Michael deMeng

Q+A with Michael deMeng

Back with another Artist Q+A in this year’s series. Today, I have Michael deMeng, talking about supplies, workshops and his studio practice. Enjoy!

How many hours a day do you work on your art? When I’m not teaching or filming classes I try to get in 6 to 8 hours a day.

Tell us about your studio practice: I basically work until I get frustrated. That might be ten minutes that might be five hours. When I start feeling stressed I take a break…as long as I need to get back into the groove. Sometimes that 5 minutes, sometimes it’s five hours. I’ve found that when I try and blast through the frustration, I end up making things worse. So a bit of time in between seems to work.

Do you make art on the go? Tell us about your “go bag.” I try but mostly on the road I sketch. A mechanical pencil and a sketchbook is all I need.

What’s your favorite new-to-you tool or supply from the past year? Aves FixIt – It’s similar to the Aves Two-Part Clay but a bajillion times stronger…well…bajillion is a bit of an exaggeration…it’s friggin’ strong.

What’s your ideal workshop student? I am fortunate to see a number of my students over and over again. It’s great to see them grow and expand my lessons into something that is their own.

What makes for a great day in a workshop you’re teaching? That’s easy…a bunch of students with a good sense of adventure and sense of humour, who are able to see their vision materialize before there very eyes.

What 5 items do you always have with you when taking or teaching a workshop? Quinacridone Gold, Carbon Black, Titanium White, Dremel, Drill, E6000

What’s your favorite part about teaching workshops? It’s fun….I truly enjoy being surrounded by folks working through creative quandaries.

If a student is new to the type of work you do, what would you tell him or her before registering for your workshop? The trick to assemblage and to painting is to demystify it and understanding that it’s really just a form of problem solving that have a multitude of solutions. My job is to show folks what has worked for me and to give them a variety of options to help them grown in the direction they want.

What’s your favorite thing about teaching here in Northern Colorado? The people. A good natured lot in this neck of the woods.

What should a new-to-you artist expect from one of your workshops? Good music, good times, good sense of humour. and tons of creative energy.

Do you have any surprises in store? Can you give us a hint? I’ll have some special paint color recipes developed just for this class.

Who are some of your favorite artists, living or otherwise? From the olden days….I’d say Hieronymus Bosch is a big influence, the fantastical silent films of Georges Mellies like “A Trip to the Moon” (if you’ve ever seen the film “Hugo” you’ll know who I’m talking about.) As for living artists…I’m fortunate to be buddies with a few of my faves…Jesse Reno, Brian Cunningham, and John Whipple to name a few.

What’s your favorite work of your own? Will you share a photo? I think my favourite piece is my recent Tarot deck series, where I created a puppet theater for the Major Arcana.

How do you differentiate your work and your teaching style from that of other instructor artists who do similar things (i.e., other fiber art teachers, other assemblage artists)? My work is more….hmmmm…”deMengish”

Do you still have the first piece of art you ever made? What do you think when you look at it? Well my mom has the Xmas apron I made for her in kindergarten. It’s a white apron that says Merry Xmas Mom….and it has a vampires, a mummy, a werewolf and lots of other monsters. It’s awesome!

Besides being an artist, what’s your dream job? A horror movie Creature Feature host.

What’s your favorite word? The Uszhhh

When you’re not making art or teaching, what do you do for fun? Watching monster movies…what else?

Michael is teaching in Fort Collins, Colorado on May 12-14. The workshop, The Mad Alchemist’s Apothecary Kit, is available as a 2-day or 3-day class.

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