Illustrator Mica Angela Hendricks in Jerry’s Artist Spotlight!
Mica teams up with her daughter to create amazing pieces and illustrations!
Mica Angela Hendricks is a graphic artist for MWR and a freelance Illustrator. She’s recently gained lots of attention for some very interesting, collaborative work she’s done with her 4 year old daughter.
We at Jerry’s sat down for a quick Q&A with Mica and here’s what she had to say.
Jerry’s Artarama: So tell us a little about yourself.
Mica Hendricks: I was born ages ago into the traveling circus of military life, and have been fortunate enough to have seen a decent chunk of the world as a result. At a young age, I developed a sort of Darwinian added appendage, as my sketchbook rarely left my hands. People who didnt take the time to get to know me simply called me “that girl who draws.”
A few years out of college, I decided to join the US Army where I met my husband, Matthew.
I happily served 4 years in Hawaii as a Photolithographer, leading a prepress topographic mapping team. While there, I became the resident unit expert on Adobe Photoshop, and instructed senior officers, MOS instructors, and enlisted personel on the process of digital manipulation, 4-color process printing and color sperations.
I now travel all over the world with my husband(who is still in the military), our totally amazing daughter Myla, and our hairy children, Scout (a boxer) and Adie( a Boston Terrier).
I work primarily in ballpoint pen and acrylics, Prismacolor Premier Brush Tip Markers and have been published in several magazines, newspapers and websites, and featured in a 6-book children’s series on pirates.
JA: Where do you get your inspirations from?
MH: For the faces, I’m inspired by old black and white movie stills. I find books on them in the library or second hand shops. I love distorting the faces a little, and love how the tiniest lines can change the entire expression of a face.
JA:How long have you been collaborating with your daughter on these peices?
MH:The collaborations started out quite by accident, but we’ve been doing them since about August. We change them up a little sometimes by starting with animals or made-up monsters instead of human heads.
JA:Have you ever tried changing up the process and letting her draw the head?
MH:Funny, people ask me that a lot-we have tried it! Only, she hasn’t yet learned the practice of “letting go,” and will often get frustrated with me because I’m not drawing my part the way she’d like. So just as a reminder in sharing, we try to do that every once in a while for practice!
JA: How did you inspire your daughter to start drawing and get interested in art?
MH: Strangely enough, as involved as I am in art, her interest in art was quite a happy surprise for me. She wasn’t much ever into drawing until the end of her 3rd year, when she started doodling little faces and monsters. Soon, she was drawing ALL the time, with great focus. She never really learned if I sat down and specifically tried to teach her something, but she would pick up so much more just by watching ME do it, and trying it for herself. So for my part, I just make a point to keep art supplies and paper super easily accessible. Most importantly, I take time to draw WITH her. We do lots of crafts- markers on shrink plastic, painting wooden cutouts, sculpting in modeling clay. Since she learns best by watching and doing, I try to do as many different things as possible with her.
JA: What Can other parents do to get their children more interested in art and what is a good starting point for kids?
MH: To get started, I think the key is to plan for a mess, especially when they’re little! Finger paints are a good beginning project, and if you’re a person who likes things “just so” then PLAN for a big mess so it won’t be stressful for you: put a huge table cloth down, put them in an old t-shirt, and use washable paint. Paint on old boxes or egg cartons. Don’t worry about MAKING something, just let them have fun squishing the paint around, and mixing colors up. Shrink plastic is also fun because they get to see what they doodled and watch it roll up in the oven. We keep a sketchbook in our daughter’s bed with some washable art markers and at bedtime we would tell her, “you don’t have to sleep, but you can lie quietly in bed and draw.” Her bedtime sketchbooks have the coolest, strangest drawings in them! I think the main thing is taking the time to share and create something WITH your kids, instead of just giving them supplies and walking away. I talk to her and ask her what things she drew are, and why. It’s so wonderful to see what their little brains come up with!
JA: Do you have any prints of your art available and if so, where?
MH: Yes! I primarily put up prints up at Society6.com/micaangela. They have fine art prints as well as totes and mugs, and I try to keep posting new things as we make them. For awhile we did animal collaborations and I put them up at RedBubble because they had a variety of children’s apparel options as well as stickers.
JA: Is there anything else you like to promote or tell parents and artists at home?
MH: For parents: As an artist, I found it hard at first to adjust from the hours and hours of solitary painting I used to have pre-kid, to the hours and hours of taking care of another little person as a new mom. It took a few years, but working WITH our daughter instead of separating those two lives has been a learning experience for both of us, and I’ve gotten to have glimpses of the wonderful little person our daughter is that I might not have seen otherwise.
As an artist and a mom, I’m always setting a ridiculously high standard for myself that I have only just started accepting I will NEVER reach. This experience of letting go and allowing our kid to doodle on my own drawings has been such a great accidental experience, and taught me that when you go ahead and share what you love with the people you love, something strange and wonderful might come of it!