I’m Coming to America: A Neil Diamond Cover

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

I love Neil Diamond and I love America. It was quite an honor to be asked to perform this song at The Bushwick Book Club Seattle’s event: original music inspired by Howard Zinn’s The People’s History of the United States. If I remember correctly, this performance closed out the show. I was accompanied by my good friends Wes Weddell on guitar and Ben Mish on piano. What a night. God bless America.

Poster For An Upcoming Bushwick Book Club Seattle Event

By | design, posters, The Bushwick Book Club Seattle | One Comment

Take a look at this poster for an upcoming Bushwick Book Club Seattle event. Guess who designed it?  That’s right, I did! My favorite part is when the bird stands on the stack of books and doesn’t move. He just stands there, completely still, forever…

I brought up an interesting point – stillness. In a world full of video games, and television, and professional wrestlers, and cats, all constantly on the move, whirling all around us everywhere we go, there is something poetic about having to intentionally stop moving to fully appreciate something. So even if that something is just a poster of a bird standing on some books, the combined stillness of both the image and the viewer set to the busy background of the outside world helps make the overall visual experience more interesting.

Read More

I’m Performing With the Bushwick Book Club Seattle on Saturday January 11th | original music inspired by Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions

By | The Bushwick Book Club Seattle | No Comments

I can say with all certainty that Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions is by far the first book I’ve read in 2014. You want visual proof? I give you Exhibit A – a photo of me reading the book taken just moments ago. Ah ha! Put that in your mustache and smoke it.

mikeVotava-kurt-vonnegut Read More

Fun With Sloths and Baby Shower Invitations

By | skills to pay the bills | 2 Comments

A friend of mine is hosting a baby shower soon and she asked me of all people to put my fantastic design skills to use and make an invitation. Her concept was a bit odd: use the image of the sloth hugging a cat and include the phrase “Please join us in toasting the future president” at the top. I followed her instructions to the T even though I still have no idea what sloths, and cats, and hugs have to do with presidents, or the future, or babies. Well, I guess I can see the link between babies and hugs…. Anyhow, I think the invite turned out OK. The results are below (Some names and some addresses have been changed.)


Read More

A Performance Inspired by Shop Lifting

By | music, The Bushwick Book Club Seattle, video | No Comments

I had a lot of fun the other day performing with The Bushwick Book Club Seattle (just take a look at the video!). For those of you who don’t know, The Bushwick Book Club Seattle is a Seattle based non-profit that puts on these awesome book inspired music events (they do lots of other stuff too). The basic concept for each show is:

  1. a book is chosen
  2. artists (and audience members) read the book
  3. artists write an original song inspired by the book
  4. artists perform their song for a live audience (who have hopefully read the book too)
  5. audience claps

Read More