Interview with Michelle Holley, the VMP June ‘15 Featured Visual Artist

On June 18th 2015

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VMP: First of all, your work is so awesome and I’m pumped that we got to work together on the Hot Chip project. Can you tell us a little bit about how you came to be doing this sort of art?


Michelle: Thanks so much, I’m so excited to have the opportunity! I studied printing making in college and my main focus was always screen printing. I loved the crisp imagery and the ability to recreate images over and over in different variations. Once I graduated, I didn’t have the same facilities and options as I’d had at school, so I started working with acrylics. Later I moved to spray paint and wood, which was a ton of fun. I’ve recently built a screen printing studio and now the majority of my work is done on wood, using spray paint and screen printing and drawing.


VMP: Who were some of your major influences growing up, either artistically or generally? Are there things that used to influence you more in the past and now not as much, or visa versa?


Michelle: I was always really influenced by rock show posters. I was really into music growing up, and still am, and something about those original art posters for every show really intrigued me. It’s really what got me interested in pursuing art and design as a career, and keeps inspiring me even today. As far as influences, there are way too many artists out there to name, that have inspired me throughout the years. My parents were a big influence, and my printmaking college professor really pushed me into the field.


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VMP: When I first saw your work it struck me that some of your pieces would make for great stained glass installations. Are there certain settings you have in mind for your work when you’re creating it?


Michelle: That’s really interesting, I’ve never heard that before! I have a good friend who actually does stained glass mosaics and they are so awesome. When I create my work, I really do think about the venue that it will be shown at, and I think my work changes a little to accommodate whatever feeling I am trying to create in that space.


VMP: If you don’t mind, can you take us through your creative process a bit more? Where do you usually find inspiration and how do you channel that inspiration so that it turns into finished work?


Michelle: It sounds cliche but I really do find inspiration everywhere. I don’t do a ton of planning when I am working (something I would actually like to change) and just kind of create what comes to mind. I’m really inspired by interesting color combinations, interesting wood grain, just kind of whatever I am working with at that time.


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VMP: What’s a dream commission project for you, and who do you hope someday calls you asking to work together?


Michelle: Oh man, so many. Actually next on my list is to head back to Miami to show at Art Basel. I did that a few years back, and it was an awesome experience. Besides that, there’s just too many artists and options to name. I want to do it all!


VMP: Lastly, obviously we have to ask about music because we’re obsessed with it and feel like it needs to find its way into every discussion. Who did you grow up listening to? And who are you addicted to right now?


Michelle: This is always a tough one for me. I’d say growing up was The White Stripes, Alkaline Trio, Iron and Wine, Incubus, Death Cab, so many. And really, I still listen to all of them depending on the day. Recently I’ve been getting more into Sufjan Stevens, Sylvan Esso, Polica, and tons more.


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