Meet The Artist: Mike Fudge!
Happy release day! After a long wait, the Kidrobot x Mike Fudge 5″ Kuba Dunny as been added to the collection. Kidrobot has had the honor of knowing Mike Fudge and long kept tabs on his art and adventures in poster art and prints and now our combined dream of releasing a badass Dunny is here! For those who may not know Mike Fudge the way we do, we asked Mike a few questions to better understand this piece and how it all fits into the bigger picture of his career… enjoy!
1. Is this your first production piece with Kidrobot? If yes, what’s the most exciting part of this? If no, what was??
- Yes it is! This has been a really exciting experience for me and has been a dream of mine for many years. One of the most exciting parts was to see KUBA come to life and holding it for the first time.
2. The piece as well as your overall artistic style has clear details that reflect another indigenous culture or Northwestern Art, why is that? What’s the connection?
- I have always been very interested in cultures of every kind. I love history and learning about the world’s wisdom traditions. This started with Native American art and a desire to learn about their beliefs, spiritual teachings, stories, and myths. It’s grown into a subject that I constantly want to learn more about. I have found a lot of inspiration in the totems and other tribal art forms, they end up finding their way into my work. The ancients all over the world made the first stories and developed characters that we can still relate to today. The myth of KUBA is part of the character’s identity and I wanted to give him a story that would paint a mystical picture of his purpose just like the tales I’ve read from other ancient civilizations.
3. What is your favorite part about the Kuba Dunny?
4. What’s the name mean or where does it come from?
- KUBA is derived from my character named KUB. This was the first character I developed but I wanted to differentiate the KUBA DUNNY from the rest of the bears since he is a few of my characters in one figure.
5. What were some artists/musicians/books or styles that influenced you as you were growing up?
When it comes to artists, my favorite artists of all time are the masters like Michelangelo , Da Vinci, and Bernini. In my opinion there haven’t been many artists to reach their level of skill and ability to observe. My own work doesn’t always reflect my love for these artists and the time period in which they created but I really enjoy the complexity.
I’m an avid reader and constantly looking for something new. If I could recommend only one book to artists it would be The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. It’s a great book and a must read for anyone that creates.
My inspiration for becoming an artist was a mixture of skateboard graphics, a long love for graffiti, and comic book illustration. In my view my style has references to all of these.
6. Did you always want to be an artist?
When I was very young I wanted to be an artist. To me that meant a cartoon artist or comic book illustrator. Through my teen years I wanted to be a musician and played many stringed instruments though I mainly spent my time with the guitar. A fall out with a band led me to want to do something where I had creative control and didn’t need to rely on others to make things happen. After that I chose to become an artist professionally and I’m incredibly grateful to be able to do what I do. It’s a dream and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
7. What advice do you have for other people trying to become an artist or follow their dream?
I think the most important advice that I could give is to not give up when things get hard or challenging because inevitably they will! Sometimes the break that you hope for is right around the corner and it never comes to anyone who gives in to the pressure and stops doing what they love. Constant improvement is a key to keeping your work fresh to you and the people that watch your progress. If you combine hard work, constant improvement, and a resilience to never give up on your efforts progress will come even if it takes longer than you hoped.
8. What’s something about you that your fans might not know about you?
- Something many people who follow my work don’t know is that I didn’t start selling my art or working with clients until I was 26. I was creating art everyday for years before that but I wasn’t ready to show what I was making until then. Its crazy how much can happen in a five year period.
9. How did you end up doing Music/concert posters?
- Initially I made posters for bands that I really liked and friends who were musicians. Doing that forced me to learn the process of creating art that would later be screen printed. I then printed with friends for years before I ever got my first poster job for a big band. Making posters was another of the biggest dreams I had when it came to my art and career. It’s an honor to make them and work for the bands I get work with. I’ve really enjoyed making lots of friends in the industry and many of the people that collect my work have become people I’ve grown close to.
10. What’s a personal goal of yours for the next five years?
- Sculpting is a subject I have yet to take on but over the next 5 years I hope to see myself creating large and small sculpture work. I would love to see some full figures of my characters and maybe even a life size sculpture of some of these ideas.
11. What are some other projects you are working on this year?
- I have a figure in the works with Urban Vinyl Daily that will release later this year I’m really excited about. There are tons of gig posters coming out starting in the beginning of May so keep an eye out for those releases. Toward the end of the year I’m schedules to have a showing of my work in Denver.