advice?
Do what makes you happy. Don't live for other people because it just makes life unbearable. Always treat others equally, regardless of who they are. Finally, make art as much as you can.


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