KATIE MEYER, Channels Staff

Starting out with nothing but a sharpie and a thin piece of wood, Michael Young is able to bring the colorful images in his mind to life.

The 25-year-old City College studio art major has done art for most of his life, including painting and sculpture, but printmaking is where he found his niche.

“I’ve always been making art but I realized before I started taking art classes I was kind of a hack,” said the artist. “Just drawing skulls in notebook paper with mechanicals pencils, I’ve come a long way I feel like.”

Young’s art has been displayed at City Hall in Santa Maria, in the Atkinson Gallery and at Telegraph Brewing Company.

“I feel like I make my best work when I’m distraught or break up with some chick. Most of it comes from negative emotions,” said Young.

He is currently working on a print of a wolf wearing a crown of thorns biting the leg of a lamb while an illustration of a woman is placed in the bottom right corner.

“I’m always blown away by what his mind comes up with,” said industrial design student, Sydney Eilbacher.

The artist says when he was younger he would go out at night and cause trouble. The wolf represents man turning into an animal in the moonlight and the woman is his mother disagreeing with his actions.

“He just has a million things going on in his mind. He thinks of himself as a badass but I think he’s a softy,” said Eilbacher.

There was controversy over Young’s wolf print after it was rejected from being put on display because his work was interpreted as mocking religion.

“I felt like I was putting one of the best pieces on the wall, but I guess the art director didn’t agree with it,” said the artist. “I feel like I have a beautiful mind but at times it’s not really appreciated.”

There are many different printmaking processes but he works primarily in woodcut because he likes the dark and rich textures you get in the wood.

Young starts off by drawing his vision with sharpie onto an almost flat piece of wood. He then carves out the highlights and contours of the picture to add texture.

“I taped around the areas that I didn’t want to get ink and I isolated regions that I only wanted one color palette to be on,” said Young. “I feel like it created much richer of an image than sticking to one color palette.”

He flattens ink onto a glass surface called the brayer and flattens it with a roller to get it as thin as possible. The ink is then rolled onto the woodblock.

Paper is put onto the woodblock and pushed through a newspress, which presses the paper and wood together, transferring the ink to the paper. This process is repeated until the picture is completely finished.

Young says that carving is like meditation, you forget about all the crap that’s going on.