(EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH MIKE CICCOTELLO – CONTINUED)
It was an anniversary gift. It was a painting of the couple’s house. I went back and forth on this painting so much. I was very nervous about it, but knew it was all part of the process and I should feel comfortable about my choices. I don’t think this will ever get easier, but I may get used to the process over time.
WONDERLANCER: We know you have a lot of artwork that has been aired in US national television and also awarded by famous networks, but we’d love to hear more about that other side of you, the humanitarian side. You’ve participated in several events for charity, which ones do you think affected you the most and why?
MIKE CICCOTELLO: St. Barnabas Hospital’s, Super Heroes for Hospice. Superheroes for Hospice, is a fundraising project for the Barnabas Health Hospice and Palliative Care Center. Proceeds from their events benefit patients and families served by the Barnabas Health Hospice and Palliative Care Center. I contacted the charity to see if I could donate some work. I was asked to do a live demonstration at one of their events. I created four large pieces and donated them for auction at their next event. It was a great experience to contribute to a charity by doing what I love. From that experience, I’m starting to understand what a valuable tool it is to create something that provides hope for someone in need. I recently decided I would like to do work with children. I am currently looking into doing work with children’s hospitals in my community to see if I can lend a hand through my art.
WONDERLANCER: You also belong to Albus Cavus and Krsko Creative Group. What are they about and why would you encourage other artists to join them, too?
MIKE CICCOTELLO: Albus Cavus started out as a group of artists in NJ that painted together and brought art to the community by painting with families at community events and working with towns to create murals and beautify public spaces. The founder, Peter Krsko, moved to Washington DC and has done some amazing work creating large scale murals and art spaces with the help of many other artists and people from the community.
At this point, I only worked with Albus Cavus on a consulting level, due to the fact that we are several hours apart. Peter has also recently started Krsko Creative. Krsko Creative Group is a company that pulls from its group of artists to aid clients in conceptualizing, producing, and fabricating creative solutions. It could be anything from a sculpture garden to an advertising campaign. The idea is to provide a creative service made up of solid artists for good people.
How did you meet Paul Terry and how was the creative and developmental process for the video clip?
WONDERLANCER: Your awesome Coffee Cup Doodle project gives 100% of the sales to different non-profits. It’s obvious your heart beats at generosity’s rhythm and dreams of unity and cooperation… but, what’s your creative dream?
MIKE CICCOTELLO: Wow! No one has ever asked me that before. Realizing my dream as a whole may take the rest of my life, but as of now, I’m starting to understand what I would like to accomplish creatively a bit more. I’m searching for a way to incorporate everything I love doing into one project. I would like to incorporate my story ideas, painting, illustration, cartooning, character design, environmental design and music composition into one project. This seems like such a simple idea, but it doesn’t necessarily happen that easily.
It’s taken me a long time to develop my painting style to what it is today. I have just figured out how I would like to incorporate it along with my cartooning and environmental design. All of the pieces are revealing themselves as well as the players that I can work with. I’ve been in search of people to work with on projects and I am certain that Paul Terry is one of those people. We meet many people along our journey. Some you click with and some you don’t. This is not the type of thing that you should force. The important thing is to recognize the one’s you click with and do something about it.
WONDERLANCER: That sounds fantastic! Mike, many thanks, again, for doing this interview and all the best in your future endeavors!
MIKE CICCOTELLO: Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity for the interview. I truly appreciate it.