Meet Mister Michelle, A Student of Sacred Geometry
A few months ago, I had the honor of attending Mister Michelle's private showing of her latest artwork. Falling in love with her creations is an instantaneous experience, not only because of the impeccable style and vibrant color pallet but for her presence, absolutely welcoming and alive.
Michelle describes herself as "a student of sacred geometry," a narrative that wonderfully translated onto the canvases hung on the walls of her studio in Georgetown, Seattle. The gold leaf used in her art glistened amid perfect lighting, and I could have stared at each of the awe-inspiring pieces for hours.
After the showing, I had the remarkable chance to ask Michelle a few questions about her craft, continue reading for our delightful conversation.
Salomé Gómez-Upegui: When did you realize you wanted to be an artist? Can you share a bit about your story of becoming?
Mister Michelle: I'm going to give you the short version. I've been an artist as far back as I can remember. Creating was always my strong suit growing up, and my talents were recognized and encouraged pretty heavily by family and friends. I was primed to believe that the only career there was for me was in visual arts. But I consider myself less of a romantic and more of a realist in terms of which career path I would venture down as I got older. Becoming a professional artist was a long time dream, but I knew it wouldn't be easy, nor if I could even make a decent living from it.
As soon as I graduated high school, I went to college to study interior design, which was another passion of mine. I soon realized less than a year into it that it wasn't for me. So I dropped out to my mother's dismay and hit the 9 to 5 work circuit. I worked in office jobs until I had enough. In 2012, I decided to quit my day job and try my hand at being an artist full time. It was hard, but I kept with it until I finally had my inaugural solo show at a gallery in downtown LA. That was the start of my journey as an artist. It has and continues to be hard but extremely rewarding. All the events leading to now have shaped me for the better. I am so grateful for the support I've received over the years. I would not be here if it weren't for everyone who believed in me. My heart is indebted to them. I'm excited for the future. The stars the limit but I'm looking to go beyond that.
What's your favorite part of the creative process?
Applying the colors after I've sketched out the piece gives me such a rush. It's the colors that truly bring my pieces to life. The identity of the work slowly emerges from the white surface as each color is laid down.
How do you deal with creative block?
Whenever I'm feeling stuck, I find going for a walk outside and getting some fresh air helps to break down the barrier between my ideas and productivity. But sometimes you just have to "Just Do It" (Nike). Inspiration is fleeting and unreliable, so just get up and do the work. There's a quote from Picasso that rings so true, and I constantly rehearse it in my head. He says: "Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working."
What do you think needs to change to improve the representation of women in the arts?
This an easy question to ask but not so easy to answer, and this change is even harder to achieve fully. I think the Women Supporting Women culture is in full bloom right now and continues to blossom. It's a beautiful thing, but at the end of the day, we need more art collectors/buyers who actively want to support emerging female artists and recognize the capacity of our talents.
To learn more about Mister Michelle's stunning work, follow her on Instagram, and visit www.mistermichelle.com.
*This article was edited and condensed for clarity.
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