1. Welcome Michael to The Influx Gallery family. Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you are from?
Hello. I’m Michael Surber. I am 44 years old. I am an artist/painter from Middletown, Ohio USA. I was born and raised in Lockland, Ohio. Just north of Cincinnati.
2. Were your family supportive of you deciding to become an artist?
My family has always been very supportive of me wanting to be an artist. They have several pieces of my artwork hang in their home to this day to show their support and how proud they are of me.
3. Was there anything specific that you can remember that made you want to become an artist?
I think it all started back when I was in Kindergarten. While all the other kids were making hand turkeys, I would ask the teacher for envelopes and made a Donald the Duck puppet out of them. I guess I have always seen things differently than others, and be an artist allows me to express it. I would say that I wanted to be an artist before I knew what an artist was.
4. Did your schooling or work affect your creative development in any way?
My school did affect my creativity when it came to my artwork. My high school art teacher allowed me to try different media that I had not been exposed to yet. My senior year she asked me to paint a mural on the back of the art room wall.
5. When did you first discover the ability to paint?
I think it was in high school that I first discovered I had a knack for paint. The funny part was, back then, I hated painting. I preferred pencils and markers mostly.
6. Does your background in Graphic Design inform your award winning paintings?
I think that my Graphic Design degree helped fine tune my painting skills. The final exam for my degree was a 7 part project using several different mediums.
7. Could you give us a little teaser as to the process that helps you create such fabulous artworks
My creative process starts with one of two things. Either I see something that inspires me and then I want to paint my version of it, or however I am feeling in that moment. Every once in a while, all the stars a line and it’s both.
8. Where do you get your inspiration and influences from?
My influences come from my surrounds. I live out in the country so I have all of nature to spark something, but I love going to the city (like Dayton, Ohio) and to amerce myself in the rich, colorful surroundings.
9. Do you have any tips for any inspiring painter or pencil artist picking up the pencil for the first time?
If I could give any advice to anyone that wants to pick up a paintbrush or a pencil, it would be to do stop. Keep going. Don’t quit. It your creation and it’s beautiful and don’t compare yourself to other artist.
10. Could you tell us a little bit about how your art entered into the world of fashion?
I got involved with fashion by pure chance. I submitted three pieces of my artwork to an open call to artist. They accepted all three pieces and asked if I had any more. I had never thought about getting involved with the fashion industry before, but now I have my own fashion line and home décor line under my art shops abbreviation “7FD”.