The work of Mike Willcox is rich in mysticism. Drawing heavily from the art deco realm, the American multi-disciplinary artist gets his inspiration from “existing, healing, growing, love, romance, wind, storms, history, plants, life – all kinds of things,” he tells It’s Nice That. The result is a portfolio that comes peppered with illustrations, tapestries, graphic novels and tarot decks – a medley of things that are intensely symbolic.

After working on numerous of jobs over the years, Mike finally has the chance to focus solely on his art. His paintings are formed in a two ways: sometimes, they form clearly and other times they are a little more cloudy. “I’ll have a vague idea of colour and a small piece of a figure I can’t quite make out stuck in my head, and I’ll have to make it,” he says. And sometimes, he’ll create a painting based off the things he sees in meditations or dreams. “I meditate a lot,” he continues. “Staying healthy is the biggest part of being able to make focused things for me, and it’s also what a lot of the work ends up being about.”

Mike’s paintings depict various symbols, postures and colours. He describes his work as “waking from a dream”, as he turns to his canvas to decipher what his subconscious is attempting to communicate. Technically, it’s his own artistic language that he translates through the use of a pen and ink work. Pencils, canvas, wood, and paint will also make an appearance, after which he’ll often use Photoshop to colour in and add in the layers – the “same principals as Japanese printmaking”, he explains.

Most importantly, Mike sees art as a form of therapeutic release. “For me, it goes hand-in-hand with my own personal healing journey, doing what I can to be the best version of myself coming from a very deeply rooted place of PTSD,” he says. “A lot of my pieces are broken down into past, present, future and the conscious, subconscious and unconscious mind, plus four different archetypal energies.” – Read the full article – It’s Nice That