Egyptian Muse: Q&A With Marcus Muse

Photo: Undrell Maholmes

Marcus Muse is one of those artist one would consider to be “your favorite artist’s favorite artist”. As the owner of Museart Tattoo, Marcus runs one of the most respected and revered tattoo shops in Oklahoma. Part of this is due to his relentless artistic pursuit, and the other due to the level of talent that works alongside him at Museart. We had a chance to hangout at Museart and chat with the man himself, and he’s as humble as he is talented.

NC: How did you get into art?

MM: I got into art when I was very young, maybe 6 or seven. My aunt would do graphite sketches of our immediate family. I think that inspired me, as well as my brothers and cousins to draw and compete against each other to see who could draw the best.

NC: What medium led you to tattooing?

MM: Drawing led to coloring, coloring led to tattooing, tattooing led to painting and painting led me back to drawing. I am still very much in that same competition with the same members of my family, my cousin who was always one above me creatively does tattoos as well. Although we do not compete anymore. We do however push each other to create bigger and better things.

NC: What was it about tattooing that you identified with, and ultimately made you want to pursue it?

MM: The self expression that comes with tattooing was really what made it stand out to me. Being able to do and make whatever I wanted to make creatively is an artists dream. Not to mention its permanent nature of the craft. Everything is set in stone, like an egyptian hieroglyph being etched into collectors temple forever.

NC: Museart Tattoo is your shop, what made you want to open your own shop?

MM: OKC needs culture, what better way to help out than with our God given talents. Tattooing is the inducer of culture because it allows for individual self expression. This is the main focus and reason for Museart Tattoo Co. self expression and Culture.

NC: What would you say makes Museart Tattoo Co. different from other shops in the city?

MM: Museart stands out because of the vibe that we bring and share, The positive vibrations resonate from this creative center. Things are always changing and absolutely original. All designs are drawn by hand and created custom for each individual’s persona. There are no egos here either. The spiritual aspect to the tattoo is evident, It changes the collectors perspective, thus molding and blending our realities to a picture of unity.

NC: You are definitely known for your amazing work as a tattoo artist, do you feel that other medium like your paintings get as much attention?

MM: Paintings and Art to me are on the “back burner” of the social stove so to speak. Everything else is heating up but the main dish has yet to be turned on in the minds of some of our contemporary generation. Thats food for thought lol.

NC: Do you feel that there is a balance you have to keep between tattooing and your other art?

MM: Life is all about balance. Coming from a Luck Libra I can truly state that there is a fine line that we must draw on in order to balance out our contrasting mediums. Just as dark is to light, and the night is to the day, there must be space in between our never ending art and life juggle.

NC: As an overall artist, how would you describe your style?

MM: My style is like water, it is like water because whatever needs to happen, I allow it to. Whatever style it is, I can use it to create something original and fresh. Like water it flows freely when untampered with. Also like water it can stagnate when not used. It can be powerful like a crashing wave, it can also be subtle but damaging like a roof leak. It can cleanse like water and sustain life, just like water.

NC: What/who are some of your creative influences?

MM: I am influences by the all. By Neteru “nature” and by the physical elements. By people and artists good or bad. The world really gives me all inspiration I need.

NC: What inspires you to create?

MM: The world condition inspires me to create, poverty, racism, discrimination, confusion and fear. I see all the places where we need help and I try to fill up that place with art.

NC: You’ve traveled to quite a few places including Africa. From an art perspective, What are some of the differences you’ve seen between those places and working as an artist in Oklahoma?

MM: Our efforts as artists could have a very huge and influential impact on other cultures if directed in the right direction. We can change the condition of the places that really need it if we focus our talents and point them in the proper direction. Makes me think of the phrase, “work smarter not harder”. Traveling to places that really have none of the opportunities that we have puts your artistic thoughts in order. Also traveling really shows you the origins of art, where styles and art history really come from. That has a profound effect on how you interpret art.

NC: From your perspective what’s your outlook on the creative culture here in Oklahoma?

MM: The “creative culture” here in Oklahoma if it is not careful can stagnate like we said earlier. It’s “virtually extinct”. We still have creative groups flourishing but there is still much separation. Unity is needed to really make a long lasting impact on the culture of OKC. We need everyone in on this, “all hands on deck” as they say.

NC: There has been a lot of talk about how there are so many talented artists here, but not a big enough of a spotlight. Do you agree with that? If so what do you think needs to happen to improve this situation?

MM: With time I do believe all positive efforts have their just reward. However, if we are working hard at our goals interdependently I believe that the consistency from this produces reward. Our own creatives are to build the platforms and spotlight and shine that light on ourselves. From there I believe we will illuminate the artistic deficiency here in OKC. Also, we need to create more opportunity and unity amongst our local artists and small businesses, men and women, doing murals and collaborations with the city on places to put major iconic art in the city. This will bring art to the forefront and off the back burner. It documents our history and should always be at the forefront of our time.

NC: Any future plans you would like to share with us?

MM: Stay on the lookout for more Museart Collaborative shows, We have an artists “trade show” October 30th, at Museart Tattoo Co. where we urge artists to network by trading and bartering art. Of course Tattooing is always something we will all look forward to. The other plans have to be kept a secret if we actually want them to happen lol.

NC: Last question. What advice would you give to any fellow artists out there who are just starting out?

MM: Advice for artists, don’t ever take no for an answer. People are gonna tell you no so many times you’re gonna think it’s your name, but don’t ever listen. Go forward with your ideas, use righteous discernment and don’t ever stop drawing. Oh yeah, and somewhere in there try to have fun!

hetep ! -muse

For more on Marcus Muse and Museart Tattoo Co. visit Museart Tattoo and Muse Art Society.