A few months back, i began setting up interviews with other paper artists. This was a way [i thought] to inspire people who enjoy the same medium, as well as get a chance to see how differently people can work with paper... Having the cut paper illustration group on flickr, i have met many talented artists who push the boundaries for such a simple and common [and often inexpensive] medium... Mikey freedom is one of those artists, who happens to do an array of work, including tattoo design. But of course, you have to love this guy's collage art!!!!
So, who is mikey freedom?
My name is actually Michael Lothian. My website is called "Enter the Sunset". My artwork is formed from the need to purely create and gain sustenance from the colour and stroke of a brush. I am Driven to paint, collage and produce works of personal and Social importance. My motivation is found within my family life, my wife Sophia (who is my partner in all of these artistic pursuits!), being of Polynesian descent, along with my three children and where opportunities to travel the South Pacific have enriched my subject matter.
You work in several mediums and styles of art. However, why collage?
You work in several mediums and styles of art. However, why collage?Collage has always remained an intensely fond medium for me, there is something special about collage when done with attention to line, color and shape. It has the ability to cross the divide between child and adult sensibilities. It is automatically inviting and purely honest. It does not discriminate towards its viewer!
Collage is the sort of medium in which I feel all aspects of my art practice are brought together. When I cut paper I approach it as though I was drawing. I do not draw a guide or sketch to aid my scissors or scalpels, I purposely cut freehand and cut shapes by sight and intuition. I feel most comfortable collaging in this method. I rarely use pre-colored papers, preferring to paint my own papers, as I enjoy the process of mixing paint and painting paper. Collage will always remain my passion, to which I have an unending motivation for!
Who influences and/or inspires you?
My strongest influences in collage would be Henri Matisse, Romare Bearden and Pablo Picasso. I am also inspired by the work of Eric Carle, and the illustrations of Charley Harper, Bernie Fuchs and the brilliant paper engineering of Carlo Giovani, to name but a few.
Who or what inspires your theme in your artwork?
The majority of my works theme is based on the majestic islands that form modern Polynesia, many people have depicted Polynesia, though I attempt to express it in a true and honest manner, reflecting its rich culture, history and it's people!
I have also worked extensively as a muralist and community artist, having painted for councils, welfare/youth centers, private business, festivals & concerts, facilitating workshops with marginalized and disadvantaged youth. From major business corporations such as MTV, Sony etc, to painting live on air for Foxtel’s Channel V, my experience is assuredly wide. I have appeared and done work (art) on television & Radio, including magazines and newspapers.I also do Tattoo & Graphic Design.
note: all images are copyrighted and belong to mikey freedom.