Artist Spotlight: Q & A with Michael McConnell
Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.
I tend to be a very active person, always on the go. I own a small coffee shop/ retail space in the Mission District (Faye’s Coffee & Video) and help raise an 11 year old with my complicated Bay Area "family”. As if those things don't take up enough of my time, I try to have a steady studio practice where I've been exploring the ideas of domesticity.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by the complexity and simplicity of relationships, whether it is examining my own personal human relationships of the past and present, or the way that if you put an orange next to an apple the reflective color effects both of their coloring. I see myself as very observant and I am constantly taking in things around me and being effected by them. Often this overwhelms me a bit and so you'll find me zoning out or scrolling madly through my instagram feed that is also another source of inspiration. I love being able to see what my artist friends are up to on the east coast or building relationships through imagery with people I've never met.
Do you have any rituals when you are in the studio?
When I am in my studio I am often listening to music and drinking coffee. I frequently have more then one project going at a time and I bounce around between them. I have 3 other studio mates and we often have lunch together and check in with each other on the progress of our work. I also am very messy, but I know exactly where everything is in my mess.
Do you listen to podcasts or music when working? What are your fav songs/playlists or podcasts right now?
I do not listen to podcasts or books on tapes in my studio, or ever really. I honestly have a hard time comprehending when someone reads aloud to me. But I do listen to a lot of music, even though I consider myself musically challenged. What I mean by that is that I never know really what I am listening too. I'll let Pandora or Spotify randomly choose things or I'll listen to mixes that my brother has made me. I am drawn to music that have good lyrics… i like the words. A few of my favorites that I'll use as a jumping off point are Monsters of Men, Frightened Rabbit, Mates of State and The Avett Brothers.
Do you have any advice for other artists?
My advice to other artists is just keep making work in your own voice. The art world is so crazy and I don't think there are any rules so don't try to make sense of it. Things happen when they happen. I was with a pretty substantial Bay Area Gallery for years, and after they closed I've joust been sort of drifting around. It would be great to at some point have the stability of a gallery (in LA hopefully) but until then I'll just keep making work.
What are your 3 favorite instagram accounts right now?
Three instagram accounts that I love… that's hard because there are so many… but I really love Dailydoodlegram, knitboy1, and lindsayvictorialee. I also follow some crazy taxidermists that I love seeing as well.
Michael McConnell can be found on Instagram @poopingrabbit
and online at poopingrabbit.com