Recent Updates RSS Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts
You must be logged in to post a comment.
I’ve been a fan of Michelle’s work for years! I love her style and she’s been a huge inspiration for me. :)
Could you tell us a little about your creative process? What’s a day in the life of Michelle Romo like?
Day to day is always something new! I currently have 2 day jobs! So I have to start off making sure all of those projects are taken care of first. When working on my own projects I look at my schedule (art shows, and freelance, and other misc. projects) and usually pick first based on the deadline. I’ll finish all of the illustration work first, then if the projects require something past just illustration I will work on the production file and communicate with the manufacturer (laser cutters, stained glass people, jewelry makers).
Depending on what the item is it can take a day to a month to get the pieces back to me. Then I spend time painting, gluing or packaging a finished item. So any given day could be any part of that process! Most days it’s a mix of all of those things.
If you could do an artist collaboration with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
I’d love to collaborate with Junko Mizuno! I just love her art so much, she’s a long time favorite of mine.
You did some amazing work for the Flaming Lips (this is all sorts of awesome!) How did this come about?
Thanks! It all came about through the magic of Twitter!
I ran into Michelle Martin-Coyne at a Flaming Lips show and brought her a bunch of Crowded Teeth bags and prints. Then we just started talking on Twitter and she asked me if I wanted to make some stuff with her! I said yes! She is an unbelievably sweet person. From there she passed my contact information to Wayne Coyne and he has asked me to do some really cool projects for the band. Wayne is always very kind and I am always thrilled when he asks me to draw something. Being a huge fan of The Flaming Lips it’s a real treat to work with them!
What do you think is the best/worst part of being an artist?
Best is getting to draw silly things that other people like.
Worst is hating all of those things the second after you finish them – haha!
What is your happiest memory?
My happiest memory is just kind of a general memory of being a kid during the summer. Watching old sitcoms, playing with both cars and My Little Ponies on this big brown rug in the living room. Life was easy! Feeling warm and happy.
What snack food, drink, song inspires you?
Snack: Flaming Hot Cheetos (Why are they so good! They are made out of poison! I know they are bad for me but if they are near me I must eat them)
Food: Cake all the time.
Drink: I don’t know! I mostly drink water – it’s not very inspiring.
Song: Man – tough to pick one! I do like the Dr. Dog song Livin’ A Dream right now though.
If you could have a superpower what would it be and why?
The ability to freeze time! There is never enough time to do all of the things I want to do. Mostly I’d just use it to nap more.
Can you give some advice to artists who are trying to start their own business?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. When I started I had a hard time letting go and asking people to help me out. This resulted in me doing my own accounting, making my own sales calls, figuring out production, shipping orders, etc. etc. Of course I think it’s good when you start out to learn how to do all aspects of a business, and a lot of times it’s out of necessity! But I think it’s also important to play to your strengths and ask people (or hire people if you can!) to help.
After being a control freak and doing all of that I went crazy for awhile, life just became too overwhelming. When I pulled myself together I realized that what I really wanted to do was draw. I refocused and started to get into licensing my artwork to companies who specialize in making products. For me this ended up being a better option than managing production myself. I think if I would have just let go sooner and asked for help I would have been able to grow my business and I probably wouldn’t have felt so overwhelmed. I ended up going in a different direction – but it worked out in the end!
If you could speak to one kind of animal, what would it be?
Cats. My cats (Hurts and Morgan) specifically.
What can we expect from you in the future? Let us know of any art shows coming up. :)
I am planning a big show in June! But I can’t talk about it yet! It’s going to be the biggest solo-type show I’ve ever done though! I’m in few local shows coming up soon: a Star Wars Tribute Show at Gallery Nucleus (opening May 4th), a Go Nagai Tribute Show at Q-Pop Show (opening May 11th), and I am curating and doing art for a group show at Leanna Lin’s Wonderland in September!
Oh! And also 3 new pieces for the Wonderground Gallery in Downtown Disney. The new theme is a secret – but the opening is mid-June!
I had the pleasure of meeting artist and gallery owner Jennifer Kosharek last year while checking out some art on the 600 block of St. Pete. I’ve been keeping up with her work ever since and have some of my stuff for sale in her cute little gallery, Eve-n-Odd. The gallery has been open to the public for just over two years and has a diverse assortment of colorful art, jewelry, trinkets and dolls. Curious about how she got started, I asked her to share a little about herself and her experience thus far. :)
How old were you when you first started creating art?
My earliest memory of creating art was when I was four years old. We were at a shopping mall in downtown Milwaukee. There were large rolls of paper that were set up for children to write on. I remember wanting to stay there forever to draw on them and remember my mom dragging me away.
You work in all sorts of mediums.. from painting old bubble gum on sidewalks to yarn bombing to sewing dolls to doing street art/graffiti… What’s next? What’s your dream art project? Is there something you want to do but haven’t gotten a chance or lack the funds to do?
If I could do anything… I would like to solely do Mail art. I would send post card sized art–4 X 6 inch postcards, envelopes, and zines to people all over the world for free. Mail art is a passion that I don’t have time to do any more. I regret this deeply because I think it is the most important art in my life.
If you had to choose a quote (or a line) to describe what motivates you day to day, what would it be?
“The best people possess a feeling for beauty,
the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth,
the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make
them vulnerable, they are wounded, sometimes destroyed.”
How long have you been living in Saint Petersburg? How did opening up your own gallery come about?
I grew up in Pinellas County. Started Kindergarten here but I was born on an Air Force Base in Upper Michigan. I am a graduate from Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High school. Despite getting several scholarships including full scholarship to Ringling and USF’s art program–I went to a small church related college in Texas and got a B.A. in English.
My husband cheated on me and left me with three children and a mortgage. This is essentially why I have an art gallery now. It took my life being destroyed to rise up and become myself. A few months after the devastation I got a call from the Morean Arts Center to do a one woman show in their guest artist gallery. I was overjoyed and worked for 3 months to create enough work to fill the space. I called the show, “Trinkets from Heaven and other Misunderstandings.” With the money I made from the art show… I invested into the tiny eve-N-odd located in the Crislip arcade. It’s been a starving artist roller coaster ride ever since and the best times of my life and my crumbcake’s lives.
What’s the best/worst thing about being an artist?
Best thing about being an artist is that you can dress in Goodwill clothes and people think you are “artistic.”
The worst thing about being an artist is that you feel every emotion in high definition.
What is the most rewarding experience you have had and what made it so?
Giving birth to each one of my children. There is nothing more important than life. Life is the greatest art.
Choose a movie title for the story of your life.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Photo Copyright Khalid Hameed
Last question, do you have any art shows coming up that you’d like to tell us about?
The Gallery has a new show every month so if you keep track of the blog or the facebook page you can see what new artist or group show is being shown!
Personally I will be in the Holocaust’s show, “Power of Stories.” This will be a piece donated to raise funds for the museum and is a large water color portrait of three beautiful little girls who were violently raped and murdered.
I got to be an extra in a BASK film and also my little doggie Suzy. This will be in the Sunscreen film festivals art show on the 600 block called–ACTION at 6pm, at BLUE LUCY, April 19th! Join the gallery for a great block party that night called–”BLOCK BUSTER” sponsored by Charter 411.
Currently I have a piece in the Blue Lucy show, “Game On.” And a piece at the Morean art show for P.C.C.A. alumni. Before that I did a POD exhibit called, “Gretchen’s World” for the Dunedin Fine Arts Center.
And I try to work on custom rag dolls and paintings for customers!
Thanks so much for the interview, Jen! Please keep in touch if anything else comes
your way that you’d like to tell people about. :)