Mark Michelon, an Associate Professor in the Illustration/Animation Program at California State University Long Beach, swore he would never do zombies. But then his former student and friend, Garry Booth suggested he submit something for the Zombie Art Show in Long Beach. There were “good people in volved, sooo…” the rest is history.
As part of my series of interviews with Long Beach connected featured in the Zombie Art Show, Michelon took a few moments of his time to “chat with me about his work.
Carma Spence: How would you describe your artistic style?
Mark Michelon: Some people have said I should have been born a century before, but … hmmm, style … drawing and strong graphics based in reality but stylized too…
CS: It seems to me that many of your illustrations are both dark and whimsical at the same time. How did you develop your personal style?
MM: I know that art students are always concerned with finding their voice, their visual style, their signature, I believe it actually finds you.
CS: What kinds of media do you prefer to work with?
MM: Ink, wash, graphite, collage, gouache, markers.
CS: Where to you get your inspiration?
MM: All over, literature, art history, politics, movies, friends, contemporary life, music….
CS: I noticed you like to sketch trees … usually those without leaves. What draws you to them?
MM: Organic things like the trees are a nice change from rectilinear buildings etc. The wisteria series came from this 100 year old wisteria in Central Park that is so incredibly convoluted and gnarly that who would not want to draw it. No leaves because it is fun to see the skeleton and structure.
CS: How did you discover your artistic talents?
MM: I started off in college as a math and science major, and realized that that maybe was not my life. I switched to art and here I am. My father was an engineer and artist, my mother was also very artistic.
For more information about Mark Michelon and his work, visit his website at www.michelondrawings.com.
This interview is the second in a series of interviews with the artists featured in the Zombie Art Show that have a connection to Long Beach.
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