We had the good fortune of connecting with Micah Mariah and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Micah, what role has risk played in your life or career?
There are a handful of instincts where I wish I would have taken more risks even though I consider myself an adventurous person both within the art realm and in my personal life. Specifically with outdoors activities and travel. I wish I took more risk such as seizing more formative art opportunities, spending more time experimenting with a concept, or simply getting out of the house to go to an event. As someone who identifies as an introvert, the simplest task of just networking and socializes poses as the most difficult at times especially for creative individuals. In today’s climate, there is not much room for that type of risk taking these days. About a year ago, attending events and stepping out of that comfort zone would have been the first piece of advice I would have given anyone trying to further their artistic cultivation. Going to college in San Diego gave me the freedom to explore galleries that I would not have known, let alone participated in otherwise. If I did not take the responsibility to make the drive and make the connections, I would not have landed opportunities such as coincidentally talking to gallery owners who are seeking upcoming artist or genuinely connecting with other artist to later execute beautiful collaborative pieces. Given the new social norm, I think just being able to maintain the tenacity to create is a risk in itself. To keep the perseverance and do extra steps to stay involved. Such as participating in virtual exhibits and utilizing social medias as a platform to promote work rather than a distraction or time-waster.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I define myself as a surreal or realism artist who is also open to experimentation with color and materials. I like conveying details and intricacies of real life but with a twist. Whether that is a gradient or absent of color or a mosaic of trash pieces in the background. I have a wide range of surfaces I like to paint on but I primarily like to reuse wood panels that is either discarded or that I purchase at a thrift store since sustainability is important to me. I am most proud of a two piece series that I am still finishing up called Black is The Color. It was a piece promoting social injustice and with the help of Daniel from Nonfictionsupplyco, we were able to raise $600+ towards The Loveland foundation which specializes in offering therapy resource for black women and girls. I am currently excited about my upcoming work involving a series of skateboards I have been working on. I plan to have them form one large piece lined up together as well as individually intricate on their own. Honestly, just being friendly and involved got me to were I am. Allowing myself to go to art functions and meet people and hear their stories. One person I talked to ended up being a gallery owner and asked if I would be willing to show my work at the next exhibit and that along with just putting myself out there allowed me to connect with great people that I would not have otherwise. It was definitely difficult, especially as a freshman college student who did not know anyone. But driving to these places by myself made me more approachable and more comfortable with normalizing going to places by myself.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I fell in love with the San Diego area as soon as I moved down there from the Palm Springs area. My favorite beach would have to be Encinitas. Early on in my college education when I did not know anyone, I would set up an easel and my paints at moonlight beach and illustrate the ocean with the cliff sides while talking to passing by strangers. For food, Mama Katz in San Marcos does not force you to compromise on either good food or good coffee, both are simply delicious. I am a big fan of their vegan and vegetarian choices such as the choice of soy chorizo as well as their amazing fresh pressed juices. For an activity, Vital Climbing gym is not only surrounded by encouraging and friendly people who are passionate about the outdoors, but the gym allows you to improve endurance through bouldering and work out muscles you didn’t know you had while having fun. And lastly, it would be rude of me not to list a favorite brewery in a city that is highly known for their distilleries and JuneShine would have to be my favorite. Their hard kombucha makes me feel like I am killing two birds with one stone as I am able to get buzzed off of amazing flavors such as Blood Orange Mind or Midnight Painkiller, while also getting some probiotics.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
In my stages of growing as an artist, I have had the honor of meeting so many supportive people, art colleagues, and mentors. Their drive towards the work that they create along with their benevolence to inspire others are characteristics that motivate me and for that, I am constantly grateful for that kind of energy. It is that exact energy that promotes innovativeness and connectivity in hopes of changing the world and our perception of it for the better. A few of the organizations and creatives that have helped me stay inspired throughout this quarantine are Nonfictionsupplyco, Superbloom, Sabrina Price, and Ellis Duc Luu. The brand Nonfiction, founded by Daniel Nevaeh, inspires to connect with people and elevate their truths through design, screen printing, and collaborations. Superbloom redefines a world of color by creating handmade action painted products along with their signature colorful hats that requires YOU to express what that color means to you. Sabrina Price is a San Diego based artist that I’ve had the pleasure exhibiting with at House of Blues in 2020. She posts colorful and introspective concept pieces that keeps me inspired to create art. Ellis Duc Luu is also an artist I had the opportunity to meet in La Jolla at one of his shows back in 2020. His recent digital work conveys intricacy and stunning compositions in colorful or pen and ink illustrations. I have had the honor of meeting these creatives and I commend them for continuing to pursue the ideas that form during this unsettling year. This year has not made it easy to have the inspiration to create. Museums are closed. Social gatherings are canceled and self-isolation is recommended. But seeing the visionary work artist are able to bring to light and produce even during the hardest of times, makes staying inspired a little easier.
Facebook: Micah Mariah