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Q&A with Artist Mik Richardson

A firm favourite with Wild in Art trails, artist Mik Richardson chats to us about his creative career and his inspiration for ‘Elmer Armstrong’.

How did you get into art and design?

I have always been interested in art and design since I was a child. It really took off, so to speak, whilst in the RAF. I served for 27 years and was fortunate to nearly always be on Aircraft Squadrons. One of the things we used to do, while visiting other nations, was to produce a large mural (called Zapping) somewhere on the host nations walls. Due to my love of art, this job came down to me, so a bit of a forces Banksy! I painted nose art on a few of the aircraft and also designed t-shirts for detachments. On leaving the RAF, in 2006, I was asked to do a school mural commission which was the catalyst that turned into my own mural art design company.

What’s your weapon of choice?

I use many mediums and tools in my artwork but my weapon of choice has to be the airbrush. I don’t always use it that much on a piece but I find it just adds that bit of something special to the finished product.

What’s the inspiration for ‘Elmer Armstrong’?

The inspiration for ‘Elmer Armstrong’ is without doubt that 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong being the first man to walk on the moon, and the immortal words of “one small step, one giant leap…” made me think of the large footprint of the elephant. I also have a fascination for space and for what’s out there.

The original ‘Elmer Armstrong’ sketch by Mik Richardson.

The final painted ‘Elmer Armstrong’ sculpture by Mik Richardson.

The final painted ‘Elmer Armstrong’ sculpture by Mik Richardson.

 

The final painted ‘Elmer Armstrong’ sculpture by Mik Richardson.

How did you get involved with Wild in Art?

I first got involved with Wild in Art in 2008, on one of their early trails called GoGo Elephants, in Norwich. I was involved with 7 of the sculptures, and from that moment, I was bitten by the Wild in Art bug.

How many Wild in Art art trails have you worked on?

Since that time I have now produced 57 sculptures, for Wild in Art, on 20 trails, plus a couple of personal commissions, raising just over £210,000 for charities.

Where do you work/what’s your studio like?

I usually work the sculptures at home. To say that space is a premium would be an understatement, so, depending on size, they alternate between the garden, dining room and garage. However, the studio I imagine in my head is absolutely amazing ha ha!

Where do you get your inspiration?

I don’t really know specifically where my inspiration comes from but I see ideas in everything around me. When a Wild in Art trail call out for artists is announced, my mind goes into overdrive with names and ideas. If I am working at a school, on a mural, I will always try and add an element of education in there somewhere, whatever the style of painting.
Elmer's Big Art Parades 2019

Elmer's Big Art Parades 2019