Machines. There’s just something about them. Moving gears, robotic functionality, structure in motion. Bits and parts winding, cranking and coalescing in perfect harmony to become something greater. Inert materials fused in dynamic kinesis. How things work and how they relate to one another to engineer the world around us has always fascinated me. This innate curiosity for invention and utility drives me to tinker and examine and deconstruct in order to discover the true nature of existence…and then forge it into something new.

As an artist, my reverence for constitution and function electrifies my creative sensibilities, leading me to find inspiration in all things mechanical, from industrial architecture and historical mechanisms to the greatest machine of all—the human body. Through innovative uses of collage and assemblage, I seek to explore the parallels between technology, the human environment and the mortal condition. Layering wood, paint, graphite, paper, giclée prints and found objects together into beautifully intricate compositions, I meld nature and artifice into surreal worlds of organic automatons and living structure. I want to know what makes things tick, and find ways to make them tick in an unexpected, yet inspiring new way.

Taking apart my environment and my being to discover their inner workings and all the moving parts beneath, then reconnecting the pieces in new configurations to create living, breathing machines of high art. That’s how I work. 

Born in Kenosha, WI, I moved to Milwaukee in 2001 to attend the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. During my senior year, my studio began attracting attention from visitors and students from various tours. Eventually, these impromptu gatherings led to my “unofficial” position as MIAD tour guide. I introduced countless students and families to a more candid view of the school and its various majors. Just before graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Art in Illustration, I received the Best in Show Award for my Senior Thesis series. This led to invitations to guest speak on alumni panels ranging in topic from “After Graduation” to “Freelancing as a Creative Professional.” Speaking to students motivated me to become a mentor and instructor with Hanson Dodge’s On Ramp MKE program.

Since then, I’ve illustrated professionally as a fashion apparel designer and freelance designer. I set myself apart as a designer by hybridizing my traditional drawings and paintings with digital collages and typography. Quickly gaining international recognition for this technique, I was selected to be represented by the prestigious Keystone Design Union, the world’s largest private design society. I’ve participated in exhibitions such as the Nu Visual Language in Southampton, UK and Miami, FL. More recently, after winning a spot in the Weapons of Mass Creation Festival by worldwide popular vote, I went on to serve as a finalist in the Pfister Artist in Residency program. Currently I’m a Plaid Tuba affiliate and my studio is at the Think Flux space in Milwaukee, WI. 

- Minga