A Conversation Between Megan Marlatt and Wade Mickley
By Kathryn Morris
The dialogue between two creative individuals often times reveals information about their process that would otherwise remain under wraps if discussed with a layman. Due to an understanding of the particulars involved in the artistic process, the artists can reflect and question these nuances of their compatriot. We see this manifesting itself in this conversation between Megan Marlott and Wade Mickley. Both artists’ works focus on the whimsical: it can be seen through the bright colors, the playful subject matter. We learn, though, that these seemingly analogous courses of creation are unique to each artist’s person and quirks.
Megan: How do you keep your day job as a designer from crossing over into your “art job”, or is it okay if they do cross over?
Wade: Good question. I think they do cross over, especially in my “fine art”. I am drawn to type, shapes, balance, color…both are alike in some ways I suppose. If I think about it, it does cross over into my design work too, I find myself adding more texture in some my design projects.
Megan: What issues do you wrestle with or celebrate being both a fine artist and a designer?
Wade: Wow. As a designer I am an artist for hire, bringing the client’s vision to life. As an artist I am bringing my vision to life that is MUCH needed! Honestly I find myself daydreaming about my fine art when I am at work designing, it’s rarely the other way around!
Megan: You seem to do a lot of assemblage in your work. Do you have a lot of junk in your studio to do these assemblages and if so, how do you keep it organized?
Wade: The newer finds are usually more visible on my work table until I find something else then the previous found object moves to the metal pile or the wood pile…or the miscellaneous pile. My drawers are almost full now. Honestly, it may look a little unorganized but I usually know where to find something if I need it.
Yes, I do have a lot of “junk”…. I have slowed down some on what I collect but now I have people donating junk to me. I am very selective about my junk.
Megan: Your work seems to stem from stories. When you work, do you start with a clear narrative in mind, or does the narrative develop as you build the work?
Wade: It usually develops as I build the art but, usually, I do start with a sketch.
Most are based on emotions, fears, and insecurities…
Even now, looking back at older work, I see new things in them, or get closer to understanding what I was feeling or trying to express when I was creating the piece.
Megan: If you were a purple pancake, would you roll down the hill with the green, roller-skating elephant?
Wade: In a heartbeat!
Wade: Do you have any rituals when creating your fine art?
Megan: Yes, I procrastinate as long as possible until I no longer have any excuses to not make art, that is my ritual. Unfortunately, the Internet is making it harder to make art because it provides a multitude of excuses to not do anything.
Wade: Where do you find your toys?
Megan: I found most of my plastic toys in thrift stores and yard sales. They were usually bundled in plastic bags, a bag full for a couple of dollars. People just wanted to get rid of them because they were tired of stepping on them in their kid’s room or picking them up.
Wade: If you were a hot dog and you were starving, would you eat yourself?
Megan: No, if I were a hungry hot dog, I would never eat myself because I revere dogs. Dog spelled backwards is God…. and eating God would be blasphemy.