The Creative Life in Our Cities: A Conversation with Marat Paransky

We have many talented artists and creatives living and working in our Farmington/Farmington Hills community and our weekly interview series, sponsored by City Life Realty, will introduce you to some of them.

Today we feature artist Marat Paransky.

When did you first get started in the arts?

I began drawing when I was three or four years old, and I have never stopped.

Did you receive formal training in art? If so, where and what did you enjoy about the experience?

I have a BFA in Drawing & Printmaking from Wayne State University, and a MFA degree in visual arts from Lesley University College of Art & Design. I enjoyed the comradery in grad school, as well as learning how to talk about my art without sounding lost.

Who has been a mentor to you along the way?

Susan Goethel Campbell, Michael E. Smith, Petrova Giberson and Michael Rakowitz. Also, my advisors in the MFA program: Hannah Barrett and Oliver Wasow.

Are you a member of any local or regional arts groups?

Whitdel Arts.

A good art program is often a sign that other spheres of the community are healthy.

Can you describe something you’ve created that is particularly meaningful to you?

My two kids—it is a collaboration.

Has your art appeared in any city programs or events, such as the Public Art Program at City Hall or Art on the Grand?

Yes, the Public Art Program and the Rotating Exhibits at City Hall (“Remix Eternal,” August/September 2018).

Can you share a favorite quote about art or life?

How about my favorite art joke?

A lady got her purse snatched in the street. When the police officer arrived, he began asking witnesses what the thief looked like. Picasso happened to be walking by when it happened, and he offered to make a sketch of the person, explaining that he is a famous artist. On the next day, the police arrested a bus and two washing machines.

What advice or suggestions do you have for younger artists?

Be prepared for the rejection pile to grow tall. Don’t take it to heart.

It’s all about who you know. Just about every good show came to me through friends or going to events and talking directly with people.

What do you think is missing from the arts community in Farmington/Hills?

A few more venues within walking distance from each other.  One gallery downtown is an outpost, no matter how good it is. Perhaps, a film festival to coincide with visual art events?

Why is celebrating and promoting art healthy for a local community?

Life can go on without art, but it will be a poor one, intellectually. The arts can inspire and provoke like few other things. A good art program is often a sign that other spheres of the community are healthy.

Learn more about Marat and his work here.

(Are you an artist or creative living in Farmington/Hills? We’d like to feature you and your work here, too. Download our questionnaire and return it to

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