The Makers: Mike Coleman, bringing order to chaos.
The Makers Series is a semi-monthly series brought to you by Preferred Credit Union.
By Kate Krieger, MCP Correspondent.
“Maker” the word according to Merriam-Webster means, “one who makes” and according to Urban Dictionary, “those who love to create things in their spare time.” Mason County Press is looking around the local areas to find those who consider themselves Makers. Whether they make things for a living or as a hobby, we will uncover many who have a passion for creating things with their hands and sharing those items with the world.
Loving art since he was a young boy, local artist, Mike Coleman aka Chaotic Mike, 34, has found that he can use his talents to make himself and others happy.
“I’ve enjoyed art since I was a little kid,” Coleman said. “I always enjoyed the art classes the most throughout my schooling.”
Coleman, a native of Itasca, Ill., moved to Ludington in 2012 with his now wife, Marie (Jensen). The couple met in Illinois right before Maria started graduate school at Loyola University. Coleman said he didn’t pursue really anything pertaining to the arts after high school, instead he pursued business and criminal justice in college.
Coleman really started to discover his passion for art after he moved to Ludington. That’s when he really started to take it more seriously and realized maybe his work could be a way to make some extra money. As an advocate for the arts, he said that they should be more accessible to everyone, whether creating or purchasing. After starting to create more and more pieces, Coleman also realized that art was a great way to relieve stress and anxiety.
“I only started abstract painting when I moved to Ludington,” he said. “Everyone said the winter was long and boring here and that I better get a new indoor hobby. I hadn’t done anything with my art since high school, so I decided to take it up again.”
Acrylics on larger canvases are the media Coleman tends to use when painting, but he has been known to use oils and other media as well.
“My artwork is my outlet for stress and anxiety,” he said. “I enjoy experimenting with paint along with other media to express myself and bring fulfilment into my life. I do some sort of artwork every day.”
Jackson Pollack is one of Coleman’s biggest inspirations and he tends to create mostly abstract pieces. Pollock was known as one of the main artists who helped create the abstract expressionist movement. According to Wikipedia, “He was widely noticed for his technique of pouring or splashing liquid household paint onto a horizontal surface (‘drip technique’), enabling him to view and paint his canvases from all angles.”
“I also enjoy the works of Andy Warhol and a lot of urban graffiti,” Coleman said. “I really like things that are bright, colorful and contrasting.”
The nickname Chaotic Mike came about when Coleman attended the 2016-2016 comic conventions. He said that he picked that name out and used it to grab people’s attention for the artist alley. A lot like his nickname, his works of art could sometimes be described as chaotic with all the different contrasting color and stroke-line combinations, and even when he uses the pouring or splatter technique.
“I really enjoy working big and fast,” he said. “I get inspired by color combinations, music and by my moods these all create. I love to paint in large scale sizes.”
Coleman works on creating new artwork daily. He says he tries to paint everyday and to work on different ideas and techniques to expand his horizons and options for the buyer. His work can be found around the area in different galleries and stores, including Golden Key Gallery and the Ludington Area Center for the Arts. He has participated in many area and national arts and crafts fairs as well, including being named an emerging artist in the 2015 West Shore Art Fair in Ludington, Chicago’s Grant Park Art Fest, Millennium Park Art Fest, along with Grand Haven’s Art on the Riverfront in August, Chicago’s Printer’s Row Art Fair this September and a fair in Asheville, North Carolina this coming October.
“Feedback has been positive,” he said. “I’ve had lots of requests for different sizes and color combinations. I’ve also been getting a lot of interest for my commissions list I’ll be starting in August.”
Social media has also played a large role in Coleman’s artwork and sales. His work can be found on his website www.chaoticmike.com and on his Instagram “@chaoticstudio.”
“It’s nice to finally be good at something for once in my life,” Coleman said. “I wasn’t good at mechanics or math or computers, so it limited me a lot to pursue things I was interested in. I took business classes in college and enjoyed it but wanted to run my own business. I failed at being a freight broker on my own, so I was hesitant to start another business, however now my art sells itself.”
Rediscovering his passion has really been working out for Coleman. With a busy summer already off to a good start and having commission and private classes filling up his extra time, he wouldn’t change a thing about his decision to revisit his artistic past.
“Art is very important to me and I want to share my talents with as many people as possible,” he said. “I possibly have a new shift coming this fall to my overall work. People need to stay tuned and follow me along my journey. Art has really empowered me to believe in myself.”
If you have an idea for The Makers, contact Kate Krieger-Watkins at [email protected]
Preferred Credit Union is located at 266 N. Jebavy Drive in Pere Marquette Township; 231-843-3464.
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