Meet Michael Carnes














At Ian Marko, our mission is to bring inspiration and stye to the free-spirited journeyers around the world. As new people join us, we have started asking them to share their stories with us for us to then share their stories with you. We feel that a community of us can truly bring inspiration to others around the world. 

Introducing to you today:

Michael Carnes

Michael is a true art maker with interest in various types of art such as painting, drawing, illustrating, and photographing who currently resides in a large multi-cultural city in South Texas. Much of his inspiration for his work comes from travel, history, and fashion. Like us, he believes that art is the foundation of modern society and should always be appreciated, remembered, and celebrated accordingly. 

IM: Who is Michael Carnes and what do you do?

MC: I’m definitely more of a listener than a talker— at least when I have to talk about myself, that is. As of right now, I study Fine Arts at the University of the Incarnate Word in Texas, and I will be turning 23 years of age later this year. Although I am still in the (slow) process of pursuing my undergraduate degree, I’d like to put myself in the category of an artist, or “art maker.” Although I do focus more on painting, my work does consist of many different forms of art, so it’s quite a mouthful to label myself as a painter, drawer, illustrator, and photographer— so I just simply refer to myself an art maker. I’d also like to add that I live in the beautiful multi-cultural city of San Antonio and I enjoy incorporating South Texas influence into my work. In retrospect, time, art, travel, culture, history, politics, emotion, and fashion is what inspires my work as a whole. 

IM: Why do you do what you do?

MC: I suppose that I do what I do to bring inspiration to those who generally do not understand nor sense the deep romance and mystery that lies in a piece of artwork. I like to embody a lot of thought throughout my work. Even though the vast majority of it consists of portraiture and illustrated characters, my main goal is still to put it out there for those who may not attain the most creative interests and gain inspiration from it. Many don’t particularly understand how much art impacts our lives historically and on a daily basis-- and you know, that’s where I like to come in, and almost act as a reminder to those people that art is indeed the very foundation of modern society and it should be appreciated, remembered, and celebrated accordingly.

IM: What’s integral to the work of an artist?

MC: The process of coming up with the final result of the piece is probably the most integral part to the work of an artist. There is a sense of beauty in the first stages of creating something out of just pure thought and emotion, and an insanely amount of time and labor can also be put into it.

IM: What role does an artist, like you, have in society?

MC: The role of an artist in society depends greatly on the subject matter of the artist, who they are, and what they represent. But simply put, like Nina Simone once said, “An artist's duty, as far as I'm concerned, is to reflect the times.” 

IM: Do you believe travel and art go hand-in-hand? If so, explain.

MC: Travel and art most definitely go hand in hand. I believe that traveling and experiencing diverse culture is a form of continuation in one’s education. Art plays a monumental role that depicts and reflects a culture’s history, traditions, and greatest achievements. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, art is the very foundation of modern society. Travel and understanding a different way of life is the best arts degree that anyone could ever attain.

IM: What’s your favorite or most inspirational place to visit?

MC: I must admit that I actually have both. I have an all-time favorite place, and a total different favorite place that I go to for Inspiration.

The Rocky Mountains out west is probably my favorite place to visit. Walking through the forest, and the sweet serenity of a clear mountain lake. There is just so much grace and enchantment about experiencing time out in the mountains. You sort of discover an incredible part of you that you never knew even existed. Now my favorite place for inspiration is the complete polar opposite, and that is New York City. The romance behind getting lost beneath the city lights, the diversity, the people, the history! I just find it so fascinating that the city also inspires me in a nostalgic manner; it sort of makes me romanticize the past. It’s really and truly the place where dreams can come true no matter who you are and where you come from; you can be anything in the great city of New York.


Note: all artwork above was created by Michael Carnes. You can follow him on Instagram at michaelcarnesjr.

If you are interested in participating in the Q&A with us, please let us know by emailing your pictures wearing Ian Marko to us at or contacting us. We would love to share your story!

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