"Listen, If We Could Be Serious For A Moment, I Think I Have Been Shot"
Ah Etsy... always giving me something new to drool over. The latest artist that has me wiping my chin is The Mincing Mockingbird. His gorgeous little paintings have completely captured my attention and I had the lucky opportunity to interview him. Hilarity ensued.
"Bird Faces The End With A Disturbing Lack Of Dignity"
1. First off, why birds?
Birds are insane. Seriously. If you get in close, without being pecked or bitten or gouged, there is madness in their eyes. I like trying to capture that. Even the cute ones. Absolutely bonkers, with an ancient, reptilian, Cretaceous-period kind of crazy. That and I like painting in a "painterly" style, and birds lend themselves well to that.
"I Will Worry About Remorse In The Bright Light Of Morning"
2. What led you to be an artist?
Dinosaurs. I'd draw them constantly as a kid. My aunt was a full-time artist when I was growing up, so it was always a realistic option.
"I Did Not Grow This Mustache To Tickle Your Ironic Funny Bone,
This Is Serious Business"
3. What do you like best about making art?
The best part of painting, or writing, or any creative activity is when you get lost in it - the concentration and buzz of all your neurons working at once, in harmony. The process. There is no greater high - well, that doesn't involve "pipes" and "rocks."
4. What do you find to be the most challenging?
That's a good question. Technically, I chase down challenges in my drawing or painting, or whatever. For instance, I had problems with shadows. Well, I painted paintings with shadows for MONTHS, just to overcome that challenge. Overall, I'd say time is the biggest challenge. Never enough of it.
"Will You Please Put Down That US Magazine And Listen To Me"
5. Besides being absolutely gorgeous, part of the appeal of your paintings are the witty titles. How do you come up with such clever ideas for titles?
Listing is very enjoyable for me. I just try and come up with things that make me laugh, or better yet, make myself laugh and feel creeped out at the same time. I might take words from a 1911 book on farming techniques and twist them and add my own thing. I'm a pretty voracious reader, and I enjoy writing, so I just see it as an added little bonus to the piece.
"Uploading My Brain Online So I Will Live Forever"
6. Favorite thing about Etsy?
The people and their sometimes awe-inspiring creations. It's like finding buried treasure. I have a feature on my blog called "Random Object of Awesomeness." When I find something mind-bendingly cool, I put it on.
7. What inspires you?
Nature, both past and present. Absurd and smart comedy. Most of all, my fiancee, Etsy's franticmeerkat. She is an amazing artist and designer, and she keeps me on my toes. My muse, without doubt.
"Stress Eating As Self-Expression"
8. Do you have any advice for other artists?
Best advice I could give is create what you WANT to create. You'll make better things. And the best customers pick up on the joy that exists in things made with inspiration.
And do it every day. One of the titles of a recent painting was "My Modus Operandi Is To Dial Up The Awesome And Break The Knob Off."
Thank you to The Mincing Mockingbird for the great interview. You can find his work here:
and his blog here: