Heard It Through The Grapevine: Mikey Couch
Meet Mikey Couch. The Perth-based illustrator who has a knack for creating intricate worlds and eclectic characters with the stroke of a pen. When he’s not busy with his day job as a graphic designer, Mikey can be found concocting his latest idea – even if it means getting interesting looks from nosy commuters on his way to work.
Known for his work on the 2019 Perth Craft Beer Festival’s merchandise, Mikey is also part of Graffic Jam, a creative production house offering audio, film and design for the local music scene, helping artists develop marketable content.
If you’re looking to escape to a space that’ll ignite your imagination – look no further than Mikey’s instagram page.
We sat down with Mikey to talk all things creativity (and wine, of course) for the first chapter of Omrah’s local artist series, Heard It Through The Grapevine.
Why illustration, Mikey?
Wine not? 🥁
I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember, it’s always been a thing I just did for fun.
But it wasn’t until three years ago that I gave up bricklaying and seriously considered giving it a crack professionally.
It’s a decision that, thankfully, has started to pay off with commissions from local businesses and invites to art shows.
I’ve developed an eclectic style, mostly it can be a street, grimey skate style. But my favourite thing is to explore other art forms and then incorporate them into future works.
Can you tell us the process behind your Omrah creations?
Omrah is all about adventure, and as it’s made right here in Western Australia, I wanted to capture this sense of exploring the state.
I wanted to show the many layers of a journey; there’s the getting there part (the car), the sights along the way (Fortescue Falls in Karijini National Park, the great surf all along our beautiful coast) and the celebration that comes with reaching your destination (the camping grounds), commemorated with a good bottle of wine.
I also thought it would be cool to humanise an Omrah wine bottle. Give it a bit of that down south surfer personality, with a surfboard made from cheese.
Your drawings are pretty wild, where did this stem from?
Everything influences me in some way, from the media I consume to what I’m doing at the time.
At the moment my main influence has been Inktober – it’s a month-long art challenge created by artist Jake Parker where creatives are challenged to create an ink drawing every day that relates to a word stimulus.
‘Freeze’ was one of the words, and I immediately thought of a brain freeze, which then evolved into a brain being told to freeze by a snow cone cop.
What is it about illustration that you love the most?
The thing I love the most about illustrating is the ability to get lost in the moment, time just disappears for me when my head is down drawing.
And despite the wacky nature of my creations, I think it’s actually what keeps me sane, so what’s not to love about that?
What’s your favourite thing about WA and why?
We’re so fortunate in WA to be so close to such amazing and diverse places to visit, whether it’s down south or up north.
Going for hikes and spending the day on the beach, it’s definitely the appreciation of being able to go on adventures and get out of the city at the drop of a hat.
What are your 3 key ingredients for a successful adventure?
Good friends, no technology and a great attitude.
Fill in the blank: “Wine is best served with ____”
More wine. Lots of cheese.