We've long been fans of the work of Mike Lowery. He pulls at our heart strings. There's something so subtle, and yet so strong and striking about his work. That's why we couldn't be happier to include his illustrations in our newly reconfigured Alpha Writer. Mike was nice enough to sit down with us and answer a few questions. Hope you enjoy!
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Your background, your interests, your dreams?
A: Well, I'm a children's book illustrator and a Professor of Illustration at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, Georgia (where I live with a beautiful German lady and my super-genius daughter, Allister). Other than making art (which is a fairly constant thing in this household!), I also like to make music and travel with my little family.
Q: How did you become an artist? Can you describe that journey?
A:When I was 14 I was hiking through Germany's Black Forest (Schwarzwald) and tripped on my untied shoelace. Laying on some soft moss, a tiny man, no larger than my thumb, walked right up next to my eyes. Long story short, he gave me the ability to play any song I wished on an electric keyboard/guitar instrument called a "keytar". Since that instrument looks super out dated, I never used that power and instead started drawing silly stuff that I thought was funny. Eventually, other people made it clear they thought it was funny too, and years later people started paying me to draw silly, fun stuff.
Q: Who are and were your greatest mentors and inspirations?
A: My Grandmother was a painter, and my summers would be spent with her, painting for hours. Those moments painting with her are some of the most vivid memories I have about my entire childhood. Later, I would find great feedback and instruction from a small group of amazing teachers and professors throughout my studying.
Q: Where do you find daily inspiration?
A: I love to travel and read and listen to music...inspiration can come from anything I guess.
Q: Do you enjoy listening to music while you work? What are you currently listening to?
A: Of course! But, I also listen to a lot of podcasts and talk shows like: Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me and The Moth. The last album that I've put on repeat has been Youth Lagoon.
Q: What's the last book that you read? How about a film?!
A: The last book that I read was Jerusalem by Guy Delisle. It's a journal of a cartoonist/animator living in Israel for one year. The last movie that I saw was on an airplane, and it was so bad I can't even admit what it was!
Q: When you close your eyes late at night, and imagine waking up and starting a new adventure: what is that adventure?
A: You know, I spent my 20's wondering what the next adventure would be. I constantly needed some change, and that's exactly what those years were like. Now that I'm in my 30's, I'm super excited to just live this adventure that I've got now for a bit. Here's the rundown: Awesome kid, awesome wife, and lots of great drawings to do over the next few years. I feel lucky and want to take a few years slow to just enjoy it.
Here's one last thought: Life is awesome.