Art comes in all shapes, sizes, and mediums. That’s been the case since the dawn of time and will forever be the reason we don’t just gaze upon the paintings and marble sculptures pimped out in museums, but also everything from fan art to felt-inspired creations that make audiences far and wide go, aww. Which brings us to the insanely creative and kooky Ed Mironiuk. We talked to him about his Felt Fiends, Stinkin’ Cute series, and what’s up next for the artist with some of the most talented hands in the game.
Kendra: Looking through your work, it’s easy to see that you grew up during the ’70s and ’80s because on one hand you have these sexually free women and then on another, there are your current Felt Fiends that look like Saturday Morning Cartoons come to life. Would you say you often pull from nostalgia when it comes to your creative efforts?
Ed Mironiuk: Oh definitely! I’m a child of those decades so I have a very soft spot in my heart for pop culture from that time. It’s impossible not to be influenced by what was going on then. I’m a big fan of kitsch and silliness so it’s a perfect wellspring to be inspired by.
Kendra: I also ask because you have a couple of pop culture giants in your Felt Fiend gang; Sloth from The Goonies and Yoda. If you had to pick a character to be your best fiend from a movie, who would it be and would you ever make them in felt form?
Ed Mironiuk: Wow, that’s a tricky one. It’s a toss-up between Del Griffith from Planes, Trains, and Automobiles or Travis Bickel from Taxi Driver. Del probably wouldn’t be immediately recognizable in felt-form but Travis I think really needs to be made. I need to add him to my list now.
Kendra: When from animation and illustration something as different as needle felting, was it because you wanted to evolve your skills or were you just feeling restless with drawing?
Ed Mironiuk: I had been doing illustration and alternative pinup work since the mid-’90s. The subject matter was boring me, what initially was new and exciting had become mainstream. I was tired of working on the computer all the time so I decided to take a break and just focus on helping my wife with her art/production. Eventually, I needed a hobby and stumbled on needle felting. It’s so much fun to work in 3D rather than 2D and also have a tangible end product.
Kendra: As someone who has seen the art world from all sides over the years, do you feel the rise of technology has aided or hurt the art community?
Ed Mironiuk: I think technology has just shown us how many really talented people there are out there. It’s hard to be a big fish in a small pond anymore. There’s more “competition” but there’s also the benefit of being able to get more exposure. I definitely don’t miss sending out mailers to magazines to try and get seen or get a gig. I think it’s a good thing, I’ve definitely benefited from it.
Kendra: Your wife, Kristin Tercek of Cuddly Rigor Mortis, said “never say never” when it comes to an animated movie starring her characters. Seeing as you two aren’t strangers to working together, what say you? Would you ever be down to work on an animated film featuring yours or her art?
Ed Mironiuk: Sure! Even better would be if we both combined forces. The sum is worth more than our parts whenever we collaborate.
Kendra: Your Stinkin’ Cute exhibit just wrapped up at Gallery 1988 out in Los Angeles. You pretty much sold out of all of them, including these little gases(?) in jars. Going back to the animation, no pressure but those little guys could be the stars. Where did the inspiration for Fluhp, Fuht, and the rest of the crew come from?
Ed Mironiuk: Blame the internet for those stinkers. I had seen a YouTube video where someone had ordered farts in jars and they were seeing if they smelled like anything. Luckily or maybe unluckily for that person, they didn’t.
Kendra: Can you let the people know what you have going on in the next couple of months?
Ed Mironiuk: I just finished a few pieces for some upcoming shows at Gallery 1988. I’m also planning on starting a patreon with tutorials and behind the scenes info. After that, I’ll need to start hunkering down for another solo show next year. Gotta keep pokin’.