Michael Cepress

Reclaiming the Essential | Work Balance | MC Funk and Flash

Major changes have been happening here at our studio. For those of you have walked past the space you have seen the windows papered over with a simple announcement of “Our new look coming soon.” That new look is a more private one, and one designed to help me refocus and reclaim the creative spirit here at MC…just in time for spring.

The space here at MC is much different than it was 2 weeks ago. We’ve closed down our retail front, repainted, moved every scrap of cloth, rack and rail in exchange for more studio space, more creative spirit, and more clarity to make the work we need to make.


And before I get into much more, I want to proudly announce that MC’s ready to wear is now on the racks at Velouria’s new location on Capitol Hill, just a few blocks from our studio and in the heart of a lovely and active part of the neighborhood. Tes and the gang have been absolute dolls in their willingness to showcase my work and I’m excited to offer you all even more access to what we’re doing thanks to their open minds and new boutique. Check it out!


Being self-employed as an artist is hard work. I knew that going into this deal, and the rewards are great. At the end of the day, the thing that makes it work is a lovely balance between business and art – a balance between the creative spirit and the pragmatic needs of any small, growing business. I’m not certain I have found the perfect balance quite yet, so I spend my days making constant adjustments to the scenario to make sure it can all continue.

This new change is perhaps the biggest one yet. We’ve white-washed the walls of our space, put in new shelves, material storage, and stripped the space down to its essential elements for one main reason: the creative process and the energy of an artist is what drives it all and makes me happiest at the end of a day. Without that, we’re nothing. My wonderful studio mate Rachel and I are delighted to announce this reclaiming of ourselves. As an artist, my work is my identity; I am my work and my work is me. For better or worse I never I really leave work – it comes with me everywhere I go and this has been the case for at least the past 20 years. At the moment I can’t manage to think of a point in my life where a creative impulse didn’t follow me around all day every day – and I can’t remember a time where the will to make something had ever left my side. I like living this way, and don’t suppose I could have it any other way even if I tried.

My sewing machine sits beneath the skylight in the studio and the morning light is superb.
My cutting table is in the round with miles of walking space around its perimeter.
My fabric piles have been winnowed down to a precious few, the rest being placed in the hands of others who will make good use of them.
My design board shows all the potential in the world, tho at the moment it offers a mere glimpse into what the forthcoming collections will deliver.
My mind feels clear, open and ready to work.
My hands are also ready; ready for new materials, new ideas, new techniques and new modes of working.

This afternoon’s sunshine forced me to break from my swatch-juggling and number-running to just play. The stack of jeans atop my dresser at home made it to the studio for repair, and the last box of scraps (in addition to a kind donation from Rachel) made for a great chance to decorate and play. With the turn of the seasons in full swing, and my desire to open up, explore, and celebrate a re-claimed artistic practice, I’ve started a bit of funk and flash of my very own. MC Funk and Flash pales in comparison to the glory of my heroes and champions from the past, but it sure does feel good!

The ass of the artist covered with the very beginning stages of his MC Funk and Flash.

Progress updates promised.

Posted March 6th, 2010

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