Mandi McKinney and Bart O’Reilly on City Project(ions) and her inspiration as an artist.


Make Studio artist Mandi McKinney has been working with me on City Project(ions) since she joined the studio in June of 2014. She came with an interest in traditional skills like painting and pen and ink drawing as well as digital media so she seemed like a perfect fit for the project. I sat down with her today and asked some questions.

Could you describe your work for us?

I have mainly been working with inks and figuring out watercolors and how I can use them to make good art. My themes have been fantasy and surreal themes, but not fully surreal.

What has changed in your work since you started working at Make?

I have more focused goals instead of just creating something and bing bang boom there you go.

What do you think about having the opportunity to project your work around the city?

I think it is pretty great to see the work in progress shot by shot. It is not technically an animation more of a progress video.

Mandi McKinney Spiral Storm and Digital Dragon.  jpg

Can you tell us about your digital artwork?

All I can say is that like traditional art, digital art can have a somewhat unpredicable element. It is generally a nice surprise to see how things turn out.

What is your main source of inspiration?

Inspiration mostly comes from video games, specifically the sound tracks of the games. Not just generic games but a vast variety of interesting games. I also don’t stay console restricted.


What artists inspire you?

Japanese artists and English cartoonists. I also look at Hayao Miyazaki’s films and they are a great source of inspiration.

What are your plans for the piece you are working on right now?

Once the inking is done on this dragon I will do watercolor techniques such as adding salt and maybe some masking.


What would you like people who see your art to get from it?

I would like them to be inspired for the most part. To see something more than life like, not in a realistic way but in a fantastical way. I want them to see things that they would not see in real life.

What would you like them to know about you as an artist?

I am the kind of person who likes to let themselves go into a fantasy. I go into a kind of meditative state, not like sitting down but in listening to music and working with color. I loose myself in it, it helps me to get out of reality and helps me to think of interesting things.

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