WolfGang Harker Sfx
WolfGang Harker Sfx
by Violette Skye
Mike Morley, a.k.a. WolfGang Harker Sfx, grew up in Concord, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. From the ages of 16 to 18, he studied watercolor and drawing at the Cleveland Institute of Art. At 18, he received a $10,000 scholarship to attend the Columbus College of Art and Design, where he studied 3D illustration under Mark Hazlerig. Mark inspired his desire to be a sculptor. Sadly, he had to drop out because of his struggle with agoraphobia. He tried to return to the Cleveland Institute of Art, but he came to the realization he would rather enter the competitive art market.
He took a job designing toys at American Greeting, working on Hot WheelsTM and several concept projects that ended up in the vaults. During that time, he was selling his sketchbooks for $700 to $900 each. That summer, he moved to California to work for Warner Brothers Studios. He spent a year studying sculpture at the California Institute of the Arts and freelanced on the side. The following year, he hired at Universal Studios as an airbrush artist and eventually an architectural themeing sculptor. He also worked for Disney, doing themeing work for California Adventures.
“When I was a kid, growing up in Ohio, I had a river in my backyard, where I would build creatures out of clay and mud and sticks. At the same time, I was always inspired by Jack Davis' drawings from Mad Magazine...Back in the ’70s, growing up in rural Ohio, my only influences were Mad Magazine and basic TV...Sculpting and drawing have always been staples in my life, as well as painting. Ohio is a great breeding ground for artists.
As far as projects go, I have worked for Magic: The Gathering, making Orcs and female warriors; The Venetian Hotel, Treasure Island and several other casinos in Las Vegas. At Disney, I worked on the Tower of Terror and the Grand California Hotel, plus so many smaller projects I can't recall.
I also have several celebrity clients, I have some paintings in the private collections of Adam West (the original TV Batman), Snoop Dogg, E-40, Kid Rock and Jack Black, to name a few.”
Currently, he has illustrations on display at Home:Bass Gallery in Portland, Oregon. He prefers to show with people he knows, but he is consistently asked to show in and around Portland.
“My inspiration for Table of the Dead was from watching the movie ‘Lord of the Rings.’ Table of the Dead was created as an airbrush table for a Halloween party. It is made from polystyrene,
wood and multiple layers of poly-coated clear paint and several resin-cast skulls and recycled found objects. It took about 50 hours to build.”
He abandoned his website because of the popularity of his Facebook profile, where you can connect with him by searching for WolfGang Harker Sfx and adding him as a friend.