Today we’d like to introduce you to Mike Kraus.
Mike was born on the industrial shoreline of Muskegon, Michigan. After earning his Fine Arts Degree from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he attended Grand Valley State University for his graduate degree. From there, he gained varied experiences from the Chicago Architecture Foundation, Art Institute of Chicago, Hauenstein Center For Presidential Studies, Lollypop Farm Humane Society, and the Children’s Memorial Foundation. And every place he worked, he had his sketchbook with him and found ways to be actively creative. In 2014, Kraus became a full-time artist by establishing Mike Kraus Art. Since then, he has sold hundreds of paintings that are displayed in nearly every state and dozens of countries.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I paint bright, bold landscapes that are both real and imagined. I start every piece by quieting my thoughts. To clear away all my concerns about answering emails, deadlines, and other distractions. Once I’m ready, I envision a place that is serene, wonderous, and precious. I’ll make a quick and simple outline with paint on the canvas to work on the balance, color, and harmony. From there, I gradually add layers of color. It’s a repetitive process of increasing, evaluating, and adjusting. This continues until the painting “feels right” and I stop painting. I’ll place it somewhere with high visibility in my studio for continuous evaluation. Maybe make a few adjustments before I make it available for sale.
My artwork is for the viewer’s experience; not my ego. And to get past temporal feelings to engage the permanent soul. Slightly abstracted landscapes allow me to tap into that bigger truth. To take a special location and remove the clutter and debris of human activity. My artwork isn’t a photograph of what a place is, but about what could be.
“Brightscapes: The Way To Beauty” sums up the vast majority of my work.
The stereotype of a starving artist scares away many potentially talented artists from pursuing art – any advice or thoughts about how to deal with the financial concerns an aspiring artist might be concerned about?
You really should prepare for the worst and hope for the best. The creative field isn’t a typical market where you can expect a steady paycheck every week. Some months sales will be outstanding and other months can be terrible with no clear reason. So, I highly recommend making a plan where you define your goals, measure those goals, review what is working, use accurate data to improve your process, and implement that process. And continuously and actively use and update this plan.
But, the best advice I ever received is “just keep making.” Just experiment with new colors, subjects, materials, and ideas. Have fun and be curious. There are people like you, with the same thoughts and passions that want to support you. It will take a lot of time, energy, and hard work to find all those people. But, that is your niche.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
My work can be seen at various pop-up shops, events, fairs, festivals, and other activities throughout the year in many states and countries.
I’m currently represented at:
Whitman Works Company
1826 Penfield Rd
Penfield, NY 14526
A large portion of my work is done through commissions with patrons, collectors, curators, interior decorators, and fellow artists. More information about that process is available at: https://www.etsy.com/listing/186507940/custom-commission-original-art-by-mike
- Address: Store: https://www.saatchiart.com/mikekrausart or MikeKrausArt.etsy.com
- Email: MikeKKraus@gmail.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mikekrausart/
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/MikeKrausArt
- Twitter: twitter.com/MikeKrausBlog
- Other: www.linkedin.com/in/mkraus
Mike Bradley (http://www.mikebradleyphoto.com/) for profile photo