Michele Lynch: An Interview with Michele Lynch
THE SOUL-SUCKER VS.
THE STEAMPUNK SOULS.
Michele Lynch is a superhero. Having once worked for the creative-sucking Soul Sucker, she has since escaped and created a band of misfits designed to take back their kingdom. Is this all make-believe? Not really. The Soul Sucker happens to be the vice president of a company Michele used to work for. And that is perhaps why some of her fans can relate to Michele and her artwork. Who has not at some point felt trapped in one's career, day to day life, feeling like a mere cog in a wheel with the Soul Sucker draining every bit of energy and motivation one has left? I know I have been in that boat more than a number of times.
Michele's artwork carries a distinct characteristic about them difficult to express fully in words. I do not want to pigeon-hole her artwork into a particular genre because they belong to a unique class of their own, but dare I say they remind me of 'Alice' and the gloriously upside-down topsy-turvy nature of Wonderland? I had the wonderful opportunity to touch base with this impassioned artist to learn more about her and her engaging group of misfits, and down the rabbit hole I happily went...
What inspires you?
I'm inspired by so many things, other artists, antique stores, a dream, a story someone tells me, fairy tales, or a random piece that my husband or one of my sons bring to me.
Sadly, there are a lot of people working for the Soul Sucker. So many people have shared their story, and sadly how they feel stuck, and unable to escape. I wish I could free everyone from the castle of corporation.
How and when did you first get started creating sculptures and paintings?
I've been doing sculptures and paintings for a really long time. I started sculpting back when polymer clay first hit the market, or wait, does playdough count as sculpting? LOL. I have just always been very creative since I was a little kid.
Does the artistic process you follow when creating sculptures differ from your paintings (apart from them being different mediums of course!)?
I don't think the artistic process differs at all from the paintings to the sculptures, I sculpt the faces on the paintings and then sketch out the rest on the wood. With the sculptures I just continue to sculpt the rest of her body.
What is the hardest part about creating your paintings or your sculptures?
The hardest part for me is patience! Especially when I'm painting in oils. I have had to learn to work a bit differently so that I can work on more than one piece at a time to allow the oils to dry.
Are you working on anything new at the moment?
Yes, I've been working on some new resin pieces that are really fun! I sculpt the figures, then make a mold of them, then cast them in resin and then paint them. They are little collectibles that are part of the toy market. I'm also working on pieces for a show in April at Pink Zepplin Gallery in Germany and pieces for a show in July at Stranger Factory.
I love how the Steampunk Souls came to be! Has a fan or collector ever told you they can identify with the story of the Steampunk Souls?
Yes! I am amazed at how many people can identify with the Steampunk Souls story. Sadly, there are a lot of people working for the Soul Sucker. So many people have shared their story, and sadly how they feel stuck, and unable to escape. I wish I could free everyone from the castle of corporation.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I think people would be surprised at how much I work. I work way more than a 40 hour week, but because I love creating art, it of course is worth every minute! I also think they would be surprised at how much of not creating art I have to do in the work week. There are so many other tasks that I have to do, from the accounting, to buying supplies, creating the listings for the artwork, answering emails, etc. just like any other business.
Do you admire any artists?
I admire so many artists! Jennybird Alcantara is at the top of my list, but there are so many more on a daily basis that inspire me!
Can you tell me a bit more about these creations - the process you took to make them, what inspired you to create them?
"Broken Hearted" was actually a commission, and I interpreted her feelings of being broken hearted, and missing the ocean and time running out in that painting.
"The Swan Queen" was inspired by fairy tales, with both pieces I sculpt the face and attach it to the wood, then sketch out and paint in the backgrounds.
"Darcy" was inspired by my love of Halloween and Zombies!
"Misha" was inspired by being the Queen Bee and summertime.
With the sculptures, I start out with a really rough sketch and then dig through the components in my messy studio for items I want to incorporate. I use a two part epoxy to sculpt with, so I add the pieces in as I go, but I do have to have a plan of where I'm going. The clay air dries, and then I paint them and seal them.
Favourite or most inspirational place?
One of my most favorite places is Main Street St. Charles (Missouri), it's like being transported to the 19th century. The street is still brick lined and the buildings architecture is so beautiful. There are lots of shops, and restaurants that line the streets in those historical buildings. Another inspirational place is an art store! I don't know what it is about new art supplies but it's magical!
What does being an artist mean to you?
Being an artist to me means that I am speaking to someone. That a piece of my work strikes a cord in someone, and we share that connection. Nothing else in this world, is like that feeling!
Michele's artwork strikes a chord with many because at some point, we have all felt drained, exhausted and hapless. Michele's misfits convey Michele's ability to persist in a world full of Soul Suckers. Vivid and enlightening, Michele Lynch's artwork showcases a creative talent which transcends the all-too-common banal normalcy of the soul-sucking corporate world.