Tea with... Michael Banks
Michael Banks is a photo-artist with a reputation for cool innovative artwork for hotels. His art is regularly specified for Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott, Ritz Carlton, Fairmont and Intercontinental Hotels, from New York to Los Angeles.
What’s the best thing about your job?
I get to spend my life creating Art! And I can live pretty much anywhere where there is a table and a decent internet connection! In recent years I’ve been based in London, Barcelona, and now Italy. Art is the reason I get out of bed every morning!
Please tell us more about the project you’re discussing with us:
With Mineheart we’ve developed a range of rugs. I love the selection made by Brendan and Vanessa, an eclectic mix of ink designs, classical architecture and statuary, through to modern grafitti
What influenced you for these pieces?
Mostly my travels…….these particular images come from a variety of locations – Miami, China, Vienna and Florence.
How long was the process from the idea to the finished works?
Fast ! After image selection, the rug production happened very quickly, after a couple of initial tests.
How would you describe the look and feel of this work?
It’s taking what is essentially 2D art into a 3D format, and expanding the use of my photography into an artistic Homeware product, which is very pleasing for me. I’m thrilled by any lateral product uses of my imagery!
Apart from the design featured above, are you working on anything else exciting that you can talk about currently?
As mentioned above, several Hotel projects in the US, and a couple of commissions for Cruise Ships, which is becoming a booming industry, and very sophisticated in the development of its interiors, and innovative use of artwork.
What were you interested in when you were a child and how did that lead you down the path to where you are now?
My parents took me on very adventurous camping holidays all over Europe when I was a kid……and my mother always took me to the local museums. My first taste of Michelangelo was at 7 years old!
What design tools, equipment or softwares do you use?
Photoshop, ON1 Photo, and some secret image manipulation programmes!
What are your favourite places or things to do, to get inspired or destress?
I live on the coast, so a good walk along the sea-front always helps. The movement, colour, texture and patterns of the water are a never-ending source of wonder to me.
What is one of the most challenging aspects of your job?
Trying to balance time spent on New Business, with time spent on Art Creation.
Are there any particular tools, methods or approaches you use to help with this particular challenge and how does it help?
Discipline, always Discipline ! Time-management for an artist is crucial.
What do you believe or like to do that many people may think is crazy or unusual?
I shoot a lot of abstract photos, and end up in some pretty strange positions sometimes…..people can never figure out what I’m pointing my camera at…….
If you had a quote, proverb or a mantra printed on your shirt what would it say?
“Beauty is truth, truth beauty, that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know”
By the poet John Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn.
Where can people find out more about what you do, and how can they get in touch?
All my image collections are on my website:
Ink Flow 1 rug 2000mm x 2000mm (Pictured above)
Ink flow 2 rug 2000mm x 2000mm (Pictured above)
Ink Art rug 2800mm x 2000mm (Pictured above)
Element rug 3000mm x 2000mm (Pictured above)
Mosaic Statue 1 rug 3000mm x 2000mm (Pictured above)
Mosaic Statue 2 rug 3000mm x 2000mm (Pictured above)
Kaleido Classico rug 3000mm x 2000mm (Pictured above)
Classic Remix rug 3000mm x 2000mm (Pictured above)
Graffiti 1 rug 3000mm x 2000mm (Pictured above)
Graffiti 2 rug 3000mm x 2000mm (Pictured above)
Graffiti 3 rug 3000mm x 2000mm (Pictured above)
Graffiti 4 rug 3000mm x 2000mm (Pictured above)