Keith Mikell

Our new featured artist is born and raised in Los Angeles, California. We are proud to introduce you Keith Mikell, a visual artist who has been creating for 42 years now. He is still very active in the field and his passion is easily seen in every line, every curve and every mix of color that he put in his creations.

Here you will learn how he started and what made him want to pursue a career in visual arts. He has tips for aspiring artists that we are sure are handy for those who want to influence people with their art and work ethic. We are inspired by this man and we know that you will too after reading our interview with him. Ladies and gents, we give you once again, Keith Mikell.

An Interview with Keith Mikell

 

APA: What is the root / birth / foundation of your creativity… how did you get started?

Keith: Growing up as an only child I had a friend who lived next door who would draw from sport and fashion magazines in his home so when we got together instead of playing we’d often sit at his kitchen table and I’d emulate what he was drawing on paper as well. Eventually I got pretty good at it and continued the process on my own. 

APA: Who do you admire artistically? Who has influenced your work? Who do you study?

Keith: I’ve always been a fan / admirer of both abstract and figurative work to which led me to the works of Romare Bearden, Basquiat, Georg Baselitz, Charles White and of course Picasso. I know these are quite different in styles yet to me their uniqueness blends perfectly in the conversation of life’s energy. I continue to be influenced by their work today. I wouldn’t use the word study but I suppose it applies especially when the work remains both relevant and reflective.

 

APA: What legacy do you want to leave?

Keith: I would like to leave a legacy of a positive work ethic. That my work was influential, relevant and touched people viscerally 

APA: What do you want people to obtain when they look at your work?

Keith: As a story teller as much as a painter these would be the most important things for people to obtain, short term would be moving people to action or just to smile from being able to relate to the work is a special feeling. Long term hopefully a lasting memory or the importance of the story / message they can carry and share would be a fabulous feeling of accomplishment. 

APA: What is one mistake every artist should avoid?

Keith: Simply put avoid arrogance! This is a gift given to us and not solely to us as an individual. Keeping the perspective that what you do is yours should give you comfort and confidence, knowing that there are those whose skills are better than you should keep you humble. Knowing the difference between confidence and ego is vitally important in dealing with people and dealing with people you will as you progress. Just old school common sense. :)

APA: What artists influence your work most?

Keith: I’ve always been a fan / admirer of both abstract and figurative work to which led me to the works of Romare Bearden, Basquiat, Georg Baselitz, Charles White and of course Picasso. I know these are quite different in styles yet to me their uniqueness blends perfectly in the conversation of life’s energy. I continue to be influenced by their work today. I wouldn’t use the word study but I suppose it applies especially when the work remains both relevant and reflective.

APA: What most often inspires your work? 

I’m easily and inspired by life in general. The news, social, cultural issues that continue to keep flames ignited and seemingly set our country back nearly 50 years as well as my own personal experiences, family and of course music!  All provoke creative guttural urges that fuel the need to create.  

 

APA: What is your creative process like?

Keith: I’ve been told by some that my process is different in that I rarely do studies before I approach the canvas. I already have a concept or drawing in mind and or hand and I just begin, yes it takes a different direction during the process but that’s the fun and uniqueness of the journey. Letting the piece develop itself in a way can be a beautiful experience in that I get lost in the process but I’m in complete control at the same time; if that makes sense!? :) 

APA: What do you believe is essential in creating a powerful work of art?

Keith: The internal content of the work. You can look at a piece and tell when an artist was passionate about it. When an artist leaves a little bit of themselves behind to me it doesn’t get more powerful than that. I’ve used the word relevance previously and that applies here as well. A powerful piece of art is like a powerful piece of music that resonates with not just one culture but all; that the content is relevant and meaningful to many.

APA: Who do you wish you could meet for the first time again?

Keith: Not necessarily “Again” nor art related but for the first time would be my father. He died from cancer one week before my first birthday so to be able to meet him and ask questions that have been in my heart for years that only he can answer would be wonderful. 

APA: Would you rather create 1000 average pieces that all become a great body of work or 1 amazing groundbreaking masterpiece? Why?

Keith: I understand the importance of that “groundbreaking masterpiece” but I believe to understand me as both the artist and the person a body of work is definitely necessary. One’s personal evolution cannot be ignored as either. What’s important to the artist, what’s going on both in the world and in the life will no doubt be reflective in the work; it is in mine at least. I’d prefer to be judged by the 1000 pieces as opposed to the one however, I’d love to have that one piece synonymous with my name too. :)

Follow Keith on all of his social media linked below and also visit his website via: Keithmikell.com

•Facebook: Artist Keith Mikell

•Twitter: @keithmikell

•Instagram: Artist Keith Mikell