Pop Artists ART MOBB Mike Farhat & Califawnia: Art is a Way of Life
I met Mike and Fawn as fellow volunteers at CHLA. Their art is truly unique and frankly, jaw droppingly creative. ArtMobb is known to have star athletes clamoring for their dynamic one of a kind art pieces. Some have called it “Warhol-esque”; all have called it innovative with a combination of “street” and “class”. Mike launched this custom artwork with a piece for Lamar Odom, after which, the popularity of among star athletes exploded. ArtMobb has been commissioned from people by the likes of Matt Barnes and Carmello Anthony to Mark Cuban and Ellen Degeneres. Mike and Fawn have practically invented a new genre that has a long standing impact. I know you’ll enjoy a few of their insights on art and life.
Em: “Why, to you, are art and creativity essential?”
Fawn: “Creativity is essential because it is an outlet to express ourselves without being verbal…our creativity speaks for us. Creativity has to be released or it can be a bit overwhelming at times. It is a way to clear our brain for more ideas. Art for us is not a job, it’s a way of life, there is no off button! It can say and convey things that we would never be brave enough to say. Most important, ART is FUN!!!
Em: “Can you describe your own unique process for creating art?”
Fawn: “We have created a unique medium which is hand cut with an exacto blade onto plexi-glass and then spray painted. It is a tedious process of stencil layers cut and drawn in reverse leaving the front of the glass smooth and unscathed. With this process there are no room for mistakes so once you make the cut you are locked into it. It gives a pop art feel on a cool medium. The process can take up to 2 weeks depending on the size but we have finished one in a day on a time crunch.”
Em: “Do you have a moment of struggle or triumph in producing your art that stands out in your mind?”
Fawn: “One moment I’m not proud of was spending 3 days and nights cutting a very clean and symmetrical piece and after I painted the first layer it looked so good and then when I got to the next layer the paint had a chemical reaction and ruined my beautiful first layer…I cried and have not had the nerve to redo it yet although I want to. Live painting on KTLA and teaming up with several charities and being able to contribute by doing what we love is the most rewarding part of this business. Not only do we get to meet and work with our favorite celebs and athletes but we make a difference at the same time. Introducing our technique to the world is pretty awesome.”
Em: “What first inspired you to become an artist?”
Fawn: “English was Mike’s second language so art became his way of communicating. Comic books and television played a big role in Mike’s becoming an artist and going to art school. My mom was always creative and an amazing seamstress so fashion school was my route. It is an art in itself and then when I met Mike he taught me his craft and I basically became an overnight artist selling paintings which is still shocking to me.”
Em: “Is there a life lesson you could share with a young person struggling to reach their dream?”
Fawn: “I know it sounds cliche but seriously follow your dreams no matter how hard the struggle is. I was a little girl from Ohio who moved to LA to pursue her dreams and it was not easy to get to where I am. Mike was adopted from India and we always talk about how cool it is that we both have made a living doing what we love. Don’t ever be intimidated by this big world, believe in yourself, work hard, and if you fail try again.”
Em: “What has most sustained your creativity?”
Fawn: “Ambition to provide a certain lifestyle for ourselves and our families. The reaction to our art is always a plus and the need to get better every painting keeps us going. We also have two of the best moms on the planet! A great support system has given us the confidence and foundation to keep pushing and striving for greatness.”
Em: Lastly, is there an “art secret” you would be willing to share?”
Fawn: “The secret is there is no secret…Depending on timing and trends anything goes. Art is in the eye of the beholder!”
For more information on ArtMobb go to: ArtMobb.com
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Emerson is a junior in high school. She loves literature and is passionate about writing, poetry in particular. When she is not playing the drums, participating in school musical theater, or training for marathons, you can find her with her friends checking out vintage records and used book stores in Hollywood.