Michele Luminato’s career is as colourful as her stunning pieces. Applying her learnings from a Fine Art degree throughout her time at iconic brands like Nike, Michele wears many hats effortlessly, from corporate to entrepreneur to pure creative.
Currently working from her home studio in Melbourne where she has a dedicated space to spread out and work around her family life and raising two teenagers, that creativity has proven to be a real cathartic pillar for Michele – personally and professionally.
“I love painting and what it does for my soul. I love colour and the way it makes us feel, and the paintings I make today blend those worlds perfectly. Paintings represent feelings I can’t express any other way. I hope to still be painting at 100 years old.”
We talk to Michele Luminato about her creative journey and allowing the fluidity of inspiration influence her process.
Your collection has come together beautifully, is there one piece in particular that stands out to you and why?
I don’t really have one piece that stands out to me yet. They each have a special gift they are sharing that is unique to them. I suppose like kids in a family I am drawn to the different colours for different reasons and the way they make me feel. I think the unique experience we get as viewers comes from our connections to the individual colours and what is calling us to them. A deep violet and warm palette is calling me more than usual but there is something quite comforting about the cool colours as well.
What do you hope people will feel or take away when experiencing your work, particularly this exhibition?
My hope with Shared Wavelengths is for people to experience the power of colour and the unique connection they may have to a colour or multiple co lours. To feel the power it has to calm us, relax us, or to make us feel energised, excited, or rich and luxurious with its deep depths. I hope the show shares a connection, a common wavelength that makes a positive impact on the viewer.
Can you share a little about your art journey and how it has evolved to where you are today?
I’ve always felt a creative calling and took every art class I could. I loved it so much I pursued art school where I earned my Bachelor of Fine Art from PNCA in Portland, Oregon, USA. I was fortunate that it taught me foundational art making practices that inform me today. In art school I focused on photography and graphic design as an emphasis and this led me to my first professional job working for Nike in their product design division.
This was the start of a deep love for colour that eventually led to a Director role developing their global colour palette and colour stories for their footwear design group. Which included colour and trend research with international seasonal market travel. That time cemented my love for colour and interesting materials to use in my work as a constant thread of expression.
I then went on to be a lead designer for an international design company based in New York City where I developed an immersive brand experience for fortune 500 brands. Not long after that the entrepreneurial bug bit me. I went on to create my own bespoke luxury stationery company, with my now husband, which launched hand screen printed cards from our tiny studio in Brooklyn and grew to supply over 600 retail stores.
What inspires your creative process?
I am 100% obsessed with colour and how it captures our attention. I love the way colour has the power to pull us in with an automatic response. I always start with a feeling I want to express using colour as a focal point. I love playing with paint and exploring possibilities I can’t plan. I am inspired by modern aesthetics, amazing product designers, fashion designers, furniture designers, interior designers, photographers, nature, you name it. I don’t limit what inspires me. If something pulls me, I listen to the calling and capture the idea. I stay close to those ideas and let it inspire the work. I listen to music and get absorbed in the moment and the work reveals itself from exploring.
What is your favourite subject matter?
What’s next for you?
I am currently working on a new collection that will be exhibited in a solo show with Fenton & Fenton Gallery in early 2023. I’m super excited about this as the ideas and paintings are already starting to reveal themselves. I’m exploring colour energy through form and the feeling it gives us as a viewer. This will be expressed in my sculptural paintings and geometric paintings.
View the exhibition here
View the collection here