Michael McParlane [oddillo]
What do you do? How do you define yourself as an artist?
I'm an illustrator. I chant in front of a mirror every morning.
What is your message?
Don't shoot me!
Your biography in four lines.
Wasn't allowed to go to art school, so I started out as a junior artist, progressed to design studios and ad agencies in London. Became an art buyer and an account executive, (hated both). Moved to Canada as an art director, owned my own studio, project manager on the 1988 Winter Olympics. Finally went to art school (SVA), started illustrating full time...gasp!
Do you upload your work to the web? If so, where could we see it?
My website can be seen at www.michaelmcparlane.com. Pretty original name, I thought.
How is an idea born? For you, what is inspiration?
Although I look like I'm paying attention to people and activities, I'm actually in a trance-like state with all kinds of crap going through my brain until I have that "Eureka" moment. Inspiration comes from anything and everything it can't really be identified. Sometimes in the middle of working on an illustration I inexplicably come up with a better idea and start again.
What role does technology play in your creative process?
What the Hell is "Techonology"?
What is art?
I have to Quote Ambrose Bierce: "Painting: The art of protecting a flat surface from the elements, while exposing it to the critics.
When do you get your best ideas?
When I'm filling out questionnaires.
How do you evaluate whether an idea is good or not?
I walk away from it for a while, then see how I feel about it when I look at it again after drinking copious quantities of alcohol.
Three creative ideas that you would have liked to have created?
The ten commandments, casual Fridays, midget toss.
When and how did you begin to see yourself as an artist?
I know this is probably boring but I've always loved to draw, so I think it was inevitable despite my somewhat circuitous route.
Why do so many artists and creators have such volatile personalities?
Because people are always annoying us, interrupting our train of thought and asking us to fill out questionnaires.
Do you consider yourself postmodern?
No, I'm more postmortem.
How should a work of art be evaluated?
There will always be controversy when it comes to evaluating art. I think it boils down to individual preference.
Must an artist reinvent him/herself everyday?
Yes. In my case an espresso or three usually does the trick.
Which artists do you admire and how do they influence your work?
Ronald Searle, Ralph Steadman, Gerald Scarfe, Andre Francois...to name a few visual artists. I like the way they provoke thought.
What do you think about public funding for the arts?
There isn't enough. It's also a disturbing trend that quite often the arts are the first target of budget cutbacks, particularly in education.
Is art necessary?
Does a bear s**t in the woods?
Does it pain you to let go of a piece you have sold?
I don't sell originals.
Is a work of art purchased, or is it better said, that it is the artist who is bought?
It's a moment in time that is bought.
In art, there is no guide. How do you know what the next step is?
Art is about exploration. "Next step" is a matter of definition, I suppose. Every experience is a step in one way or another, it's all an adventure.
How do you feel about the fact that the pieces exhibited in contemporary art museums are often of artists already deceased?
I don't have a problem with that. The main thing is that they're being exhibited.
What role have the figures of art dealer, gallery owners, representatives, and intermediaries in general played in your career?
What types of jobs do you usually do?
Mainly editorial illustrations. I also upload editorial cartoons to www.politicalcartoons.com.
Which of your jobs or tasks do you most enjoy?
I enjoy the discovery of a new idea in the face of adversity.
Do you personally collect any items?
What advice would you give to those just beginning?
Quit while you're ahead.