24 Artist in res­i­dence

Art re­ally is life when the artist works where they sleep… take a peek into the sin­gle room cre­ative life

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Contents - Michael’s work has ap­peared in books, mag­a­zines and al­bum cov­ers. You’ll find him in the pages of Spec­trum: The Best in Con­tem­po­rary Fan­tas­tic Art, and at art and comic shows. See more of his art­work at www.mike­manoart.com.

Michael Manomivibul knows about cre­ative liv­ing: the artist works where he sleeps. He shows us around his stu­dio.

Wel­come to my stu­dio, in my stu­dio apart­ment! For two years I had the hon­our of shar­ing a stu­dio with il­lus­tra­tor and crea­ture de­signer Brynn Metheney. When we de­cided to move our spa­ces back home she re­ally helped me re­think my setup. Most of my days are spent in this sin­gle room, so I’ve put a lot of thought into mak­ing this great live/work en­vi­ron­ment.

The walls are stuffed with art and in­spi­ra­tion from col­leagues and he­roes. I mix in pieces of my own work to help keep things in per­spec­tive, plac­ing my­self in the con­text of the cre­ative com­mu­nity that I’m a part of. These nar­row shelves are great for eas­ily ro­tat­ing the col­lec­tion with­out the has­sle of re­hang­ing each time I want a re­fresh. I get great nat­u­ral light and keep plants around to keep the things vi­brant.

I don’t spend all day in the stu­dio: good art comes from ex­pe­ri­ence and life. You’re just as likely to find me brain­storm­ing at a lo­cal cof­fee shop or rid­ing along the wa­ter­side on my bike. My best ideas have come while out and about on my bike, so I try to get out­side and be ac­tive ev­ery day.

On the other hand, some of the best work ses­sions hap­pen be­tween 9pm and 3am, a habit I picked up when I had a day job. There’s some­thing magic about work­ing late, when the world qui­etens down and I’m a lit­tle too tired to con­stantly se­cond guess my­self. I put on a pod­cast I’ve lis­tened to a mil­lion times be­fore and just paint. When I’m done I stum­ble back­wards, fall into bed and do the whole thing over again the next day.

My most prized art pieces have come from trades with other artists, by trad­ing art you’re trad­ing re­spect. I’ll never for­get the first time some­one I think of as foun­da­tional to me as an artist of­fered to trade a piece with me. A model I built and painted a year ago. I grew up build­ing mod­els and paint­ing pewter minia­tures – I con­sider those years the foun­da­tion of my skills to­day. I rarely have the time any more, but sit­ting down with a model kit is still a deeply re­lax­ing ac­tiv­ity. I love art books. I re­cently went through my whole col­lec­tion to get rid of books and free up some shelf space, an ex­er­cise I found sur­pris­ingly valu­able. I learned a lot about how my tastes have changed and how I’ve grown as a per­son and artist. Toys and fig­ures based on the work of Mike Mig­nola, Ash­ley Wood and Dave Stevens’s Rock­e­teer. I also have some Strand­beest mod­els walk­ing around some­where. On dis­play are art­works from Nathan Fox, Greg Ruth, Daniel War­ren John­son and other favourite comic artists of mine.

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