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An Interview With Mikey Carmada-Digital Artist Who Paints Musicians

Can you tell us what you do?

I am an artist with a concentration in digital painting.  I mainly paint the people that inspire me, which would be musicians. 

When did you know you wanted to do this? Did anyone inspire to go into this field?

Ever since I was a kid, I was always interested in the arts.  I grew up falling in love with Drew Struzan’s work since combined both entertainment and artwork from scratch.  As a kid, I would try to make that type of Key Art like he did.  Being exposed to cover art from movies, games, and music only enhanced my inspiration for creating my own pieces.  Capturing the most important pieces and conveying images of a subject said so much about something without saying a word.  Early on, I would grab stills from magazines or online and try to cut those out to make a collage with some of my favorite movies and games.  The art wasn’t just limited to digital painting as well.  I would learn from animators, traditional oil painters, and acrylic painters that focused on the same subject as me.

What you did before ?

I am currently in the performance marketing/affiliate space and I am grateful that I have time to focus on my artwork as well.  It is certainly a perfect creative outlet to get my mind off everything and just let my mind work organically.

What struggles along the way did you face?

There have been plenty of obstacles and struggles that I’ve faced throughout the journey.  The most challenging thing is not to rush it, so it’s important to work at your own pace.  Sometimes, the initial vision is going to develop into so many other things.  It can be so easy if the vision were to be make as much as you can and just do it for likes every so often.  That is not the reason why I do it…that is just internet candy that you buy in line at the grocery store.  I’ve definitely fallen victim to that and being able to make the adjustments were necessary for me to stay on track.  The best work I’ve done has usually taken the longest time to make or even conceive.

What did you do to change/adapt to become successful? (Turning point)

The more I learned from other artists, the better.  I can understand their approach and take pieces of their methods to combine it into one.  Also, I’d say it wasn’t just one piece that changed everything because I focused on growth and wanting to make the process as fluid as possible.  Some pieces with more nature-type backgrounds helped me combine the most natural state with so many powerful poses or tones.  I believe art and nature are the same or have many similar correlations.  Having it feel more organic was the approach.  The mind and a blank canvas are the exact same thing.  I like to start out with a grey canvas since it is a mid-tone color to capture both dark and light values very well.  Just like the canvas, the mind and brain work the exact same way.  In the brain, we have grey matter and this captures values such as perception, emotion, memory, etc.  I want to ensure the viewer has interesting things to view and have them feel something after viewing it is incredibly important.  Being aware of these things like grey matter, allows me to conceive an incredible vision and execute a powerful message to convey the story I’m trying to tell.  As long as I’m true to myself and the vision, the placement and artwork will work themselves out.

If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?

I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Right now, I am on this part of the journey for a reason.  I’ve learned so much and came so far from where I began so those experiences have paid dividends for me.  Even my mistakes weren’t even failures because I learned from them.  The only time I consider it a failure is if I give up.   I just make sure to keep moving forward and just go where the vision takes me. I’m not thinking if it’s good or bad because that’s not my place to judge.  If I feel a certain way about a subject and I express it, then the work is done and I put all my energy in that piece.

What is your next big goal with your career?

I’m not sure where this will take me, but as long as I’m honest with myself and my work, I think I can do special things in this world.  I would love to work on large projects with musicians or other types of entertainment since that is my focus.  I’ve also been interested in animation and even fashion.  Ideally, I don’t want to be limited to just one thing. 

How you can help or final words of advice for other people with similar goals?

Some of the best advice, I think, would be to emit positivity and just let the vision happen.  The technical aspect is always great to work on and try to get better, but in the end, we are trying to make an amazing piece of work so do it in a way that feels comfortable for you.  Stay patient with the journey and see where it takes you.  Also, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or pressured because you see other people’s work online or you feel stuck, find something else to do.  Go outside and just have an adventure out there.  The art will always be there so don’t force the vision onto the canvas if it doesn’t feel right.  Most importantly, thank the people in your life you have or meet along the way.  Nothing will be more important than that. 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mikeyillustrate/

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