In June, Coastal Arts Guild of CT member Mick Theebs was named Milford Poet Laureate. This is the first appointment of the position in the town’s history, a four-year term.
Theebs, the founder of the arts website “ALSO THAT” is both a visual artist and poet.
According to the New Haven Register, Milford Mayor Benjamin Blake said Theebs was selected because Theebs’ application proposed “enhancing poetry by engaging Milford in poetry contests, workshops and open mics, as well as spearheading an effort to help install poetry as visual art in community spaces.”
The Milford poet laureate program is co-sponsored by the Milford Public Library and the Milford Arts Council.
Theebs is a lifelong Milford-resident, graduating from Jonathan Law High School. He studied English at Northeastern University, and works a regular job by day.
You can meet Mick at our regular meetings. He will be reading his work — along with other regional poets — “Poetry on the Green” at Artists & Artisans in Paradise, August 28, 2016.
This past week I was able to have a discussion with local artist Mick Theebs to discuss his works as well as other aspects of his life. His website ALSOTHAT.com showcases his works as well as several other artists. I had the recent pleasure of exchanging words with him as he is a member of the Guild and become more familiar with him.
Coastal Arts Guild of CT: At what age did you start to get involved in art?
Mick Theebs: I’ve been writing fiction and poetry for most of my life. It’s something I’ve always been compelled to do, I guess. I can’t really ever imagine life without it.
Visual art, on the other hand, is a much more recent passion. I would say I started painting only four or five years ago, at most. That would put me at around 20 years old. Even then, my paintings were small and rudimentary. Only very recently have I started to take my visual art more seriously. I still have a lot to learn, but I’m enjoying myself.
CAGCT: What were some of the factors that got you going in art?
MT: I can’t say there was one thing that made me realize I wanted to be an artist. It was kind of a gradual thing. I always thought it would be fun to be a painter. One day I finally pulled the trigger and bought some art supplies. It’s hard to explain in a concise manner, but I believe art (writing, painting, music, performance, etc.) is the most important thing humanity has created, as it allows us to explore and document both our material and immaterial experiences. Imagine how ugly and boring the world would be without art!
CAGCT: On your website, there is both photography and visual art. Do you prefer doing one over the other?
MT: I prefer visual art, hands down. I originally purchased my camera to take high-quality photos of my work. I definitely enjoy taking photos, but I think there are bigger barriers to development- namely the price of quality equipment, which keeps me from honing my skills as much as I would like to. Plus, I find the experience of creating something with my own two hands more immediate and rewarding.
CAGCT: Which piece of art of yours is your favorite and what was the inspiration behind it?
MT: I have two pieces that are very dear to my heart: Kiss and Isabelle. These were the first two pieces I painted that made me stop and say “I think I might be a real artist now”.
I wish there was some deeper meaning or inspiration that I could point to, but there isn’t. I was noodling around in Photoshop and ended up creating designs I liked then decided to make paintings based on those designs. These two paintings are the direct result of that process.
CAGCT: When you are not creating art, what may someone see you doing on a day like this?
MT: This may sound boring, but I don’t really do much besides making art. I try to spend time with my family and with my beautiful girlfriend, Kat. I try to engage the art community by attending events and visiting artists in their studios. I run ALSO THAT, which is in a constant state of improvement. I work on my fiction and poetry and have recently started branching out into script writing with a few close friends. Fit all this around a 9-5 office job and there isn’t much time for anything else.
CAGCT: What is your EDSFTG (Every Day Should Feel This Good) moment?
MT: Whenever I have a full day to myself, I try to set a few goals. Get some writing done, do a little painting. Read. Exercise. Do some website maintenance. I’ll write my tasks down in a little notepad and cross them off when I complete them. I would say my EDSFTG moment is when I get everything done and still have a little time to myself to relax and unwind.
CAGCT: If you could be any person in the world for a day, who would it be?
MT: Somehow this is the hardest question. I feel like Jerry Seinfeld has a great life. I don’t think I would mind being him for a day. If I could be anyone living or dead, I would have to say Pablo Picasso, just so I could know what it feels like to be a genius.