suckerPUNCH: describe your project.
michael CINA: Focus: As of late, I am dividing up my time between art and design. My art was my main focus for three months and the next three months design will win out. Then I will return to art full time. It is a balancing act of great proportions.
In a larger scope, my main focus is doing the best work I can and exploring. That is very important to me, that I am constantly learning from myself and others. This year I signed to the new gallery, Artifact, in San Francisco and will be having a show there. It will be my only show of the year unless something major happens in the near future. As far as design goes, I have never had a better year.
I can list off a lot of artists from the 1960’s and 1970’s and say they are influential and that is true. The same goes with graphic design, but with a wider scope of time. The real influence in my work is achieved through hard work. It does not necessarily even have to be the same profession. Sometimes working on a Trademark can bring ideas for painting and vice versa. It is a fluid exchange. When I am most inspired is when I am in the middle of working and working a lot. Seeing how a painting comes together, what works and what doesn’t is a huge part of my work. I experiment with a lot of materials, like using alcohol instead of water. This is creating in the moment, making mistakes. The most planning I ever do before a painting is selecting a palate.
I have been fortunate enough to be friends with some established artists. I regularly speak to Gregory Euclide and he has been a tremendous influence as well. There are also artists out there like Ivan Seal whom I admire greatly. I started a blog called “the New Graphic” where I curate what I am into along side my colleagues. Recently I featured Alexander Kroll, Roma Publications, Ruscha, Klee, along side people like book designer Joost Grootens.
I am a huge book and music fanatic. Last night I ordered three books and two records. One on Alexander Calder, a German book on International Corporate Identities, a Japanese design annual, the long awaited Supersilent “10” and The Alps “Voyage” on vinyl. The problem with being a book and music fanatic is that the books and records start taking over your house, you office, then you think about getting another office to store everything. It is a bit excessive but I am addicted to new thoughts, ideas and imagery. The internet lets me down on quality of work and content.
I am more and more obsessed with finding and focusing on quality things in my life and spending time with that, rather than letting “just anything” in. I am able to do so much because of this. It is essential that I am always evaluating what I do to make sure I can do what I want to. This means a lot of sacrifice with my schedule. It also means that I am able to surround myself with things I feel are important. Healthy Food, Music, People, Community Service, Books, Art, Family and Spiritual Pursuits. Lately I have been working so much that I have to be precise with everything I do. Three weeks ago I was working double days. I would wake up at 6AM, go into work, come home around 1PM and go back to work at 3 and come home at 10PM. Things have slowed down since then but I am starting up a massive job that will consume a lot of my time.