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Artist Profile: Logan McQuaig shows his quirky side at Redlight

Bellingham Kourtnai McQuiag wrote a shout-out to me about her husband, Logan McQuaig, because she says, in a photo shoot in January for a Bellingham Herald story about Seahawks fans, the driver of the “Hawk Bus,” Ryan Callier, was wearing shoes that Logan hand-painted.

Even though the shoes were not included in the photo of Callier that ran in the paper, the shoes that Logan creates are true works of art.

Logan’s other artistic interest is what he calls “fake movie posters.”

They’ll be displayed in an exhibit opening during the monthly Downtown Art Walk, from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, March 6, at the Redlight, 1017 N. State St., and will be on show through March.

Here’s more about McQuaig, who’s 33, and says that the closest thing he’s had to art training was an art class at Wenatchee High School. He’s lived in Bellingham for 15 years.

Question: How did you get interested in creating art?

A: I really enjoyed making art (mostly drawing) while growing up in Wenatchee but after high school, I focused solely on playing music. I played in bands in Bellingham for 10 years and barely so much as doodled on scrap paper.

A couple years ago, leading up to our wedding, I found that people painted on shoes and asked my friend, Toby Stanger, if he’d be willing to try painting some for me. We were all set to go that route until my Mom came to visit and she and my now-wife, Kourtnei suggested I try to do them myself.

I got the hang of it relatively quickly with a lot of guidance from Toby (who’s also showing works at the Redlight) and decided to try selling them when we got home from getting married in Mexico.

Commission shoe-painting has kept me pretty busy in my spare time since then, but I’ve also gotten asked to participate in some more traditional paint-on-canvas (I actually paint on wood because I’m pretty heavy-handed) shows by nice people around here.

Now Toby and I have our fake movie poster show at Redlight opening during the Art Walk, which I’m so excited for. I really like doing events with him as we have somewhat similar styles and his insane talent pushes me to try things I may not otherwise in an attempt to even keep up with what he’s doing.

Q: What’s happening in your life right now?

A: I’m trying out the career step and opening a studio and shop for my stuff (I named the shoe-painting brand “Novato” early on, hoping that I wouldn’t be the only artist contributing to it) as well as original art, prints, gifts and apparel, all locally designed and made by the very talented people I’ve gotten to know in the area over the last couple years.

Novato Shop & Studio will be open for the April Art Walk at 115 W. Chestnut St.

Q: What’s the process for creating the shoes?

A: Painting on shoes came from my pretty strong personal dislike of dress shoes and trying to figure out what to wear at my wedding. I ended up painting a dozen or so pairs for myself, the wedding party and family, and afterward decided to try selling them.

Generally, someone will approach me with a basic idea of what they want and I’ll design something to fit the specific pair that they choose. I imagine that part is kind of like tattooing as each pair is a bit different as far as size and shape.

Q: Do you have a day job?

A: My current “grown-up” job is as the bar manager at The Copper Hog, although I’ll be cutting back a bit there to focus on opening Novato Shop & Studio.

Reach Margaret Bikman at 360-715-2273 or margaret.bikman@bellinghamherald.com.

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