50 States – Michigan with Rick Lundskow
Rick Lundskow – “Michigan finds ways of solving problems despite the lack of resources.”
This week The Creative Chair is with Rick Lundskow in Michigan for the 21st instalment of our 50 States Series.
Rick is probably best known for his abstract 3D renderings, but when you take a look at his work, there’s more going on than there appears to be at first glance.
We caught up with him to find out more.
You can see a lot more from Rick Lundskow on Behance.
Tell us a little bit more about yourself and what you do?
My name is Rick Lundskow and I’m an art director for a church out in mid-Michigan. I also create 3D graphics and video resources for stock sites.
I grew up on mystery and sci-fi. Two of my favorite shows were X-Files and Unsolved Mysteries. Those shows weren’t afraid to leave you with questions. They encouraged me to discover the world with multiple perspectives, which formed who I am today. I love hiding things in my art for other people to discover. It’s entertaining on the surface but holds deeper meanings for those that look for it.
When I title a piece of art, I like to mash-up popular phrases for a new perspective. In “Make a Dog’s [Breakfast] of Champions,” I used two phrases, “Make a dog’s breakfast” and “Breakfast of champions” to highlight two opposing views people have on letting different foods touch. Yet, when the phrases are combined, it gives a third, unique perspective on the piece.
How has your state influenced the work that you do?
Resources don’t stop people. This is true of most artists, but I have found this value in the culture of Michigan. Michigan finds ways of solving problems despite the lack of resources. Often there are times; I want to design something that requires software or a plug-in that’s too expensive. Even worse is when the software won’t work on my machine. I could waste a lot of time wishing and wanting, but then I wouldn’t be creating. Instead, I maximize the resources at my disposal to solve the problem. This causes me to appreciate what I have a whole lot more and become more powerful with my tools.
When I tell people that I’m from Michigan, they often point to the blight of Detroit and Flint. It’s easy to label those cities as dead. However, if you look closer, you will see a thriving community looking to revamp the area. You can find several examples of abandoned buildings being remodelled and repurposed or scrap materials reformed into beautiful pieces of art.
I like to repurpose old memories from my childhood into works of art. For instance, in my piece “Loose Lips Sink [Ships] Passing in the Night,” I combine my favorite materials – metal, glass, wood, and a glossy ceramic – with my favorite games – Battleship, tic-tac-toe, marbles, and Connect Four. Overall it’s a beautiful piece, but the title indicates that there’s a greater commentary underneath the surface. The friendly game pieces form into a warship, ready to destroy anything in its path. Beauty can come through pain if you allow it to.
Of your own work, what is your favourite project and why?
My favorite piece would be “Buy a [Round] of Applause.” Often we can put too much pressure on ourselves to create art that will generate a lot of likes on Instagram. We let other people dictate the art we create because we like those notifications. There’s a temptation to create the same thing over and over solely for our audience. For example, I created a series of cereals in spheres. I was consistently getting a lot of likes on those pieces. When I shifted directions to try new concepts, I started to lose my audience. Part of me wanted to return to the familiar, but my exploring nature wanted to pursue new styles.
A few months later, I wanted to mock the “applause” concept by creating a piece that I knew would generate a lot of likes, thus buying applause from my audience. Lady Gaga’s “Applause” was a huge inspiration for this piece both in concept and form. The lyrics talk about how we can easily get caught up in the praise of people. She also references Jeff Koons who is most famously known for his “Balloon Dog” sculpture.
I decided to combine something that I received a lot of applause for, the Lucky Charms sphere, along with Jeff Koons’ piece. It was probably one of the easiest and most fun pieces that I’ve made. On a side note, I added a red balloon marshmallow to hit at the balloon nature of the piece.
If you died and got reincarnated as a song, what would that song be?
It would be Ed Sheeran’s “Castle on the Hill” (Throttle Remix) for a few reasons. I love the chill, yet energetic, vibes, the reflections on the past, and the new perspective on a popular song.
- Michigan became the 26th state in 26th January 1837
- The world’s largest manufacturer of magic supplies
- Kellogg’s Corn Flakes were invented in Michigan (by accident)