Art by Moshe Mikanovsky
“I have a lot of new ideas for projects, but not enough time! Wish I could discuss all of them, but I know I have to focus on one project at a time…”
Moshe and I connected via Twitter and through an art licensing networking group we both belong to. His signature style is combining organic shape with measured line (squares) while incorporating a fabulous flow of color. It amazes me that he has such a talent for creating beautiful art while his main occupation is software programmer and technology manager… a rare skill set to create both art and technology. I predict he experience grand success with his art career!
What do you create? Currently I am creating mainly watercolors. My head actually creates much faster than my hands, so I have to have patience sometime, not to jump from one idea to the other. My watercolors are influences by few things – my Jewish heritage, architecture, color and art. You can read about my inspiration in my blog, and especially the first post “Art Blog Beginnings, or What Inspires My Art?”. One of the key characteristic of my paintings are the squares, and it goes through most of my work in different ways. . One of the latest paintings is called “Seen by and angel 1” (above).
What medium do you enjoy most? Tough question! I love trying different things, and learning new mediums. I also love finishing projects fast, so watercolor are really suitable for that. You can’t overwork with them, otherwise it will become a mess. I also prefer working with acrylics over oils mainly because of the time it takes to finish an oil painting. Other mediums I love are prints (etchings are amazing, aren’t they?) and stained glass. But right now I do concentrate on watercolors…
How did you get started? Like most artists, I always painted. I always drew, and took classes in different subjects to learn new ways to create art. I could say that professionally I started with Ketubahs. These are Jewish marriage certificates/contracts. I made the first one for my wife, and since then I made many more for family and friends. In 2007, Mika, a Software QA specialist I was working with, connected me with a Ketubah company in Toronto, KetubahKetubah, and I started designing unique modern Ketubah designs for their new signature collection. “Olive Tree” is one of the popular ones.
Another Ketubah I am excited about is the 2odiac Ketubah. It’s a play word on Zodiac and Two, where the bride and groom can choose their two Zodiac signs, and it will be incorporated electronically in the final design. This image shows all 12 signs on the right, and a sample Ketubah with Leo and Pisces on the left.
What do you want to be when you grow up? An artist, of course!
Name three favorite artists/designers/creatives: Wow, tough question – there are so many! My number one will be Marc Chagall, no question. I adore the way he builds up his images. I have “copied” few of his paintings, and it’s amazing to see how one shape becomes another shape. And of course, I feel connected with his subject matters, being Jewish and growing up in a religious Jewish town in Israel. The other two would be Natalia Moroz an inspiring printmaker, and Heather Kocsis whose wood assemblages reconstructions I simply love!
What kind of training, schooling or other learning experiences have you gone through that have helped you get to where you are now? I learned art through many different places – drawing and watercolor painting in Avni Institute – College for Art and Design in Israel, figure drawing in Oakland Community College in Michigan, acrylic painting with artist Gary Smith in Toronto, printmaking at the ROM and also at the Central Technical School in Toronto, etc. I think that experiencing different learning settings and learning with different people gave me a lot of exposure to different creative minds.
In addition, my background in web software development helps me with my online presence. I built my own portfolio web site, and I already have plans for improving it.
Do you feel you’re successful? I feel that I only started scratching the surface. During the years I got a lot of very good feedback on my work, and I have seen that people like it and there is a market for it. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to pursue it. So now I am trying to emerge and unveil the diamond in the rough.
What do you like most about what you do? People reaction, as long as it is genuine of course. I love it when a painting of mine “speaks” to someone, and they understand it. Either on an emotional level or logical one, doesn’t matter. If they love it, I am thrilled.
What #1 piece advice can you offer to those which might like to “follow in your footsteps”? Believe in yourself. I am still working on it every day… It’s not easy sometime, but we all must believe in what we love, what we have passion for.
What are you most proud of? My family – my wife and my girls. I really do it all for them, and they inspire me to continue.
What do you focus on for your marketing and promotion efforts? Right now I am looking to get my art licensed, so my main goal is to obtain a Licensing Agent and/or many licensing contracts. I am focusing my creative time to build a collection for that goal. And I am networking with people throughout the different social networking networks (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn), and blogging, to increase visibility out there. I would love also to participate in art shows or art fairs, but it’s a secondary goal.
Where to find Moshe Mikanovsky’s work for purchase:
- My Ketubah designs can be purchase at KetubahKetubah and the direct link to my designs
- The UJA Federation of Greater Toronto is selling Tribute Cards. They have licensed couple of my designs for Rosh Hashanah cards. There will be some new cards in the future for other holidays.
- I am building now a store at Zazzle.com. You can already view couple of items for sale. More stores will follow, so please stay tuned.
- All the artwork on my site is for sale (unless otherwise indicated), and people are invited to contact me for details.
- I am also taking commissions, for Ketubah designs, Bar and Bat Mitzva portraits etc. Here is one example of a commission portrait I did of Kayla. The wording at the bottom is the Eshet Chayil (A Woman of Valor) in Hebrew (above).