DAFIND – Found Artist Defined
When did you realize that you can make money from your art? Ã¢â‚¬Å“As a kid, in fourth grade, I sold drawings of nudies to the older kids on the school bus for 50Ã‚Â¢.Ã¢â‚¬Â
If you havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t heard of artist Michael Pukac, trust me, you will. Covered in paint and grinning from ear to ear, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s quickly become the hot new darling of the Los Angeles art scene. His art is striking, but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s his fearlessness that has assured his success. Fear of failure has never stopped Pukac from going after his dream. He first came to Los Angeles from the East Coast for no more than a year before returning back. Two years later, a series of childrensÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ book illustrations, and a savings account with enough money to return back to Los Angeles again for a second take. Only this time armed with his new girlfriend and right- brained manager Dicapria.
In the beginning, Pukac made sure that no matter what he did, it involved painting. He explained, Ã¢â‚¬Å“My rule was to Ã¢â‚¬Ëœlive by the paintbrushÃ¢â‚¬â„¢. You canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t ever think Ã¢â‚¬ËœIÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m too good for that.Ã¢â‚¬Â He would accept any job that involved painting, even sign painting. Surviving in Los Angeles isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t easy, it takes planning, a little luck and a lot of hard work. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Always plan ahead,Ã¢â‚¬Â Pukac said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“In Los Angeles you have to have your game plan together to be able to live off of your art.Ã¢â‚¬Â It wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t until he discovered Ã¢â‚¬Å“live paintingÃ¢â‚¬Â that really opened the doors for him, Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was the best thing that ever happened to my career.Ã¢â‚¬Â Extremely prolific, evolving now from struggling artist to having his art fully support both of them in just three years, finishing more paintings in a week than most artists do in a year, Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll do three paintings in four hours,Ã¢â‚¬Â Michael says of his live painting performances. Breathing dedication and working a minimum of six days a week, he will work on 25 paintings at a time, spending 15 minutes on each before methodically moving onto the next. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s very, very efficient,Ã¢â‚¬Â he explained. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I have to keep that momentum.Ã¢â‚¬Â
PukacÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s style is fresh on the West Coast. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I came out here and realized that no oneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s work looks like mine. Here in Los Angeles, they LOVE different. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why I feel so at home in the gallery scene here.Ã¢â‚¬Â PukacÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s paintings defy logic, and he gets a kick out of painting flawed scenarios, such as a woman suspended by hot air balloons which are supported by candles. Pukac laughs, Ã¢â‚¬Å“itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to be a short trip!Ã¢â‚¬Â He borrows from serious classical pieces then adds his own humorous, clever twists. His artistsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ statement describes his paintings as Ã¢â‚¬Å“Ã¢â‚¬Â¦playful – heartfelt yet irrational. They are likeÃ‚Â romantic absurdities or well-spoken riddles with no answer…Ã¢â‚¬Â HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s amazingly well-read and brilliant, and his paintings reflect his intellect. I asked Pukac if he paints fast. He answered, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Mother Nature doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t spend time testing before a release. I paint the way that nature works, fast andÃ‚Â Ã‚Â without worry. Quality is inevitable.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Do you consider yourself to be successfull? Ã¢â‚¬Å“Yes, every day I wake up stoked. I had a day job once a long time ago, but to work for yourself is awesome. Some days I complain that I havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t had a day off in months, but then remember how lucky I am. I have an ultimate goal in mind, and I am still running that marathon.Ã¢â‚¬Â
To view & purchase artwork from Michael Pukac, please visit www.michaelpukac.com
Interview by Maria Brophy, art consultant and author of www.mariabrophy.com
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