Mike McGinn (third from the left) comes from an artistic family. From a young age, Mike always found himself drawn to creative endeavors and enjoys experimenting with different mediums. Recently, Mike tackled his biggest project yet; a 15 x 15 foot mural for the POW! WOW! festival in Hawaii. WOD Magazine sat down with the artist to chat about his work in this exclusive Q&A.

In 50 words or less, give us a mini biography of yourself.

I’m a Southern California based artist. I started developing my painting style and techniques at the age of 16 and was encouraged by my family and friend to pursue a career in the arts. I find inspiration everywhere; patterns, animals, flowers, and works across various mediums including video and digital design. I’m currently the Creative Director for the World of Dance brand, you may have heard of it if you are reading this article lol.

POW! WOW! mural

Tell us about your experience with POWWOW Hawaii.

Jasper Wong gave me the amazing opportunity to paint alongside artists I really look up to and it was very inspiring. Being a newbie to murals, I could not have been in a better position to soak up some knowledge from some of the top modern muralists: Drew Young, HowNosm, Lauren YS, Michael Reeder, Mayonaize, Spidertag, and many more were very open to sharing.

I was also able to bring my brother Dylan McGinn and my good friend David Gonzalez to help me out. Without them I probably would not have finished the mural since we had a few days of rain that made for a really tight deadline.

The POW! WOW! team went above a beyond. I left feeling like part of the family and will never forget the experience.

What was your inspiration for your mural you painted?

I titled the mural “Sounds of Hawaii.” My main aspiration for the colors and composition was to capture the whimsical, bright sunshine and vibrant colors of the island. As for the subject matter, when I was a child my great grandma’s backyard it was full of Hawaiian plants and flowers, like hibiscus. She planted them to remind her of her wonderful trips to Hawaii. I spent many summers enjoying the backyard, listening to music, and playing with friends.

Tell us about some of the biggest influences on your work

My work has changed a lot over the years, so my inspiration changes frequently. When I was working on the mural, I was inspired by Henri Matisse and the Tahitian paintings of Paul Gauguin.

What was your first source of inspiration that led you to this artistic, unique path of creativity? 

Both my parents are very artistic. My father is a poet and my mother always encouraged me to pick up a brush, pencil or Crayola and make something. I try to create something every day, whether it be a design on the computer or a painting on canvas, The process of creating is very rewarding and I need it to feel normal.

What piece of work are you most proud of?

The mural by far. The area of Kakaako is now a tourist destination and it’s awesome to be able to display my art in a public space. Plus, I’ve never painted anything that large- 15 x 15 feet was a challenge for sure.

Do you have any upcoming projects that you are working on?

I’m currently working on realistic still life studies. The subject matter is food- but I’m not allowed to eat any of it! I’m currently on a strict diet, so it’s a bit torturous smelling cupcakes while I’m painting. I always give the cake to my wife afterwards.

Follow Mike McGinn on Instagram to stay connected with his art, and check out all the POW! WOW! murals on this interactive map. Don’t miss exclusive interviews, performances, and more from the definitive source for all things World of Dance.