100 Creatives

52: Mike Maas

52: Mike Maas

​Mike Maas is the byproduct of monster movies, punk rock, the Catholic Church, comic books, sugary cereal, toys and Saturday morning cartoons. Wearing these influences on his sleeve, the Tempe-based artist creates art that is dark and humorous, relying on his few surviving brain cells to remember the skills he's gleaned from 20-plus years working in the commercial and fine art fields, many of which are incorporated into his creations.


(After the jump, Maas discusses funeral home knickknacks, Madonna and why he's practically Amish.)

Name five things on your Inspiration Wall (real or imagined).
The inspiration walls of my spare bedroom ... I mean, fabulous art studio are covered floor to ceiling with punk posters, action figures, monster model kits, vintage toys, dolls, advertising characters, comic book and serial killer art, Kiss collectibles, Catholic geegaws and funeral home what-nots.

What's your last big project?
Most of my projects come in the small to medium-sized variety. The last one was a coupla paintings I did for the Everything But the Kitsch 'N Sync Annual Group Show
at La Luz De Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles.

What's your next big project?
My mutant piñata just got accepted into the People's Biennial traveling show, and
I'm making a bunch of new paintings and sculptures for a show at Perihelion in 2011,

Why Phoenix?
Unlike most creative sorts I know, cold, wet, damp, gray, rainy and cloudy conditions make me way too depressed to be creative. If I hadn't moved from the Midwest to hot, dry, arid, bright, sunny and cloudless Phoenix, my next big project would've been learning to tie a noose.

What's something you want Phoenix to know about you?
Apart from all the believing in god stuff, I think I'd make a pretty good Amish person. I refuse to drive, I'm really uncomfortable on the phone, and I hate having my picture taken.

What's something you don't want Phoenix to know about you?
Though you'd never know it from seeing a fat gut covered in a Minor Threat T-shirt,
I'm a closet Madonna fan who practices yoga 3 to 4 times a week.

The Creatives, so far:

100. Fausto Fernandez
99. Brian Boner
98. Carol Panaro-Smith
97. Jane Reddin
96. Adam Dumper
95. Mayme Kratz
94. Daniel Tantalean
93. Yuri Artibise
92. Lisa Starry
91. Paul Hoeprich
90. Betsy Schneider
89. Mary Shindell
88: Gabriel Utasi
87: Tiffany Egbert
86. Angela Cazel Jahn
85. Dayvid LeMmon
84. Beatrice Moore
83. Michelle J. Martinez
82. Carrie Bloomston
81. Paul Porter
80. Rachel Bess
79. Karolina Sussland
78. Aaron Abbott
77. Mary Lucking
76. Erin Sotak
75. Greg Esser
74. Matthew Mosher
73. Mark Klett
72. Tony Carrillo
71. Paul Morris
70. Joe Pagac
69. Alison King
68. JJ Horner
67. Kim Porter
66. Marco Rosichelli
65. Heather Hales
64. Amy Lamp
63. Kevin Vaughan-Brubaker
62. Lindy Drew

61. Robbie Pfeffer
60. Neil Borowicz

59. Lynn Fisher

58. Tanner Woodford

57. David Tinapple
56. Casebeer

55. Tom Leveen

54. Patti Parsons
53. Tedd McDonah

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Amy Silverman is a two-time winner of the Arizona Press Club’s Journalist of the Year award. Her work has appeared on the radio show This American Life and in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Lenny Letter, and Brain, Child. She’s the co-curator of the live reading series Bar Flies, and a commentator for KJZZ, the NPR affiliate in Phoenix. Silverman is the author of the book My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome (Woodbine House 2016). Follow her on Instagram (@amysilverman), Twitter (@amysilvermanaz), and at amy-silverman.com.