Mick Minogue Green Giant PaddyWe caught up with former art teacher, illustrator, maker, painter, street artist, doer and 24/7 nice guy Mick Minogue to chat about his art. What followed is a really nice window into the man’s illustrations and diverse art work. We owe him a big bag of chips for stalling it and spilling all his ‘guts’ in a great interview. Lots of news, a possible childrens book, and words n’ pieces below….

Describe your art in 5 words?
Should have been a vet

Is there anything or anyone you really want to ‘make’, paint or illustrate that you haven’t yet?
I want to step back to oil painting. I used to love oil painting, its what I really started out with Sonic The Hedgehog Mick Minoguewhen making art when I was younger. The only reason I want to reconnect with it again is to do a large tudor style painting of my Da. He’s 70 next year and he’d get some craic out of it. Anything to see the look on my Ma’s face as my Da is attempting to hang it over the fireplace.

You were an art teacher in another life; did that stint influence your creative process now?
Yeah it really did. Being an art teacher is something I am very proud of and something I will do again. I had to step out Whats in the Shed Mick Minogueside of the teaching institution to become a more interesting teacher I felt. One with more experience in the art world and who spent time working with the kind of people I am teaching kids about. I felt 4 years in college wasn’t enough and even when I was teaching I felt there was so much more I needed to know about, not just from text books. I think being a teacher helps me in my freelance career in so many ways. After you have thought a class of hormonal Mick Minogue Ghosts Perspective2nd years for a year any client you come up against in the art world is a breeze.

You’re going to be involved in the new literary project ‘Guts’, can you tell us what that’s about and when to expect it?
Guts is a new venture from Roisin Agnew. Roisin wanted to create a magazine in Dublin that really tells the personal stories of Dublin. The back alley chat, the hard core chin wags and heart wrenching mutterings all in a collectible print format. As well as show casing some of the great writers and speakers out there the magazine would include a strong visual content. The visual content comes with a clever catch that you don’t see in other magazines.
Each issue is given to a different artist. So they create the artwork from the cover right through to the back page which is big ask but an incredibly satisfying pay off for the artist involved. I was honoured to have been asked to be the artist for the first issue and really excited to see the hot slab of paper and print in the hands of the public. After Mick Minogue Fallen Chaira hugely successful Kickstarter the magazine has gone to print and is launching Thursday the 11th of Dec 2014. Who ever said print is dead deserves a paper cut on their nipple.

As a ’maker’ and illustrator you’re quite diverse with its application, I always wanted to ask you about the Kilkenny Witch street piece, how did that come about?
Mick Minogue WitchWe caught up with former art teacher, illustrator, maker, painter, street artist, doer and 24/7 nice guy Mick Minogue to chat about his art. What followed is a really nice window into the man’s illustrations and diverse art Mick Minogue Baby Street Art Under the bridgework. We owe him a big bag of chips for stalling it and spilling all his ‘guts’ in a great interview. Lots of news, a possible childrens book, and words n’ pieces below….

I had worked with an amazing Youth Group from Kilkenny called Ossory Youth. We created a huge 4o ft mural under the Ossory bridge and cleaned up the area bringing a positive light to a place that was getting a bad rap. Off the back of this the Tidy Towns committee got in touch and asked would I be interested in decorating an empty lot that has lay dormant for years and looking quiet shoddy. I wasn’t too interested in what they wanted me to paint and asked if I could make a pitch. I am from Kilkenny and this is a space I have always wanted to Mick Minogue Beatyard I Shot JFKpaint. To me it had to always be about Alice Kyteler. She is a famous witch who is from the street where the empty lot is on. Her home ‘Kytelers Inn’ is still in use and her story is one of the greatest pieces of history from my town. She was the first Mick Minogue Ghostswitch to be called out by the Church and was sentenced to death for her crimes of witch craft and knocking off a few husbands, such a sneaky witch. Alice escaped but her servant Petronella De Meath was captured, tortured and the first woman to be burned at the stake in Europe for crimes of witchcraft. Above the mural is Marys Church and grave yard where Alice Kyteler’s family are buried so it seemed fitting to paint a homage to her.
Mick Minogue BoscoThis is an incredible little slice of history from my little home town, relatively unknown so I had to remedy that. The Tidy Towns committee were willing to trust me and take the chance and the results have been extraordinary. Its become a bit of a tourist attraction in Kilkenny and has got people talking about that great story.

What’s the biggest influence on your illustration?
Ignorance and encouragement. I find my illustration is always at its best when I haven’t been paying attention to what everyone else is doing. Not looking around me too much keeps what I do more me. I am too easily influenced visually and have the fear that ill turn into a Mystique of the illustration world, seeing something that works for me and just using it. I have started to filter my influences and find it works for me. Lately I haven’t been enjoying my 28 pad days later Mick Minogueillustration, its over worked and I get to a point where I like it one second and the next its gone to shit. So I ask friends and I dissect the problem. I love pencil on paper, I think we work well together but once that paper gets scanned and computers get up in my face…I loose it. That charm I had with the lead is gone. Its at this point I turn off my blinkers, take the ignorance shield down and go looking for a solution in others. Lately thats been E.H. Shepard, that charming son of a 2B. His sketches were his his finished work, not a line out of place. I feel I need to trust my sketchiness more and not feel like I need to run with the crowd.
I also find that encouragement is one of the greatest influencers for an artist. Its what got you going in the first place. Your folks, teachers, mates or cat. The more of that the better. There is nothing better than someone telling you you chose the right path with what your doing and to stick at it.

