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Michael Binkley in NWSSA.org Spotlight

NWSSA.orgIn July, 1999, The NWSSA interviewed me and they must have done a change on their webpage as it came up on my Alerts. I found it interesting to re-read the interview to see if and how my viewpoints might have changed since then. I am pleased to realize that most of what I said still holds true, but there have also been quite a few changes for Michelle and I in the past 12 years. Actually, the decade from 2000 to 2010 had seen some great strides for me, and I’ll admit they had been due to Michelle’s encouragement and brilliant ideas.

The changes have been good with regard to the questions of obstacles and challenges. I have successfully wooed a few of my clients to create that “great piece”. There are the Queen Mary 2, Hoggins Memorial, “Ansia”, “Winds of War…”,  “Breadfruit Leaf” and “Moai Heads” commissions now to my credit.

We have at last realized the Italian dream. We have travelled to Pietrasanta, Italy and I have rented studio space for a month long stint of carving under the Tuscan sun. We’ve done it twice and Michelle has fallen in love with Italy, too. We are looking forward to returning soon, as there is definitely a surge in my creativity while I am in Italy. I ponder that perhaps I experienced a past life there – maybe several.

We have started making plans for rebuilding my studio, something we hope will come to fruition in 2012.

I’ve learned some lessons with regard to Public Art: After 110 consecutive attempts and rejections from public art competitions, I realize that they just are not for me. I haven’t completed a post secondary education, I don’t have a “real” job elsewhere and I don’t work in a medium other than stone – three common denominators that I see successful applicants to these competitions have. Applying to any more is just a waste of my time and energy.

At that time of the 1999 interview, we had just completed building our new gallery onto the front of our home. I remember being very excited, as I felt we were on the cusp of breaking out into a wonderful new phase of my career. Instead, we suffered a year of slow sales and that was very discouraging. Coincidentally, we are in a similar situation of experiencing a tough year over the changing of a decade. I am reminded of Steve Jobs’ speech about connecting the dots, which can only be done when looking back. Each of our successes are due to laying groundwork in the past and building upon them.

I am optimistic that this new decade will hold more great opportunities for us and that I will be creating many more wonderful sculptures.

Comments: 1

  • Audrey Van Eerden

    November 12, 2011
    reply

    Hi Michael,
    “Success as a “sculptor” is about making striking forms that reach out and grab certain persons. I’ve been struck by your sculptures and by your positive attitude about continuous learning.
    Best,
    Audrey

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