Featured Interview | Michael Auger
Creative Name: Michael Auger
Real Name: Michael Auger
Brief Description of self: I would describe myself as having a creative soul and having a strong belief that the world is better off with a bit more silliness and magic.
Long Description of self: I’m an offbeat fine artist based in the Washington DC area. An assortment of animals, crazy characters, mythical monsters and more continuously fill my head. I usually paint them into existence using bold colors and a thick and chunky acrylic that begs to be touched. I also work as a freelance graphic designer, illustrator and animator. My motto is “If you can dream it, I can draw it” and I enjoy finding creative solutions and bringing to life the diverse ideas of clients who commission my services from all over the world.
Project Name & Details: This piece is titled “Classic Gangsters” and features a gang of amusingly nefarious characters.
This illustration was originally created for printing as posters and t-shirts. Two of the characters also starred in a comic I illustrated, written by my friend Matt Dembicki, and published years ago by the DC Conspiracy comic artist collective. More recently, I updated this piece to become a fabric design which is currently available for purchase as wallpaper, tablecloths, and more. The characters have a life of their own and insist I continue incorporating them into new projects. And, with these wise guys, it is hard to refuse.
Medium & why: Although I love paint on canvas and other traditional mediums, I also embrace using a stylus to create artwork using a computer. I chose to create this piece digitally for easier incorporation as a comic. However, I may also rework these characters into future paintings.
Favorite part of the creation process: My favorite approach to creating starts with stream-of-conscious drawing. I enjoy grabbing a pen and sketchbook and letting my mind drift. Most of my illustrations and paintings are born as random sketches this way.
The most challenging part of the process: I am lucky to truly love every aspect of the creative process. Even when something isn’t quite working I enjoy doodling away until it does. The biggest challenge is always time. As a professional freelancer, I understand how important it is to always meet every promised deadline. Time is a double-edge sword that can cause stress but also push creativity. So, while looming deadlines can sometimes be challenging, I enjoy the adrenaline rush of working under the gun.
Inspiration: Like a lot of the artwork I create, the characters in this piece originated in an offbeat dream. However, classic cartoons and heist movies are also the obvious sub-conscious inspiration.
Other creative influences: I have also dabbled in sculpture, puppetry, and music.
How creativity betters my life: Creating not only enhances my life. It is my life. I cannot comprehend living any other way.
Advice to other aspiring artists:
My advice for anyone pursuing art is to practice as often as you’re able. Experiment with different techniques and develop a diverse portfolio. Then focus on what you enjoy the most. It is also very important to never sell yourself short.
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