Are your illustration and making always linked, or do you consider them a happy family?
They are pretty dysfunctional but in that teen angst kinda way. They slam doors on one another out of tiredness and hormonal frustrations but deep down the love is there. I think they need each other. Sometime I illustrate just as instructions for a build and other times the build is followed by painting and illustration as a finishing move. I trust my ability as a crafter and a builder over my illustrative abilities. I have always tormented myself for not having one signature style of illustration but in the past year or two I have learned to accept and love this because it means I never get bored. The worst thing i could be doing is narrow myself in. I haven’t the attention span to be doing one thing. Thats the price to pay for chronic day dreaming, you need to act on it in in different ways and call it a job.

How do you find your subjects?
In my line of work a lot of the time the subjects are given to me with a brief from a client. If its personal work my subjects are usually what ever I am into at that particular moment. I don’t know why but every free second that I have a keep drawing a dolphin with legs wearing cowboy boots…I think its my spirit animal subconsciously telling me to get out of my studio and embrace the world or to buy cowboy boots and go swimming,

Tell me, Paduary?
Paduary started out as just a bit of craic with an old friend of mine. In January when work is usually slow I wanted to draw more and set out to draw everyday, I was neglecting sketchbook’s and just needed to focus on the practice. Paddy Dunne is a great friend, one who has really helped me a lot as an artist. At one stage he was almost like a 24 hour artist tech support, I’m not kidding, I felt I owed him a lot and could never repay him for his time so I changed January to Paduary and decided I would draw a Paddy pic every day for the month and post it online.A daily Dunne. It was a way of thanking Paddy but also I honestly felt that everyone needed to know Paddy, like your life has to suck if you don’t know Paddy. This started in 2012 and I think I made 5 illustrations through out the month. In 2013 I made a better run at it and created 31 Paddy inspired illustrations, one each day. I used what ever was at hand so some could have been made with just pencils, others with paint depending what was on my desk and always depicting Paddy on his daily adventures which I believe are true to life. I was taking requests from people and the following really grew, Paddy a character of mine in this imaginary world but also became known to people in real life. What started out as a personal doodle became a really positive calendar event that people really found a lot of enjoyment in. I’m already looking forward to Paduary 2015.

Are you involved with the ‘One Strong Arm’ project?
I was delighted to be involved with One Strong Arm. A new letter press print studio created by my legend manfriendo Dave Darcy. Dave asked me one day out of the blue would I be interested in collaborating with him on making some prints based on the opening lines of classic literature. Its impossible to say know to Dave Darcy, the handsomeness actually threatens you so I instantly said yes fearing for my average looking life. The show we created was called ‘First Things First’ which we showcased in the Dublin’s Georgian Society on South William St which launched ‘One Strong Arm on its maiden voyage.

Do you have any big projects coming up?
Right now I am just about to release a series of prints with Tough Love in Dublin.Tough Love is a new gallery/outlet in Dublin delivering some of the freshest prints from some very sound artists. I get to be the sound artist for Christmas so I have brought out 4 limited edition festive themed prints. All based on the slightly inadvertent Christmas movies and 4 of my personal favourites I wanted to show that moment of tough love through the characters of the films. Apart from that my main focus is on making my first children’s picture book so I have stepped back from gallery shows and collaborations and going to put all my energy into that.

What’s the piece or project you most enjoyed this year?
I put together a surprise birthday exhibition together for writer and film maker Simon Fitzmaurice. His amazing wife Ruth got in touch and asked me would I create a mural outside Simons bedroom window. Simon was diagnosed with Motor Neurons disease over 4 years ago and this birthday was a big one so I thought a mural of my own wouldn’t do the job. I didn’t even know if Simon would have liked my work and the thoughts of him having to endure it every day..Oh my! I preferred Simon having a choice so with Ruth’s help I thought it would be a bit of craic if we made a gallery outside his window and brought the show to Simon. He’s a creative think thank so I thought he get more use out of seeing more work than just mine. I asked my creative mates to submit some work my way and over a few weeks we were able to pull it all together right under Simon’s nose. The artists involved were great and so kind to give work for the show. Simon was out shooting his new movie ‘My Name Is Emily’ so he laid himself up for a whopper surprise breakfast exhibition with his lovely kids as curators. Yep that defo was a high light for me this year.

What would you say are your influences?
They change day by day, week by week as much as taste and habits do. But right now I have a few. I have serious creative sweats for my home town boyos Cartoon Saloon. Just feeling the hype with the release of ‘Song for the Sea’ and the hearing of their Oscar nomination never gets old. I’d say thats got a lot to do with the Steve McCarthy backgrounds been in that mix WINK WINK! But if I could give you a “off the palm” fresh top 5 influences right now apart from the above in no order;
1. Daniels ( film makers in the States ) 2. Tough Love 3. The Fitzmaurice Family 4. Liadain Aikens wooly warmth. 5. My Brother.

Who’s your favourite artist at the moment?

This very moment? I have gone back years and fallen on love with E.H. Shepard’s work all over again, maybe cause its the festive time of year but I think I am crushing hard on pencil on paper lately and he’s my poster boy.

What does the future hold for Mick Minogue?
I dunno but it better be holding a big bag of chips because this interview took way longer than I thought and I forgot what food looks and feels like.

To keep up to date with all things Mick Minogue, you can follow Mick’s art on Facebook here.