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Talking Folk Art, Death, and Mortuary School with Mike Egan

mike egan death rides a cat
“Death Rides a Cat” Courtesy of Mike Egan

Which new bourbon are we pumped about? What does it take to be a master journeyman? Where are we excited to travel to next? Each week, The Manual Podcast invites an expert, artisan, or craftsman for a roundtable discussion on what’s new, exciting, and unique in their trade.

For this week’s episode of The Manual Podcast, the gang’s all here as Nicole, Sam, and Greg sit down with visual artist Mike Egan.

Egan, who has become known for his bold paintings that resemble, among other things, Mexican folk art, first discusses how he started as an artist (it was art school). From there, though, life did its usual thing of derailing or changing plans and that’s when Egan found himself studying mortuary arts.

For the next few years, Egan dedicated his life to his work. He didn’t have a choice, he says, as he was on call 24/7 basically. It was a gallery show in Pittsburgh, though, that helped change that. From there, Egan began devoting his time to his art — and when you hear about his work ethic, you’ll see just how much time that really is.

Finally, the gang gets into what his process is actually like. How does he plan his projects? How long does it take? What’s it like once a piece is done and in a gallery? Heck, what is it even like to do a gallery show? We ask all of the hard-hitting questions about art in this one, so prepare to get a little nerdy over awesome artwork.

Are you an artist? Did you know about Egan before we did? Do you make something we should see? We want to hear from you. If you ever have a question or comment for The Manual Podcast folks, give us a shout at — we’re always around! Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter so you can join the discussion.

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