Lifestyle Specialist Kenny Burns sits down exclusively with contemporary street artsist, Greg Mike, to discuss his rise to becoming a major figure in the Pop culture history of Atlanta. Mike began painting at the age of 12 and after traveling to places like Miami, New York and Los Angeles in his adult years, decided to bring the same artistic energy and culture he was seeing in those places, to Atlanta. From the creation of his popular character, Larry Loud Mouth (who he calls his imaginary friend), to being the artistic mind behind projects like “Popstars and Cokeheads,” his goal was to fill a void he felt was missing in the Atlanta hipster culture. “We grew up listening to Hip-hop and I grew up doing graffiti… I’ve been doing graffiti since I was 12 and 13 years old, when I lived up north in Connecticut… I did the solo shows in Miami, then San Francisco and then Atlanta. And I thought there wasn’t really a street art contemporary scene in Atlanta.”
With a void to fill, he opened his own gallery, The ABV Gallery, and has gone on to work with major clients like Facebook, Red Bull and Dr. Pepper to celebrities like Swizz Beats. He recently completed a contemporary wall mural for Facebook’s Atlanta office and in the interview, discusses his process for creating these larger works like murals and wall coverings. Burns closes the interview with the question, “So what would you tell people who are artists that feel like their art might not be enough?” Mike responds, “Just keep pushing. Hard work, you know. I always say… if somebody is doing something, make sure you do it different. You don’t want to come out replicating or duplicating. So just make sure you stick with it. It takes people a lot of time and years to distinguish their style and develop their craft… Nothing is an overnight success.”
Check out the exclusive Studio 43 Portrait above and for more information on Greg Mike, check out some of this work in the photos below and visit him online at gregmike.com.