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Michael Mabry

Piedmont, CA

Michael grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago and headed west upon graduating from high school. After spending year in Ames, Iowa, and five in Salt Lake City, he landed in San Francisco, a city and region that finally felt like home. Two years later he started his own graphic design firm, which became internationally acclaimed, winning bushels of awards along the way. Michael is known as a designer who illustrates, or an illustrator who designs, creating warm, eclectic visual solutions that charm the senses.

Artists Q & A

Any person who really helped you in your awesome artistic journey?

In the early impressionistic stage of my career I lucked into a job to assist the legendary graphic designer/illustrator Nicolas Sidjakov in San Francisco. I apparently had the potential design and illustrative skill set to become a ghost Nicolas. Eventually, I learned to draw and design like Sidjakov. The fondest memories I had of that time was when we would work on a project together, he would of course correct my line work, and then reminisce about his migration from Latvia to Paris and finally to San Francisco. Forty plus years have passed and many, many people have helped me along the way, and I know that there is a bit of Nicolas in everything I create today.

Do you listen to music while you work? Anything special in your work space that unleashes your creative juices?

Basically, I listen to music all day. I turn on the music app and let it play whatever comes out. It’s very eclectic. Today it’s classical, tomorrow it’s Bollywood.

Where do your best ideas come from? (dreams, shower, museum, train?)

Ideas strike at any time, so you have to have your creative antenna turned on at all times to receive them. Late at night, lying in bed, first thing in the morning, sitting in traffic, tying your shoes, so watch out, transmissions are coming, so be ready.

Transmissions are coming, so be ready.

What’s your biggest art inspiration? This may not be visual.

Like, anything! I can be inspired by anything, even a manky old shoe.

Where do you work? What’s your workspace like? Any objects you’ve had a long time?

I work on the dining room table and my workbench in the garage. Not very romantic.

Transmissions are coming, so be ready.

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