Artistry is one of the many outlets of the human soul. Whether the art comes from a place of pain or of exultation, it can and will be created.
Fort Collins runs rampant with local artists looking to turn their lives into tangible, feasible aspirations. Highlights of the local scene are in many locations throughout Fort Collins, a keen eye can pick out some local gems. Several hot spots for art lovers include the Downtown Artery, the Illustrated Light Gallery and Colorado State University’s University Center for the Arts.
Sophomore human development and family studies major at CSU, Brooke Pottinger said, “They’re a really hip way to showcase up and coming artists and make them prevalent now.”
Mike McPuff, a young Fort Collins local artist, speaks a lot about overcoming troublesome situations and creating something constructive from them. He describes his style to be separate from the majority of the local art in Fort Collins with solid lines creating cartoony and funny concepts. Much of Fort Collin’s art is “visionary” while McPuff’s art is quick for attention. He fills every scape of space with something to hold the audience’s attention while also keeping the feel of the pieces over all, hearted and extensively creative mind set.
McPuff is featured in various locations around Fort Collins, with support from the Fort Collins Mural Project, as well as in many local shops.
McPuff’s most significant piece, in his opinion, is titled “A Glimpse Past the Threshold,” said McPuff. “It’s my biggest painting that I’ve done, and it’s a section from that mural I painted off of Olive and College.” HIs most significant and active pieces are known as Fiascos. They are big paintings with many little scenarios going on in them. It is near impossible to stand in front of a McPuff Fiasco and think mundane thoughts. As a commissioned digital artist he also makes portraits, animations and album covers online.
While McPuff feels Fort Collins is a “good place to be,” he has bigger plans for the time to come. He is currently in the process of packing himself up and leading a nomadic life across the United States to reach out and collaborate all around the nation. Of course, this wasn’t all in ease. McPuff said that he had to “give a lot up to go travel.”
“This [traveling] is for me. I haven’t even been on a plane… and at this point, where I don’t need to show up for a 9 to 5 job every day, I really can just wake up and do my art anywhere.” McPuff said that he wishes to further his art reach past the U.S. at some point, but getting his bearings across the states is his current path.
Art is a prominent outlet for many people to express an array of emotions. “I moved around a lot as a kid… a lot of tough stuff growing up,” said McPuff. “It [art] has always been an escape growing up, and people who don’t have a lot of crazy shit happen in their lives don’t have the urge to create as much art.”
Of course, joy and love are emotions that influence plenty of our lives. “Art comes a place of pain with a lot of sad stuff,” said McPuff. “That is usually the best art for me.”
McPuff is a role model for people everywhere in the task of overcoming unavoidable situations and making them into something to further not only his collection of art, but his self as a person.