The first ARTsMART “Artist of the Month” isn’t one, but two. Together, they create a unique art concept: Artist Fusion.
Aaron Sangenitto from Tattooz Ink and Mike Morgan owner of Morgan Designs became friends five years ago when Mike was designing marketing layouts for the owner of Tattooz Ink and Aaron worked as a tattoo artist. Together they decided to combine their talents to create a completely original art form called “Artist Fusion.”
The concept is that you take two talented artists who create art simultaneously on one art piece creating an “artist” that only exists if both artists are working. The perfect environment is when artists work side by side, passing ideas and techniques back and forth. This not only refines the skills of the individual artist, it opens up possibilities that an artist alone may not even consider.
Aaron and Mike begin with a common idea. Sometimes this involves just one word for inspiration. They discuss the color theme, draw out some sketches and begin painting. They both work on the entire painting together. The piece included in this interview is called ‘Davey Jones,’ complete with the color theme “puke.”
At their last demonstration during ARTsMART in the Mt Shasta Mall, the most common question from viewers was, “Do you ever fight over or become possessive over areas of the painting?” Aaron and Mike don’t argue over the paintings at all. In fact, they feel their art improves with every painting they work on together as they pick up techniques from each other.
Aaron and Mike will host the first annual Artist Fusion Workshop in March 2010. They will have nine stations that can accommodate up to 18 artists ranging from experienced to professional. “We would love to see the effects of an 80-year-old landscape painter fusing with a mid-30s tattoo artist,” Mike says. I can imagine if the artists come to the workshop with open mind, the results will be outstanding.
Aaron and Mike, both award-winning artists in their fields, grew up in the Redding area. They both have been drawing since grade school. “In fact,” Mike laughs, “I used to get in trouble and sent to the principal’s office for drawing and painting. Now I get sent to the principal’s office to pick up a check for the same thing. That’s called a paradigm shift.”
Aaron was fascinated by tattoos since his youth, when he decided that he wanted to create tattoos better than the ones he saw around him. Perhaps it is his inner rebellion that drives him, perhaps it is the desire to be a master of his art. Either way, Aaron has become one of the best tattoo artists in the North State. Recently Aaron started creating handcrafted jewelry. He designs the jewelry from the initial drawings, works with molten metal, and finishes with setting semi-precious stones. Look for Aaron’s jewelry during Second Saturday ArtHop in December at Ethan Allen Furniture.
In 2004, Mike earned his BFA in Illustration, at Academy of Art College in San Francisco. Recently, Mike won the Best of Show award for a custom paint job on a Harley Davidson featured in Big Bike Weekend 2009. Mike’s extensive portfolio includes custom interiors for clubs and bars, signs, airbrushing, logos, business identity marketing materials and conceptual artwork. His current project is the logos, design and art for the new downtown lounge “Capone’s” on Market Street, near the Cascade Theatre.
See more of Mike’s work at mikemorgandesigns.com. Contact Aaron at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARTsMART is a program of the Shasta County Arts Council that brings together artists in all mediums to show their work and demonstrate their crafts. Artist Raette Meredith coordinates the annual event each October in the Mt. Shasta Mall.
Raette Meredith is a mother of three, artist, website developer and Americorps Vista volunteer for the Shasta County Arts Council. She conceptualized and developed Artazine and Artazine.org, an extensive directory of art classes in the North State.