Bursting with Color: Michelle Morin

Michelle Morin is a junior Graphic Design major here at SCAD but has a passion for painting one of a kind works. I sat down with her and we chatted about how she got into painting, what she loves most about the work she does and where her future in painting will take her!

HC: How did you get into painting?

MM: I started painting when I was really young. I started off painting just like, little stupid things and stuff like that with my grandpa, and he would encourage me to paint, and be like, “Michelle that’s so good, keep painting!” So I never stopped, and then in high school, I got really into it and decided I wanted to go to art school. That’s when I got into abstract expressionism and just started painting all the time…pretty much last year was a big tip-off point for me because I found my own style and knew what I wanted to do with it.


HC: So, were your paintings always abstract, or no?

MM: No, it used to be very figurative. Like I was obsessed with painting portraits and people, and I still had a really strong use of color that you see in my work now, but it was just different because the centerpiece of every painting was always a person.


HC: What do you love most about working on your paintings?

MM: I think what I love the most is just like getting into this mind space where you don’t really have to think about anything. Your mind gets really quiet but at the same time…loud, in almost like a visual way, and you get to set everything else aside that’s bothering you and just make something and see it kind of unfold before your eyes. And it’s really fun (laughing).


HC: How do you make your paintings?

MM: I make my paintings by, well, first I start off obviously with a blank canvas. Then I’ll grab some colors that I know I want to use in the piece, and then I’ll start by laying down the first layer. Once I have that, I’ll start grabbing other colors or other mediums that I want to mix in and build it up, until I feel like it’s where it should be and then I let it dry!


HC: So, your work is going in Morris Hall. Do you want to talk about that and explain what’s happening?

MM: Yeah! So, [SCAD is] doing a window display by the entrance of the building and it is…it’s pretty tall, it’s not like super big but…actually, it is pretty big (laughing), it’s a good size. But so, they wanted something really colorful and just really fun, and something that people would see and maybe want to take a picture with or something like that. And they just gave me creative freedom with it and said you know we want fun and bright, and that’s what you do anyways, so just do whatever you want and then we’ll hang it up.


HC: That’s so cool! So, when is that going up?

MM: It’s going up on the 28 of October.


HC: How long is it going to be up, do you know?

MM: I think it’s going to be up until late February so…four months?


HC: Okay, great. Do you have any plans for future paintings or what you want to do with your work in the future?

MM: Plans for future paintings is I have a canvas sitting in my closet right now, so I might make one this weekend (laughing). And future wise, I would like to take the textures or the images of the work I do and apply it to other products. Like I want to make yoga mats and, I don’t know, I think I can make bedspreads and pillowcases. I don’t know, I feel like it could be applied to so many textiles and so many other things, so I want to move into creating my own products that people can use every day.


HC: So do you have any tips for people who want to get into abstract work or even painting in general?

MM: If I was going to give somebody tips who wants to start painting, I would just say kind of just do whatever you want. And don’t worry about having to imitate somebody else’s style. A lot of times people feel like they don’t know where to start, and that was me for a long time when I was in high school. I needed some main inspiration to start painting, but I think that once you let go of that and you just leave it up to you, yourself, the canvas and then just see where you go, that you’ll make your most authentic work because then that’s truly coming from you and not coming from an outside source. So yeah, I think just let go, don’t worry about expectations and just experiment, have fun with it and paint for you. Then I think your work will be the best it can be.

Don't forget to check out Morin's painting go up at Morris Hall on the 28 of October and to check her out on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/michellemorinn/ !


Photography by Carly Shaw