From the cores of childhood creativity to curating Microsoft’s first art collection, Michael Klein has earned his place amongst the world’s top creative. He turned a small fascination for art into a lifelong journey of creative accomplishments, including writing, lecturing, art educating, curating, artist advocacy and building the foundation for the Michael Klein Gallery.
As a student, Michael challenged himself to create opportunities that didn’t exist, and through his persistence and will to try anything, he was able to dominate his fears and achieve goals that once seemed surreal.
This interview is super stellar, so don’t miss it. Michael is truly a master.
Here are the highlights of my funky conversation with Michael:
- 06:06 :Michael’s journey to the world of arts starting with when his fascination with art began, a notable field trip 1969 which made an impact in his life, ending up in NYU to study art,being in the Whitney Independence Study Program, getting into the William’s program for graduate school, deciding to be a museum curator, ending up back in New York as a museum director, running his own art gallery in Soho, taking a sabbatical at 45 years old and moving West to be the curator for Microsoft,
- 14:18 :His stories and inspiring words on perseverance, persistence, making your own opportunities and never saying never,
- 18:30 : His advice in how to create a life that you love including starting at home, getting over the fear of rejection, and building a network which you could, later on, turn into a livelihood,
- 20:56 : Figuring out your schedule and how you work best to set up a daily routine which could drive maximum productivity, discipline and something you can enjoy,
- 24:31 : How running through brick walls, making new mistakes and overcoming obstacles should be embraced as it can develop you more,
- 26:03 : The steps he put into place when he was in Microsoft to make him successful including learning the culture, learning technology, assessing problems and developing business plans in line with these challenges,
- 31:23 :How his contributions helped the employees in Microsoft and the programs he had spearheaded to spark their interest in art, and
- 34:12 : The areas of opportunities that he sees in artists including their ego, emotions and their difficulty in stepping back to criticize themselves and be objective.
One hour to create something, with anyone…
- “I adore Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, and Mozart so I’d like to have dinner with them and create an opera.”
To defeat Godzilla with his talents…
- “I think he is just a misunderstood monster so I always loved Godzilla. I’d take him to dinner and feed him whatever he wants.”
- You make the opportunities. You open the door for yourself. It’s very easy to say, “Nothing is out there”, “I can’t do it”, “Everyone says no” but there’s always somebody who’ll say yes. I’m a firm believer that if you want it badly enough, you will get it. If there’s a will, there’s a way.
- We have the ability to create our lives. It’s not as if you’ll just open a door and land exactly where you want to be. You have to build it, you have to build a network.
- Obstacles are growth spurts. You can’t live life without having obstacles.
- Making art requires courage. – Matteis