Today we’d like to introduce you to Michael Norice.
Michael, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
In 2002, I created a company that does custom clothing and shoes (B.Y.N Customs). This store concept was new to Los Angeles at the time. My demand grew into to the eyes of a few key fashionable LA boutiques, Fred Segal and Sportie LA. Both in which are located on Melrose. At the time, I had a little store on Gramercy and Manchester in South Central LA. I landed a deal with these two boutiques to do all of their custom items. This demand grew so much over the years that I found myself having to get a store of my own on Melrose. I love fashion very much, but not as much as I love fine art. My original idea was to create a custom clothing company that highlighted my artistic ability, I thought that hopefully when my clients purchased my items that they would acknowledge my artist ability and my art career would grow from there. Boy was I wrong. I got put into a “Customizer” box that limited my artistry to doing only clothing and shoes. Please don’t get me wrong, I enjoy doing custom clothing and shoes and I have love for my fellow customizers who do as well. But I always wanted a different path for my artistic ability.
In order to get myself out of this “Box”, I started to do more paintings on canvases, art shows, and murals. This helped me a great deal allowing people to start acknowledging me as an actual “Artist”, and not just clothing customizer. With the buzz as an artist growing, I wanted to come up with a unique way to promote myself as an artist on a major scale. Thats when I created my nonprofit called “Artfully United”. Which focuses on creating positive messages in the inner city communities where gangs, drug use, and violence is high. My thought behind it was to create murals with inspiring messages to uplift the people in these areas, as well as displaying artistic ability at the same time. After creating just four murals for my nonprofit, the response to this concept was so positive and encouraging, that not only do I want to create commission art pieces, but I want to do my “Artfully United” murals full time for my artistic future.
Has it been a smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road for me in my journey. Over the years, I’ve had a lot of people that has discouraged my ideas saying things like,” Customizing will never work, might as well go get a regular job, or why don’t you just become a house painter instead?” All of these things were told to my face over the years to let me down and to loose focus on what my goal was. But over the years, and all of the ups and downs, I stayed consistent and kept pushing.
Please tell us about Mike Norice Art and Artfully United.
As of now, my main focus consists of two companies:
1. Mike Norice Art – This is my personal art career, doing fine art pieces, murals and canvases. I specialize in lifelike portrait paintings, characters, and pop art. I’m mostly known for my large 2pac mural I did on the back alley of Melrose a few years ago. I’m currently known for my Nipsey Hussle mural that I’m doing for a NFL player, Desean Jackson. I’m mostly proud of how much I inspire people to want to tap into their ” inner artist” after viewing my paintings. In addition to my artistic diversity, consistency and dedication is what sets me apart from most artist.
2. Artfully United – This is my nonprofit that gives back to the community by providing positive mural messages in the inner city. We specialize in painting murals that has a simple word or phrase that will help uplift the viewers. We are mostly known for our Slauson and Hoover mural location that says,” FORGIVENESS”. I’m mostly proud of the five awards that we have received from the mayor, the senator, and several districts in which our murals are located in. Our authentic want to help, inspire, and encourage our people is what sets us apart from other mural companies out there.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love the opportunity and diversity in our city. I don’t like the homeless epidemic that has taken over our city.
- Website: mikenorice.com. artfullyunited.org
- Phone: 323.782.0085
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. email@example.com
- Instagram: @mikenorice. @artfullyunted