Makers ~ Mike Knives ~ Providence

Artist's name: Mike Knives
Shop Name: Mike Knives
Website: www.etsy.com/shop/mikeknives
Blog: squeeksandgrumbles.blogspot.com
Twitter @mikeknives
Facebook: facebook.com/squeeksandgrumbles/
Instagram @mikeknives


1. Tell us about your work
I make screen printed embroidered layered fabric plush tentacles monsters as well as screen printed hoodies.



2. Is there a story behind the name of your business?
I used to have a DIY show space and the named The Box Of Knives. No one could pronounce my last name so everyone started calling me Mike Knives and then I decided to use it as the name of my etsy and how I credit myself as an artist.

3. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?
I've always loved screen printing and sewing. As a kid I learned how to hand sew on my own later on at the age of 20 I learned how to use a sewing machine. I learned how to screen print in a middle school art class. Once I learned how easy and exciting it was to do. I started making tshirts of various doodles I had done in notebooks and what not. I would sell or trade them with students in my school. I was so over zealous that I made way more than I could ever possibly know what to do with them that I had bags of them stored at my parents after high school. Around 2005 I went tour with Lightning Bolt as a roady of sorts took those bags of shirts with me to sell to make extra cash for gas and food. I sold all of them and realized people liked them. So I started making more I would end up with all these shirts that I messed up or tested a new print on and noticed that the layers of ink looked cool. I cut up the shirts and started making little monsters with these scraps. From there I started to layer different patterns and colors over and over till the colors "popped" on the fabric. I would bring some of these creatures along on tours and they were a hit on the road. I began to experiment more with different types of fabric and sewing them into different shapes my work kept getting bigger and bigger then one day some said "This patterning would look great on clothing!" After that I started making hoodies and selling those on tours I roadied for.

4. Where do you draw your inspiration?
For my tentacle monsters I draw heavily from the Lovecraftian Mythos creatures. When it comes to making the hoodies I just experiment with various color combos with little plan to the over all look. Granted some colors "pop" better than others so I try and keep that in mind when picking which colors to lay over each other.



5. What's your favorite item to create?
I really like when I have the opportunity to create something special for either an art show, museum, gallery, or an individual. It makes that work extra special for me and I put more time into what I'm creating and going about how I'm creating this piece.

6. What's your best seller?
The hoodies are definitely my best seller. But I get lots of compliments from all over on my giant centipedes which reside at the Arcade in a display window next to the Lovecraft Arts and Sciences Council.



7. How long have you been in Rhode Island?
Born and raised in Lil Rhody.

8. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island?
I love the feeling that the whole state feels like one small town and you can run into anyone you know or who knows somebody you know anywhere in this state. I love that independent attitude that this state has. I love how weird it can be here and it's ability to harbor weirdos and creative types.

9. Favorite place to take out-of-towners?
Definitely the beach, Lovecraft's grave, any of the haunted places/areas of Rhody, and around Providence.

10. Any advice for new/wannabe makers?
Keep making and creating! Do it cause you love it! Always try to push your limits on ideas and creativity. Get out of the box step on it a bunch, put it back together completely not like a box, get back inside, and think outside of how you may ordinarily think.

11. Please include anything else you'd like to add.
I also play in a metal band called Diabolical Fiend you can find our music at diabolicalfiend.bandcamp.com

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