Mr Mike, Looney Town Member Since July 2009 Artist Statement Starting as far back as I can remember, around the age of five I suppose, I needed to quench my thirst, my burning desire for answers to the curious world around me. I wanted to silence the incessant voice in my head that constantly repeated the word why.
Who am I? I am Mr. Mike, and that is how the 1600 plus children I taught fine art to refer to me. My career started with the desire to figure out how and why things worked. I had to draw, to entertain my mind, to disassemble the assembled … I drew everything from rocks and sticks to clocks and can openers and even the occasional cartoon character! For me even a pile of junk could be manipulated into a master piece!
I suppose I was never truly normal, something I can now see in hindsight. Although at the time, I wanted to be like everyone else, and in your childhood you assume you are like everyone else … I was being conditioned to be what people who labeled people normal wanted me to be. However, their perspective of normal frightened me more than my fear of being unique.
I was, and still truly am, creative. Whether I am accepted by the masses, I am what I am, an artist. I was always drawing and painting pictures, and when my parents would let me, I would take black and white pictures with a family brownie camera and make short 8 mm film with a Kodak movie camera. Unfortunately, however, funding often times covered the purchase but not the development of film.
Elementary school for me, as with most people, was eye opening. The numbing experience, of the daily routine, of Mrs. Rolland swatting my left hand with a ruler to make me use a pencil with my right hand was as sharp a memory as loving those chocolate chip cookies as big as my head. After three years of elementary school bad grades, Mrs. Gahanna discovered I couldn’t see the board ... In fact I couldn’t see much past my nose. So, at age 8, after three years of sitting in the back of the classroom, in a colorful blur, I realized my vision was far less than close to normal. After spending what seemed like years of testing to determine whether or not I could recognize the letters and numbers, the evil doctor Eagleberg presented me with a pair of glasses so thick I could fry an egg on the side walk in less than a minute. Viola! I could see!
I did at times wonder how my path lead me to become a CGI animation movie maker/artist and after working several days on the thought, maybe weeks, time seems irrelevant, I discovered the events, the turning points, the key frames, that determined how and why I got to where I am and why you’re viewing what I create, and to point out a portion of the contributing factors, here they are!
I was adopted into a family. My father, mother, and younger brother were all very creative people! My parents worked at Disney. My dad was an imagineer, and he designed rides including Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion. He went on to design the Lunar Lander for NASA and the space shuttle main engine before succumbing to Alzheimer. My mom painted cells for animated motion pictures and passed on as a prescription drug addict. My brother was an artist and designer for Bob Mackey until his death related to AIDS. Together, they helped me realize that the path less traveled was the correct path for me.
These, along with many other experiences have forged my mind, my attitude, and my soul into who I am. I am an artist with the desire to entertain and to send the message that everything is possible. Just look what I can do!