Where are you from originally? I’m originally from Germany, tiny town, no one knows of it. But spent most of my life growing up on an even tinier island, Guam.

How did you come about your art, were you always drawing? I’m pretty sure I’ve been doodling since I could hold a damn pencil. Took about thirty years to get to my skill now. I think in another thirty years I’ll be an expert. Maybe sixty… Ha-ha

Okay, so how do you continually tap into creativity? I sacrifice a lamb on every full moon night… Kidding. I do seem to have a never-ending supply of creativity. To be totally honest my biggest fear now is that I will run out of time before I can paint all the ideas I have. Being able to trigger Flow State has also helped in the production speed and creativity of each piece.

Clearly you are inspired by those who serve. How do you choose your subject matter? I don’t think I choose; I think they choose. The world is made up of energy. Energy is a powerful and strange thing. There have been some pieces that demand I get out of bed and go to work immediately. Sounds crazy right. Almost sounds like the dead are demanding a piece to be done. Something demands the work to be, trying to explain it makes it sound crazy, maybe the easiest way to say it, simply following your gut.

What three words best describe your body of work? intense, dark, holy shit wow.

What is the most important lesson you have learned in life so far? love like hell, live like hell, tomorrow is just a fantasy. I lost someone very close to me in 04, I’ll be honest a big reason I feel they are gone is because of the actions I took that day. This is where most people get up my ass and tell me to not feel guilty blah blah blah. What that event taught me was to become more aware, to think of others, and to love and live like hell. I didn’t get it right for a long time. I had to find peace with the guilt first. But I did.

What motivates you? that time is limited and I have no idea when it ends. Lights a fire under your ass, try to paint faster. I want to paint everyone. And the reward of beer, simple things motivate me. Lol.

What’s your biggest weakness? I’ve been lucky and never seem to run out. I do plan for it and regularly walk away for a couple of days. I thinking creating a healthy balance with my obsession allows me more control over the creative tap. Who knows it could happen I wake up tomorrow and that’s it? Would kind of suck, but it would just mean a new path.

Talk a little bit about your creative process – from getting the idea to the finished “product” of the image? idea, paint background (color or black), lay out line, step into spirit world (done with music as the trigger) and boom! Suddenly and hour later it’s done… Or sooner. The paintings when I see them in my head are blown out like schematics and you have to put the pieces in order. This drive to do things in order is what creates a smooth assembly line so to speak and speeds up the process.

How do you challenge yourself in your work? by always looking for ways to tweak, every time I sit down in a front of a canvas, it’s a chance to learn something, to improve something. Painting is a skill, like any skill, train your ass off and you can become a master. It’s similar to shooting, shooting has basic rules and how to. After you learn those basics you tweak and perfect your skill, you will not shoot like Bob in lane 3, you will shoot like you. Painting is the same, I learned some very basic concepts, and then said, what happens if I do this, or do that.

Best compliment you ever got? thank you for making us feel remembered.

If you had the chance to say anything to the world, what would it be? be kind to one another. Goes back to my pervious answer, being better humans, kinder, and living, really living. I spent ten years growing up around them. I am a product of the stories and lessons. I would not have become the person I am today without each and every one of them. I wish everyone gets a chance to hear these stories and lessons. I can do that by immortalizing it on canvas, so that future generations stop and ask the questions of what inspired that piece.

What’s your advice to other creative folks? embrace the suck. people who have lived on the edges of life. We can all learn a thing or two from those who have left the sheep pen to touch the unknown edges of the universe.

What’s one professional or creative thing on your bucket list?  be the first artist to launch a painting into space… Elon Musk I’m going to need your help on this one!

What do you feel are the recurring themes in your images? everything is energy, even a memory. Sometimes that memory is bathed in really shitty energy. It is my hope that by allowing me to paint that moment, it washes it, it becomes something new. Or at the very least it’s a different view. I’ve seen the work do some rad shit for people.

By Michael Kurcina

Mike credits his early military training as the one thing that kept him disciplined through the many years. He currently provides his expertise as an adviser for an agency within the DoD. Michael Kurcina subscribes to the Spotter Up way of life. “I will either find a way or I will make one”.

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