Mike Tyau: Muralist, Photographer, Graphic Designer

BAMphoto by Tuffgyal808

Q#1: Are you a Bay Area Native? and if not, how long have you lived in the Bay? Bam: I was born & raised in Honolulu, Hawaii but moved to SF after high school to go to art school. I lived temporarily in LA for 2 years to hook up with my wife, but I’ve lived in the Yay Area for 23 years. Trip out that it’s been over half my life in the beautiful Bay Area!

Q#2: When did you start on the creative path you are currently on? Bam: Many friends of mine have told me that I was born to be an artist & have the innate ability to do art (draw & paint anything the eye can see or apply the aesthetics of good design). I went to the Academy of Art with Estria. He majored in Illustration & I majored in Graphic Design in the 80’s. I stopped doing graffiti back in the early 90’s to “grow up” and work in the videogame industry. However, after becoming a project manager & working a desk job for 6 years, Estria brought me back to the game in ’06 to help me back on my true love for painting graffiti art. Since then, every free moment I have, I paint.

Q#3: Where do you find your inspiration? Bam: Besides sharing graffiti art with my graffiti fraternity brothers, I’m inspired by everyday life. A ladybug crawling up my sleeve, a bird soaring across the sky, talking to female friends about what their favorite colors are. The dance of Malia Movement! After doing computer graphics for 10 years, I am inspired by good lighting and color…because with out light, we are all in the darkness. It was not until I met a bunch of friends from Pixar and started doing photography that I understood that controlling light in my art sets the tone of how people feel. Besides the content of what you paint, it helps to know a lot about lighting & color.

Q#4: What was the first piece of vinyl you ever purchased? Bam: I think my first piece of vinyl was either the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever, Mantronix Needle to the Groove or Rap Raplinger’s Poi Dog (Hawaiian comedian). Kids out there have to understand the background that when we were young, we all didn’t have our own individual iPods or Walkmans. My brother, sister & I had to share a record player & 1 cassettle player. Since I am the youngest of 3 siblings, my oldest brother had dibs on what was played on a record player 1st. He listened to the Beatles, Led Zepplin, Johnny Cash & the Eagles and introduced me to “Classic Rock.” My sister was next, so she played disco records of Andy Gibb, the BeeGees and Shawn Cassidy. Later in the evening was when I got to play my records of “New Wave” music, heavy metal & comedy.

Q#5: Anything else you’d like to share? a joke/quote? Bam: You know a person is from Hawaii when the interview is over and they say “all pau!” Mahalo for the interview!



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