This week take a sneak peek In the studio with Michael Hayes. I met Michael Contemporary Charleston Painter at one of our local galleries, Fabulon. Prior to that Michael and I had met at other Charleston art events and our local Artist And Craftsman. Michael recently invited me to interview him in his home (converted garage) studio. *These photos are not styled so this is typical of what his working studio looks like on an average day.
In the studio with Michael Hayes-Part I
HKPS:: When did you realize you were an artist?
Michael:: I have always enjoyed drawing. In college I got a job at an art supply store and started experimenting with all the different materials until finally getting really interested in painting.
HKPS:: What materials you work with?
Michael:: Oil on canvas.
HKPS:: Is making art your primary source of income? How does this affect the aesthetic or process of your work or create pressure for you to produce?
Michael:: *No, I make my living as a graphic designer currently, so there is no pressure to produce or sell work.
*HKPS-I consider Graphic Designers “artists” but will leave your definition up to you! Our creative talents often overlap and inform other work, making us more rounded in many aspects of our creative work!
HKPS:: How much time do you spend in your studio weekly/daily?
Michael:: My goal is for at least 15-20 hours a week, but it definitely varies depending on life circumstances.
HKPS:: Do you enjoy the company of music, other people or anything else or do you prefer to work in solitude?
Michael:: Occasionally I play some music, but I always work alone since my studio is at home. If I am doing more mundane tasks like stretching canvases or cleaning up, then I may put on a video of an artist interview or studio visit in the background.
HKPS:: Where do you make your art, how big is your studio and how long have you been in this space?
Michael:: In my garage at home, it measures about 9′ x 10′ and I’ve been in there since early 2015.
HKPS:: Is there anything you find distracting or choose to leave out of your studio space:
Michael:: Does my 2 year old count?
HKPS:: When you began working in this space did you plan any systems for the overall set up or did you let things evolve organically? How did past studio spaces or systems influence this space?
Michael:: It has definitely changed many times since I moved into it. I feel like now it is really working for me, so I doubt I’ll make any more major changes.
HKPS:: How do you create “zones” for different phases or aspects (mediums) of your work? For example, in kitchen design we refer to the “work triangle”, do you find any similar arrangements useful in your space?
Michael:: I basically just have one area on the wall where I hang the piece I’m working on and another area where I store all my canvases.
HKPS:: How do collections, personal objects, momento’s, or found objects (playful sense of humor, ironic, kitschy, etc) show up in your studio space or artwork?
Michael:: I do like to keep older paintings around to be reminded of past experiments, particularly if they are somehow relevant to what I am doing now.
HKPS:: How and when do you curate or edit your materials, including supplies and tools?
Michael:: Over the years I have developed a preference for certain types of brushes, knives, and other materials I use to manipulate the paint.
Next week we’ll be back to share more of Michael’s tips art studio organizing and his thoughts on creative legacy. In the meantime, you can check out Michael’s work online or if your in Charleston go see his beautiful work in person at Fabulon! Do you have any questions you want me to ask Michael next week? If so please leave them in the comments below!
*The idea for the Inside the Artist Studio series began while attending an art retreat where I curiously observed the differences in the creative cycle of order and chaos and what that looks like for different individuals. I’m very interested in sharing how organizing affects the artist’s creative process. Some systems and order are vital to our creative PLAY and learning to find a balance that works to enhance your creativity is what I hope to share with you through these interviews.
Is there a particular artist whose ‘Tool kit’ you would like to see featured? Leave a comment below and let me know!