Five Alive is an interview series where we ask creative people we admire five questions about their practice. Today we are featuring Brooklyn-based artist, Michael Arthur, who specializes in both drawing the intimate moments of theater, dance and music as well as performing "live drawings", visually accompanying music and performers with projected, real time illustrations.
Michael draws mostly in ink without any pencils or rough drafts: each drawing is a live reaction to the moment. Michael's drawings have appeared at Vanity Fair, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Departures Magazine, NPR, The Huffington Post and many other places. He is also a member of the indie band Balthrop, Alabama where he draws live during performances.
**He will be performing a live drawing collaboration with Peter Salett at The Greenwich House Music School on April 14, called Uncharted. Don't miss it.
Thanks for sharing a little bit of your world with us, Michael!
What is your favorite art making tool?
I'm pretty basic. I have three pens that I primarily use, two Japanese brush pens and a medium nibbed pen with refillable ink cartridges. I prefer a heavy toothed watercolor paper that preserves the line but absorbs the ink quickly.
What music/band/artist are you listening to the most right now?
Like everyone else probably, I'm listening to--and trying to absorb--David Bowie. I'm also very much in love with Benji Hughes's album, A Love Extreme.
Where do you go for peace and quiet?
I have a kid at home, so my studio is my place of peace and quiet. I've taken to closing my studio door lately. I used to leave it open so my studio neighbors could drop in and chat, but I get so little alone-time now that I've become anti-social.
Where is your next dream travel destination?
I dunno. I'd like to see Australia/New Zealand.
Is there a color or palette that you are drawn to?
I love black, white and gray. So much room to be creative in a limited palette. That said, I've been obsessed with the colors of Maurice Sendak's Where The Wild Things Are lately. Having a kid is my world at the moment, so my discoveries and environment are pretty much an extension of that.