The Poor Patron - Flora & Fauna by Michael Heck

The Poor Patron - Flora & Fauna by Michael Heck


The Poor Patron is a project meant to loosen the everyday strictures of the client/artist relationship. The artist is welcomed to create work based on any MarninSaylor themes or imagery with no creative input, due within a "when it's done" deadline.

We are pleased to offer prints of our Poor Patron collaborations. This is the third in the series, titled Flora & Fauna by Seattle-based artist Michael Heck. This piece is a beautiful rendering of the plants and animals to be found in the MarninSaylorverse.

This art is printed on high-quality, heavyweight, matte, archival paper, and measures 13"x19". Sold unframed, shipped rolled. Half the proceeds from the sale of these prints go directly to the artist.

Be sure to read our interview with Michael below.


Laid out on a table was an assortment of booklets, shirts, and stickers. Each placed next to the other, arranged like an exploded view drawing of an artist’s mind. A perfectly scrawled drooling bat face leered out from a sticker. Mouldering Virgin Mother hands prayed above spiderwebs on a t-shirt. Behind the table two young men bent over their sketch pads, silently honing beasts and beauties. It was hard not to fall in love.

Michael Heck and his merry band, Pity Party, are a multi-disciplinary collective of artists, writers and photographers. We stumbled upon them at a local craft fair at which we were also vending. It wasn’t long before we bought a zine and t-shirt, and we have been wanting more ever since.

One of the reasons I was initially drawn to your work was the name of your collective. What is Pity Party and how did it come about?

Pity Party came about while I was living in Chicago attending art school. I wanted a “brand name” to showcase my work and that of my friends. Right now it's myself, my girlfriend Melissa Kagerer, and my best friend Karsten Foerster (though we are always open to additional contributors). We put out zines, shirts, and miscellaneous other collaborative products.

Did you transplant out here together? Why did you choose Seattle?

Melissa and I moved here in October of 2012. Karsten arrived around two years ago.

I have family in the suburbs and knew we could stay with them while we decided if we liked it here or not. We heard there was a great art/music scene and were excited to explore outside of the midwest. We had both just finished school and figured it was the perfect opportunity to try something new.

In addition to Pity Party, you are a graphic designer. What does the line between artist and designer look like? Is there tension in the overlap?

I used to force a weird separation between my graphic design work and my illustration / 'fine art’. I wanted them to be their own thing and not interact with each other. However, lately I've been integrating design elements into my art. Even if it’s just how I present my work in my zines or online. I like when artists have a strong design presence so I'm always trying to use my design knowledge to showcase my artwork.

Pity Party has a few visual and thematic currents (bats, botany, insignificance/acceptance, more). How were they developed?

I think that’s just a few of my personal influences / interests / hobbies / general attitude of life seeping through into my work. Also some of my design sense coming through as well. I believe in a strong brand presence and I want people to have an idea or image of Pity Party when they think of it.

The myriad products you sell include shirts, zines,posters, poetry, pictures, sketches, buttons, bottle openers and comics, all from and with multiple collaborators. What is next for Pity Party?

We have a bunch of things in the works right now. We'll be debuting a few new books at the Portland Zine Symposium in mid-July. I have two new ones: a follow up to 'Of the Sun' which is more illustrations, doodles, etc.; and a collection of drawings done on the bus to and from work in Bellevue everyday. Melissa is working on another photo zine about all the places she has lived in the last five years. It’s looking super cool so far. Karsten is working on a larger 'mini' comic right now that is looking awesome and I can't wait to see completed. Both of us just started planning out Eyesore 5 which are drawings / comix. Other than print material I'm always working on new shirt designs and things like that. I think I might order some temporary tattoos..

See more Pity Party and Michael Heck.


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