Jadora Pomerlee, House of Miles East St. Louis (H.O.M.E.) Teen Ambassador, interviewed Mykael Ash, H.O.M.E. Young Adult Ambassador & Resident Artist. The interview took place in the House of Miles East St. Louis.
JP: How are you, how’s your day so far?
Mykael:I’m good, how are you?
JP: I’m well and happy to interview you!!! So, I have a few questions for you.
Mykael: Yes, ma’am!
JP: I am not sure if our reading audience is aware that Brother Miles (Davis) took a four (4) year sabbatical from music and did just artwork. If you look at his artwork, it is obvious that jazz was some of his inspiration. What started this talent for you and when did you realize you had this GIFT of painting?
Mykael: Well, I seriously believe I was born to paint. It has always been visions and thoughts in my head that I wanted to express and I really didn’t know how to get them across; and drawing and painting was my way of expressing myself. So that’s why I say I was born to paint.
JP: Myke, we met at H.O.M.E (House of Miles East St. Louis). I walked in on a field during my summer employment with my church’s* summer camp. I walked in and could feel Brother Miles’s presence. What brought you to- or better yet- who/what CONNECTED YOU to the House of Miles East St. Louis?
Mykael: My connection with the House of Miles East St. Louis was way before the home was rebuilt. My mom and Ms. Lauren (H.O.M.E. President) and Mr. Gary (H.O.M.E. Vice President) have been knowing me since I was in the womb… lol. They are my “business parents”…
JP: Oh wow!!!!! I claim them as well. I guess that makes us siblings… lol… business/art siblings.
Mykael: Absolutely, but they have seen me grow as a young black man and as an artist. As you yourself know, once they see something in you, they pour into you all the love and encouragement that they can. They present us with opportunities to be highlighted and seen, not just in this city but around the country.
JP: Like you, I plan to be a part of H.O.M.E. even as an adult, but I know you have some other projects going on. What can we be looking forward to from you, Myke?
Mykael: I am currently trying to get into entertainment. For example, I am looking forward to doing more art shows. I plan to do some poetry shows, jazz shows, hip hop shows to put my own little flavor on the entertainment business.
JP: I say this time and time again when people ask me why I love H.O.M.E., I tell them when I came and sat down, it felt like Brother Miles was sitting right next to me!!! It was not a scary feeling. It was a very smooth, cool vibe… inviting, if you will… Do you ever feel that?
Mykael: ABSOLUTELY!!!!!! You are so right!!!! The presence is not a threatening presence at all!!! Whether I am here or home, especially here though, I can feel his presence and it helps my inspiration for that moment, for that artwork. Sometimes I am here painting at all hours of the night and days and I feel at peace when I am here.
JP: Now I told some people that are familiar with your work that I was interviewing you and they asked if I would present their questions. Will that be okay?
JP: What inspires you?
Mykael: I get most of my inspiration from music and my environment. When I say my environment, I don’t mean just my immediate/East St. Louis. I refuse to be that restricted. I mean the world. I will not be put in society’s box of what I or my artwork should be.
JP: My mom says, “Don’t allow society to put you in a box and don’t put yourself in a box.”
Mykael: Absolutely. There is so much good in and from East St. Louis… and there is more to come.
JP: What medium do you use in your artwork?
Mykael: Right now I am loving acrylic!!!! Acrylic and water-color paint. I usually work with charcoal and graphite. I am learning how to use it and I love how it makes the skin look when I am painting people of color. I love the texture.
JP: Do you emotion paint? Lolmbo… I emotion paint. How I am feeling is what I display.
Mykael: Right now I am “hungry” to see what is next for me. I am always thirsting for that next big piece (of art) that will put my artwork on the map. That’s what moves me… When I do a portrait of somebody, I am looking for that WOOOOOOWWWWW factor, that tear-jerking reaction.
JP: My last question is for me…. Are you interested in teaching art classes if it fits into your schedule?
Mykael: That is my ultimate passion.
JP: Thank you so much for your time and thank you for sharing your gift with this community and the world.
Mykael Ash, H.O.M.E. Young Adult Ambassador & Resident Artist
House of Miles East St Louis (H.O.M.E.)
1701 Kansas Avenue
East Saint Louis, Illinois
Jadora Pomerlee, House of Miles East St Louis (H.O.M.E.) Teen Ambassador, is 14 years old.
House of Miles East St. Louis (HOME) is a non-profit 501c3 that offers tours and educational programs in the restored East St Louis childhood home of musician extraordinaire, Miles Davis!
The mission of H.O.M.E. – To nurture, empower, and embrace the talents of upcoming generations by reclaiming, restoring, and revitalizing our values, identity, and Cool. “Cool” is all about what’s happening next, and it stands for Constantly Operating On Love. H.O.M.E. itself is described as the cultural epicenter impelled and dedicated to cultivate, connect, and celebrate the community through music, heritage, and art.
See also: www.gessomagazine.com/2019/09/articles/music/house-of-miles-east-st-louis-home/