We had the good fortune of connecting with Michael Obermeyer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michael, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
As a child, I loved to draw- anything, anywhere, anytime. I would even draw in the air with my finger, something my kids tell me I still do occasionally. My parents recognized that I had a talent and signed me up for after-school art classes in studios across the Western San Fernando Valley. My fourth grade teacher, a very thoughtful nun, presented me with an art drawing package in front of my class and signed me up for a summer art program at one of the local public schools. I grew up wanting three things in life – to be a pilot, have lots of animals and to be an artist. I always knew that I was an artist and that my life would be centered, somehow, around my creative talents. Anything else would be a waste of the talents God gave me. Visiting Europe in high school exposed me firsthand to some of the masters of drawing, painting, and sculpture and I knew I was on the right path. The only real question was how to make a career out of drawing and painting. The answer came in college through the Illustration program. The idea that people or clients would actually pay me to draw or paint something they needed was a dream to me. I also painted on the side for enjoyment, creating for myself. At this point of my life, my goal was to be successful enough through my artistic career to own a house, put food on the table for my family, and send my children to good schools. I was an illustrator for twenty years, starting while still earning my BFA in Illustration in college, and I have had a very successful studio and painting career for nearly twenty five years. I still love to draw and paint – anything, anywhere, anytime. On a side note, I also became a private pilot and I have had quite a few interesting pets over the years. So far, so good!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m not sure I’m different from any other artists. The journey has been smooth and relatively easy, except for a few challenges along the way: transitioning to the fine arts (becoming a full time painter) as the Illustration opportunities dwindled, taking a part-time a job at Starbucks to help pay the bills during the great recession. I always felt that I was born to be an artist and I continued to focus on that, regardless of the challenges and distractions. Through these experiences, I’ve learned that there are no bad days in painting. I am blessed to be an artist and to be able to continue to create.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would first take them down to the beach; in the water, on the water, below the water, anything that could get us out there to enjoy all that it offers. Having dinner and drinks overlooking the sunset over the Pacific is a great way to end the day, especially in Laguna Beach. Also, give them a tour of L.A. and it’s surroundings, from the museums and old studios to Griffith Park, iconic locations and especially downtown at night. There are some fun little bars and restaurants that I love to return to whenever I’m up there. Depending on the time of year, I would take them hiking, either in the coastal hills and canyons overlooking the ocean, or up in the San Gabriel or San Jacinto Mountains. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My parents, my wife and kids, and the teachers and fellow artists who inspired me along the way.
Facebook: Michael Obermeyer