Michael Creese has found his calling and proudly and profoundly acknowledges that art is what he loves and art is the way he will make his living. His texturally superior creations grab your attention like a sweet smelling meal, and once you pop your head in to see what is cooking, you are hooked forever. At first glance some of his paintings may seem like warm and fuzzy depictions of animals we all love, but we implore you to look closer – the precision and texture of these seemingly simple images are simply awe inspiring. The paint seems to be obeying a very stern master that demands refinement of the highest order. Michael Creese is the latest addition to Style.No.Chaser’st of admirable artists, and more importantly, admirable people. See the interview below.
“I have always been an oil painter, even in grade school. A neighbor gave …”
Please tell us a little about yourself – your childhood, siblings, where you grew up, what you liked as a child, strange thoughts as a child/now, unique attributes, where you live now, etc.?
I was born in Chicago, Illinois. My childhood years were in Chicago, and later as a teen in Pittsburgh, PA. I loved to catch insects when I was young, and I loved adventure. I currently live in Pittsburgh, PA.
What is your earliest art memory – what hooked you?
I took an interest in art around the age of 6 or 7. By 14, I was pretty much constantly busy with painting. My earliest art memory was being praised by my 1st grade teacher for staying in the lines on a coloring book exercise. She held my work up in front of the class and it made me immensely proud.
How do you describe your form of art and how did you develop your art style?
I have always been an oil painter, even in grade school. A neighbor gave me a set of oils and showed me how to paint when I was young. I then set out to paint fantasy scenes, mostly things I put together in my head and try to represent in an oil painting. My painting style gradually changed over the years from being extremely precise with tiny brushes at first, to much broader, somewhat abstracted scenes that are painted primarily with painting knives. All the texture and details in my contemporary work is done with painting knifes, without the use of brushes.
What philosophy do you live by and what is your ultimate aspiration?
I have a “live and let live” philosophy.
Which artist/s do you look up to the most?
There are so many artists that I admire. Some that have influenced me the most in one way or another are Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Max Beckmann, Odilon Redon, Gustav Klimt, and Edvard Munch. I am always looking to other artists, past and present, for inspiration.
Other than art what other profession would you like to attempt if you had the time and resources?
If I had the time and resources I would like to become a musician.
Are you lucky enough to have art pay your bills, if not, how do you maneuver the juggle between creativity and survival?
I am a full-time artist, but only within the last few years. It is very difficult to balance a job with another profession. I was only able to do it by going part-time at my job for the last ten years. I used to do computer programming but I love art so much more, so I feel lucky to be able to support myself as an artist now.
Who dead or alive, celebrity or not, artist or not, would you like to go on a two week road trip with and why?
I have thought about this question a lot and I think my choice would be Jesus.
I do not see myself as especially religious, and I don’t attend church regularly. However to meet someone who has influenced so many people across the world would be such a great experience. Whether he would find a road trip with me at all interesting is doubtful.
Since Style.No.Chaser is a men’s lifestyle magazine, what attributes/items/clothing /etc. do you think define a man?
A great pair of shoes, a nice pair of glasses or shades, and a blazer really make a big difference in appearance. I don’t think of myself as especially stylish, however I try to buy quality apparel to make up for it. Clothes say a lot about someone, and people notice when you are wearing something nice.
How can people learn more about your current and upcoming projects?
My website is www.michaelcreese.com and that is where I post most of my new work. You may have even seen my art on various print sites and at retail poster shops from time to time, but you may not have known it was my work. You have to look close for my name because I try not to interrupt the flow of the painting with my signature … I try to hide it in some part of the painting where it is less noticeable.
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