Mik Artistik isn’t your usual artist. In fact, he’s spent the last 30 years drawing people’s portraits on brown paper bags. It gave him the perfect excuse to speak to people he wouldn’t normally have any reason to speak to, offering a glimpse into their lives – and the same of true of his latest project, Magic People.
You see, when Mik decided to switch his biros for paint and his paper bags for canvas, he also decided to start ticking off his artistic bucket list, painting the people he’d always wanted to paint, but had never had the chance to.
“I decided I would do something similar, except in paint, and would ask those people who I had always been fascinated by around Leeds, people who had attended the same concerts as me, got pissed at the same parties and yet I had never had the opportunity or the confidence, to meet properly or to chat with,” Mik told us. “I call them ‘Magic People’ because they made me smile, they had a charge, they intrigued me and made my world a bit more colourful.”
They’re a real mix of people, some are artists, some are musicians, others are just great people he ran into from time to time. Mik calls them ‘Leeds royalty’ and they offer an interesting snapshot of Leeds.
Bags of Life
Mik Artistik has been drawing the public’s portraits in black Biro on brown paper bags for the last 30 years. Since sketching his first barman in Ireland at the age of 27, Artistik has amassed more than 20,000 portraits and become a familiar face in Leeds, where he now lives. Artistik delights in the fact that there is, as he puts it, “no second chance with a Biro”. “It’s taken me into places I would never go,” says Artistik, who earns a living from his unusual artwork, “and it’s given me the keys to the city, the keys to the world, really.”
To see the full photo article in The Guardian visit this webpage: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2014/apr/13/drawing
Books and caricatures.
Noisy cartoon. pic.twitter.com/swt4huB50e
— mik artistik (@mikartistik) October 31, 2018
It's not for everybody. pic.twitter.com/mDvBTwxHJn
— mik artistik (@mikartistik) October 11, 2018