Home » Features » Wax On/Wax Off » Wax On / Wax Off: Mick Minogue
by amy 2015-01-16 11:50:02

Wax On / Wax Off: Mick Minogue

If you live in Dublin, then chances are you've seen Mick Minogue's artwork gracing the city streets...


He's done window displays in Tower Records, and put Lionel Richie into a phone box on George's Street. It's the simplicity of Mick's work that makes it so visually appealing. That and he's a bit of a character too...

What is your name and what do you do?

My name is Mick Minogue and I am a multidisciplinary artist.

Where are you from?

I am from the 9th most friendliest city/town in the world, Kilkenny, but I have been living and working in Dublin ever since the teenage years came to an end.

When / how did you become so interested in your craft?

I became interested in my craft when I was a little crafter. I think maybe when a teacher or someone in my family said "oh that’s very good". That kicked it off. When I was about 10 years old I drew a picture for our milkman and I over heard him saying to my Ma, "Jaysus this might be worth a load of money in the future when he's famous". That changed the entire game.

Is there a person that you look up to?

There are people I look up to. I think I have a really good collection now for so many different reasons through so many years. I look up to a lot of great creatives who are ahead of the game but these always change depending on where I am in the work that I am doing. Outside work I recently met a woman named Ruth Fitzmaurice who I think I may look up to for the rest of my years. Herself and her husband Simon and their amazing little troop of kids have inspired me, and what I do for a living in a really huge way.

What were your parents or friends reactions when you told them what you wanted to do?

I don't think there was that moment where I came out to my folks and friends about what I wanted to do. Sitting at the kitchen table I abruptly jolt up out of my seat "I'M AN ARTIST!!" My Ma breaks into tears as me Da drops his cup of tea.

I think anyone who knows me always knew what I wanted to do. I trained in NCAD and became a certified secondary school art teacher. I loved teaching but I had to pursue my art career outside the classroom because the competition in there was too much to handle.


What are your plans for the future?

Hopefully keep going in the same direction I have been going. Life has been great up to this point so sticking to the plan I have right now would be good. I have just watched the entire series of Brian Cox's 'Human Universe', so being so easily influenced I think the future looks bright and pretty exciting. If my scientifically artistic mind serves me right, if I look at my past and calculate my present just right, I can quantify the specific uncertainties of my future. I am getting a studio on the moon.

What has been your weirdest idea for a project? Did you go through with it?

Oh there has been many. Around Easter last year a big recycling company got in touch wanting me to create some images for press and digital advertising. The idea was to remind people to recycle all their cardboard and bottles after all the partying. So I pitched the idea that I would create a massive Rabbit head and dress up in a fancy black suit. I would go down to the forecourts with a photographer and walk in the door. When the Gardai were kicking me out I'd get the snap and start sharing it around. Then I'd set up a fake press conference out side with a representative of the recycling company.
"The Easter Bunny has been charged with illegally dumping all his easter egg packaging and not recycling his bottles. He has been doing this for years and must face a back log of charges".
So a fake newspaper article would go into the papers of the Easter Bunny in cuffs and with some luck get it on the news. The recycling company come along and fought in his defense and saved the day freeing him to deliver all the eggs to the kids. An advertising scheme that would take on a life of its own and spread through online media for been odd and different. The company just saw it as odd and too different so it was dropped straight away.
I still think the Easter Bunny needs to be investigated though.

Ever want to just give it all up and do something ordinary?

I have done ordinary before and it’s really good. Going to bed knowing that you'll be paid at the end of the month, every month for your 9-5. There is a lot to be said for the security of ordinary. Without the ordinary the world would be very different. But when you work hard at something you truly feel you were put here for and find the elements of ordinary within the extraordinary there is nothing like it.

What are your words to live by?

All of them... Live by the done. Die by the done.
Hug life.
I love you.
So many to choose from and I still don't know all of them.

Thank you! How did you find our questions?

No thank you. Your questions were reflective and well paced. They did however nearly make me burn a delicious chicken pie I had in the oven but because the interview took 1 minute less than the cooking time I was able to eat and live another day. Thanks guys.

Thanks Mick! Best of luck with that studio on the moon.


*Note: That last question wasn't meant to make the cut, but we felt it was too funny to leave out.
Interview courtesy of Peter Lawlor. Click here for chicken pie.

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