The Unrefined Collection

What defines you? What makes you who you are? Is it the way you look? What about the way you talk? What is your perception of me? My current collection is near and dear to me. Becoming an art instructor was not something I imagined. I began sharing my talents with those who would listen; those who wanted to better themselves like me. It started way back when a curious young guy came into the airbrush store I was working in and he started asking technical questions about airbrushing. From there, a lot more curious minds came asking questions on how to get better.  Looking back on all those faces I have shared my knowledge with, the ones with the strongest impact on my soul were the kids. Sometimes I walk side by side with the kid in me and, like any other kid, he is brutally honest.

When a series of events happen with precision timing, it’s just divine. During a drawing class one summer, we were discussing the matters of the day, and one of the kids in the group said, “Mr. Mike, you are a king in art.” As I began to thank him for his kind and humbling words, he continued with, “Because He who bears the crown dons many hats.” A little more prophetic than I was expecting coming out of the mouth of a 10 yr old with ADHD. So in my curiosity I asked where he heard these words, “In a cartoon…” Wow, I need to watch more cartoons. Lol. After class, I get into my car and A Tribe Called Quest randomly comes on the radio loud with these words….”Listen up everybody, the bottom line, I’m a black intellect, yet unrefined…” Before I realized it, I was at my studio, still listening to “Oh, My God” as if I was still riding in the car, drawing these amazing sketches little kids faces, unorthodox faces. But something was missing. The best way to drive this concept home is to give these kids a necessary weapon, a book with knowledge far beyond their years of understanding. So the next day, I asked all of my art class kids to pose for my concepts and I had a variety of books for them to hold,  as we were in a theatre camp…lol.

In the end, I came up with 30 selected sketches that will be represented in this collection; I have large plans for the 30 images, but let’s start here. Today I introduce these 10 as the beginning. Thank you for sharing my vision.