Mike was featured October 2017
1. When did you start illustrating (for clients
Although I did my first commission at 14, I consider my official start as an illustrator at 26 after graduating from The Alberta College of Art.
2. Who are your biggest influences?
Salvador Dali, MC Escher.
3. What is your work process?
I do rough sketches on paper to work out ideas and concepts and then draw and paint using a tablet and Adobe illustrator and photoshop.
4. What would you name as the biggest strength
of your illustrations?
I would consider the biggest strength of my illustrations is making products or product benefit concepts look their best so my clients can have success in the marketplace.
5. Do you have any formal education in art?
I had 5 years of art college and other courses as continuing education (i.e. various drawing courses, adobe products, colour management, flash, dreamweaver, maya, etc.).
6. Where do you see the future of illustration?
Illustration will always be in need but the tools are making the playing field more level by the day - realism is merging with photography and CGI. Digital software is just a tool so traditional skills will still elevate artists who work hard at learning colour, light and form to be the leaders in their field. Even though I'm a very tight and realistic artist I still prefer to look at the work of expressive and freer forms of art - robots will replace us when it comes to accuracy but we still have time before they replace our soulful expressions (for now!).
7. If you could offer one piece of advice to
someone considering a career in illustration, what would it be?
I would advise anyone wanting to pursue this career to go for it with everything they've got but be prepared to be obsessed with continuous learning and improvement and sacrifice many things in order to succeed. Having demonstrable expertise in one's given field and being considered a trusted advisor to one's clients is very satisfying.
8. Last words?
I wouldn't change a thing, life is good when making a living with one's intellect, creativity and hands.
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