Michal Golan Interview



Michal GolanRisa Borsykowsky: Why did you move to the US from Israel? What was life like in Israel?

Michal Golan: I originally moved to the United States because my father was invited to Washington as a guest scientist, working for the National Bureau of Standards. I took the opportunity to join him by enrolling at the University of Maryland, where I got a BA in graphic design. Upon my graduation, I returned to Israel and wanted to continue my education in studio art, but at this time, no such programs where offered in Israel. Life in Israel was lovely, but continuing my education was of the utmost importance to me. Therefore, I returned to the U.S and enrolled in New York University to continue pursuing my studies. I earned my masters degree in studio art in 1984.

Were you trained in jewelry design? How did you get started in jewelry design? How long have you been a jewelry designer?

When I was in graduate school in the early 1980’s, I began making jewelry to sell at craft shows and street festivals to support myself. Upon graduating from New York University, I began making jewelry as a full time occupation, even though I had never received any formal training as a jeweler.

Was this always your career?

Jewelry design has been my career since 1981, when I first enrolled at NYU.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I draw inspiration from Middle Eastern mosaics, Victorian jewelry, and Byzantine art. I am an avid museum/gallery visitor, so I am constantly finding inspiration in the art world.

What do you enjoy most about this career?

The freedom to make a living while doing what I love - creating art works.

Your pieces are sold around the world. Did you have any idea that you would be this successful? What do you attribute your success to?

As a graduate student, I never predicted I would be so successful in the jewelry world. I believe I have found success because I love what I do. I hope the joy that I experience creating the pieces shows in the works themselves.

Who or what had the greatest influence on you as you developed as an artist, or did you always have your own style? How would you describe your style?

I have had an interest in art since I was a child. I always loved going to museums and expressing myself creatively. As much as I draw inspiration from the art world, I am also influenced by everyday things, like a trip to the store or a walk in the park.

What do you do for fun? Where do you like to travel?

When I am not designing I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I also love to travel. My most frequent travel destinations are Israel and Europe. I visit Israel every year and still have many friends and family members there. I also visit Paris frequently to find inspiration for my work. Some of my other favorite pass time are skiing and walking my dog.

What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?

My advice to any artist starting out in the world would be to stay up to date with the latest trends and keep re-inventing your creative identity. Keep your line fresh and your customers interested.

Who is your favorite artist? Musician? Writer?

My favorite artists are Kandinsky, Miro, Picasso and other early modem artists. I enjoy classical music and Brazilian music. My favorite writers are Jose Saramago, Jorge Amado, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mair Shalev, and Gerald Durrell.

Thanks so much, Michal!

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