My name is Mike Barrett. I’m a Digital and Visual Artist and Photographer.
I live in fabulous Yorkshire with my arty wife, who is a Primary Art Teacher and our creative daughter.
My artists name EMELBI which is derived from the phonetic sound of my initials MLB.
I have been a freelance creative artist for 23 years and have loved every minute of each new challenge, whether working alone or in collaborative projects. I am compelled to create on a day to day basis using words, drawings, photographs, music and sound. It’s more a way of life than an occupation.
Much of my artwork is informed by inner city landscapes, urban culture and the wealth of diversity within modern day life. Graffiti, Street Art and Extreme Sports cultures are huge influences. Having said that, I am influenced by a vast array of stimulus. I’m a big fan of Pablo Picasso, Jenny Saville, Jamie Hewlett, Nathan Ford, Russ Mills (Byroglyphics), Loish, James Jean, Victor Otero Carbonell, Georg Wachberg, Francisco Fonseca (wow for buildings), Pascal Blanché, Sainer (Etam) to name but a few. Look them all up. It’s worth the journey!
People and characters feature heavily in my work. I have an absolute fascination in the human condition and create with this passion in mind. Drawing is especially important. Nearly all of the work that I produce starts from a drawing or a series of drawings. It is a critically important skill.
Ever since I can remember I have had a deep rooted enthusiasm for all things art and design related, moved by colour, image, structure and form. The creative process for me is infinite and I am consumed by the endless possibilities of making art.
Using a large amount of photography, scanned media, hand drawn and digitally generated illustrations and graphics, my artwork blends traditional techniques with digital technology. The journeys through the creative process are among the best journeys I have ever made.
On a Personal Note:
As a family unit we believe that life is for living. We try to fill our days with as many wonderful experiences as we possibly can. My wife and I have always been interested in travel, both at home and abroad. We love meeting diverse and interesting people, immersing ourselves in different cultures, and soaking up as many of the fabulous and beautiful things that exist in this world as we possibly can. Everything from the simplest morsels to the monumental wonders! We love to entertain and be entertained and are fortunate enough to have a fabulous bunch of friends with whom we laugh a lot with on a regular basis.
I have a huge passion for music of all genres and love to play the acoustic guitar, write songs and perform. I have taken a keen interest in creative writing over the years and I have churned out a fair bit of poetry, short stories and prose.
In my youth I used to travel around a lot during which time learned to breath and eat fire, juggle clubs (three) and balls (five). I’m a sucker for a funky groove and will be on the dance floor until the party ends. I love to meet new people and hear their stories and experiences and enjoy a really good debate. One of my new loves is making YouTube videos about creativity and photography.
My Loves (some of):
Laughter, music (of all flavours but mostly breakbeat, funk, blues and folk and I’m really fond of repetitive beats with a large amount of sub bass). Playing acoustic guitar, song writing, singing, playing the fool, cups of tea (earl grey), hats (you can’t have enough hats), red wine, writing poetry, malt whiskeys, collecting children’s books, eating peas straight from the pod, juggling, raw mushrooms, country stomps, strong ground coffee, stinking strong cheese, my iPhone, travelling, my daughters smile, people with interesting stories, real ale, Photoshop, fresh baked bread, my wife’s smile, the drone of distant light aircraft on hot summers days, urban art, weather (all of it), my fab friends, cooking great food, smiles, the truth, extreme sports, camping and this fantastic planet! Oh, and did I mention laughter. I love to laugh!!