Friday, July 11, 2008

Interview with Michael Isaac Bushkin

q)What is your name?

a)Michael Isaac Bushkin

q) Where do you live and work?

a)I was living in Philadelphia, PA for 4 years and just moved to Portland, Oregon a couple months ago.

q)What is your creative process like?

a)I let paintings evolve. Usually a loose idea that I push further and further with each painting. I take ideas from older paintings I've done and try to incorporate new ideas or explore different approaches in how I render the idea. I normally sketch ideas out, or sometimes just sketch right on the actual painting, erasing and doing corrections right on the final product until it seems like it's ready for paint to be applied.

q)What is your favorite medium?

a)I really enjoy oil, although due to lack of a proper studio space I've been working mostly in acrylic lately. I enjoy acrylic a lot as well.

q)What is your current favorite subject?

a)I've been painting skulls lately, intertwined with vines or flowers. Mostly I paint things you might find in nature.

q)How long does it take for you to finish a piece?

a)Depends on the size, but usually a week or two depending. I've spent months on larger pieces.

q)What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?

a)The fact that I'm still doing it. It's hard to be an artist these days. Life is expensive, so I'm pretty frugal and pretty much got back to basics. I don't spend much money. Mostly on food and rent. I still have a part time job as a chef. Being a full time artist...not the most lucrative gig out there. You have to pay your dues like anything else.

q)Are there any contemporary artists that you love?

a)Odd Nerdrum, Josh Keyes, Scott Musgrove, Michael Hussar, Jonathan Viner, Brendan Monroe, Tim Mccormick.

q)Can we buy your art anywhere?

a) -DistinctionGallery - Mew Gallery

q)Anything that people should know about that we don't??

a)The honey bee is dying off from some mysterious disease that makes them go crazy and die. (Colony collapse disorder) It effects humans directly because agriculture as we know it depends immensely on the honey bee. Buy local and organic and try to get your local farmers to not use unnecessary pesticides.

q)What is your best piece of advice for those who would like to rise in their level of artistry?

a)Work hard everyday.

q)What inspires you to keep going when the work gets frustrating or tough?

a)Looking at other art, going out into nature, reading, dreaming.

q)How do you describe your work to those who are unfamiliar with it?

a)Nature-centric iconography

q)What kind of training did you have which helped you achieve your current level of artistry?

a)I took art classes in high school and some painting classes in college, but I mostly just taught myself.

q)Is there a tool or material that you can't imagine living without?

a)A bike

q)Who are your influences?

a)Gustav Dore, Salvador Dali, Odd Nerdrum, Flemish painters, contemporary fine artists, graffiti artists.

q)What inspires you to create?

a)Needing to get ideas and images out of my head. Seeing other art.
q)…your contacts…

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