Michael Robert Bock
i. I work as an Artist and Production Designer
ii. I do this creative work because:
I have no choice in the matter. I romanticize working a more stable career path. My heart and my hands won’t let me.
iii. A ‘typical’ day for me in the pandemic involves:
Wake up for 6- coffee/shower/stretch/breath.
Into studio for 8. Get computer work out of the way first.
Get to painting hopefully by noon. Stare at white walls.
Attempt to “reject the tyranny of intellect” and have faith in the process.
Look for connections between seemingly dissimilar things.
Talk to my mama while I paint.
Go for a walk. Grab a coffee around 3. Get back to work!
Home for 8PM. Attempt to turn down the volume in my brain.
Bed for 10ish
full of grace
iv. Personal qualities that help me in my work are:
Courage is a good quality I try to cultivate.
My connection to the spiritual is very important to me. That’s not a quality but being a good listener to the undercurrent of things is, I guess.
Sweeping the floors.
Having a strong inner conflict between a harsh critic and lover of my work. I want to be self-analyzing but also want to practice self love.
Really hunting for presence, joy and wonder in every brushstroke . When I don’t, it reads.
v. The greatest challenges around doing this work are:
The first brush stroke.
Not chasing coloured balloons.
By that I mean, not allowing my tangential thinking to stray too far from previous work trajectory and through lines I was aiming for initially.
A painting will change a thousand times before it is ‘completed’.
The goal is to retain a small amount of the essence of the original thought process.
Having faith. All will be well, plus it doesn’t matter.
We’ll all be dead soon and that’s beautiful.
Not listening to the wrong internal voices when they are loud.
Getting over myself: in that I feel like business and making art are on two ends of the cognitive spectrum. They do not play well together. The work will suffer if I aim to make a product.
Painting is : f%*@ what everyone else is doing, I’m gonna do me. Do not fear! Create and fail.
Business is : Minimum viable product, mass appeal thinking, Pander.
vi. Creative childhood hobbies:
Looking at things with curiosity and awe.
Singing without self-judgment.
It was all creative. It was all discovery and play. It still is.
vii. Books that I’m into right now:
Walk through walls (Marina Abramovic)
Breath (James Nestor)
The Enchiridion (Epictetus)
On Color (David Scott Kastan)
Principals (Ray Dalio)
Stillness is Key (Ryan Holiday)
Braiding Sweetgrass (Robin Wall Kimmerer)
The Denial of Death ( Ernest Becker)
the Tao of Seneca (Tim Ferris)
The Anatomy of a calling (Lisa Rankin)
The Untethered Soul (Michael Singer)
viii. Training that has helped me in this career:
Failure and pain are powerful teachers.
My relationship with the ocean through surfing.
My meditative practice.
My Mothers’ Wisdom.
My classical training in theatre and the scenic arts.
Sex: To slow down enjoy the process and not rush a conclusion. Meander, enjoy yourself.
ix. A common trap that can hurt people in this career:
Everyone is making it up as they go, no one has the answers.
My goal is to have a 30 year career, not a 30 month one.
So along those lines… Perhaps, impatience.
I sure don’t have the answers, but I’m hunting around for them
x. Some proud career moments:
The next canvas.
xi. Upcoming shows or events include:
xii. If you want to work in my field, I suggest that you:
-Hunt for people who are better than you at different things. Stay humble in the face of your ignorance.
-Develop or discover a well built cabinet of fortitude within yourself.
-Get crafty about finding angles, not angels.
-Make good friends, be genuinely yourself.
-Get good at being wrong.
-Find a way to become a part of your local artistic ecosystem. Give more and contribute.
xiii. A professional goal I have for the future:
The work is continually being distilled and expanded.
I have been expanding the work for the past 5 years. I would like to distill it next.
But I’m not in control, we’ll see where it goes.
I would like to be an agent of change while I am on this planet.
To Eat and to work more. More time to paint.
xiv. If you want to see my work, go to:
Please check out: