It’s all about the process for artist & designer Micah Lindenberger. Living and working in Brooklyn, New York, where there’s no shortage of interesting people and things to look at, Micah takes his inspiration from his surroundings. “I collect tons of little trinkets and sculptures in my apartment… different types of plants, vases and pottery are things I like to look at and draw.”
With a career in graphic and product design, Micah’s work has always leaned more towards a snapshot or an idea - something easily translated into an advertisement that tells a story in one quick moment. “I’ve been doing a series of subway drawings - and because I’m drawing them and putting them down so fast, I have to simplify which forces me to get down the minimal amount of information needed to tell a story.”
"Add a couple of nonsensical things to the idea, and we start to get that trippy feel."
What might look like an everyday object to one can take on a totally different narrative when seen through Micah’s lens, often feeling interpretive or surreal. “I’m naturally drawn to simpler shapes. My drawings are not complicated or super realistic. My stuff has kind of a blobby feel to it - a little dreamlike, doodly feeling, and less strict and rigid.” This simple interpretation leads to hand drawn, clean yet organic works of art that are timely and accessible to everyone.
Looking at Micah’s work, you wouldn’t necessarily realize how many steps are involved in getting from a doodle and a concept to a fully fleshed out composition. Similarly to the way Micah collects trinkets in his apartment, he’ll also collect ideas of things to draw in his sketchbook. “To get warmed up, I’ll usually go through my sketchbook and draw objects or animals on my list. It could be a candle, some plants, a statue, a lamp…” This exercise creates several individual pieces which Micah will ultimately collage and layer together. “Sometimes it’s random, sometimes it’s intentional, sometimes it’s a mix of both - and that’s what creates that dreamy effect. Add a couple of nonsensical things to the idea, and we start to get that trippy feel.”
Still, this is still only midway through Micah’s process. After doing a couple of iterations and feeling happy with the overall composition, he’ll use tracing paper with his sketchbook to build on a few variations. “I’ll then do a couple of final versions with markers where I ink it out. Then it goes into Photoshop.” Once his piece is scanned in digitally, he’ll clean it up, change the scale of certain components, and color in the whole thing as the final step. This is a process that Micah’s developed through the years, and as a result his piece evolves with him as he works through it.
Micah’s advice to other creatives when they start to feel burned out is to step outside their comfort zone. “When I start to feel like that, I switch mediums. When you switch, you have to figure it out all over again. You’ll still have a similar style, but it’s through a different filter. You can hone in and push your style a little bit further using different tools available to you.”
View Micah's website and shop his full product line at Micahburger.com.