Artist Interview: Mik Strevens

Artist Name:

Mik Strevens

How long have you been an artist with Creative Future?

I first attended a drop-in session in my home town of Hailsham in 2013 (I think). My support worker suggested that I tried it to help me through the depression that I was experiencing at the time. I had been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2010 and had to give up work in 2012. I always wanted to pursue a creative path when I left school, many moons ago, so it was perfect for me.

Tell us a bit about your art and your creative process:

I am a digital artist, I produce images that are referred to as Photo Art, Fine Art Grunge or Photo artistry, depending who you talk to. The type of image that I produce depends on what it is I’m producing. When I produce commercial artwork, often having to work to a brief, my workflow is very linear. I will start with a blank canvas in Photoshop, usually the size required by the client. I will then add the elements of the image in layers, sometimes I will use a digital product mock up to apply the artwork to. At various stages I then send the draft image to the client for approval or changes and then complete the project, which gets printed or used online. However, when I’m creating digital art for myself, I often start with a stock image or one of my own photographs and then add elements in layers to the base image. I can add texture, overlays, lighting effects, objects and produce an entirely different image. The artwork evolves over a period of time and I will sometimes leave it for a few days and then work on it again, taking it in a new direction. My work has many influences and I tend to produce several images on a theme. I will research the theme quite extensively and produce image boards to draw on the influences. When I first started out my image were often dark and depressing or extremely detailed, some of my drawings are photorealistic. I have always been good at copy drawing and I am able to do it on my PC with the aid of a graphics tablet and stylus. I also use other software within the Adobe Creative Cloud, their mobile apps are great when I’m out and about. I’m able to capture colour schemes, patterns and shapes that inspire me or that I would like to use in a project. Recently I have been experimenting with 3D elements in my work, such as poseable figures or complex objects.

 

What are you most excited about with regards to Creative Future’s online shop?

It’s the first time that I’ve really produced artwork to sell as limited editions. I’m also looking forward to seeing how the extra dynamic of other artists work next to mine will work and how it will reflect in traffic to the site and how it is received. It’s a big deal to be picked to be part of this pilot project. I am so glad that Creative Future has so much confidence in my work, something that most artists struggle with from time to time.

Why is being part of Creative Future’s online shop important to you?

Creative Future have been instrumental in my road to recovery and broadening my practise. They have enabled me to gain employment from my art and I want to be able to give something back, which the shop will do.

Describe in one sentence what being part of Creative’s Future shop means to you.

It brings affirmation of my practise.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I have often said that I don’t know where I would be had it not been for my support worker encouraging me to contact Creative Future. They have not only allowed me to practise my art but restored my sense of worth, given me new skills and direction and improved my well being.

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