From graffiti artist to surgeon


Michael Brodnansky’s work titled “Thinker as Satan.”

Most people use hobbies as ways to pass the time and others figure out ways to turn a hobby into a career.  For Michael Brodnansky, it’s a little combination of both.

Brodnansky, a junior biology major from Glen Cove, Long Island, started drawing at such a young age he doesn’t really remember when it began.  Now, he’s learning how to combine a lifelong passion with the realities of needing to find a career.

“I always liked creating,” Brodnansky said. “I always played with legos as a little kid and  have kind of been moving up since then.”

The artist is primarily working with spray paint, utilizing stencils in his work.  The stencil idea came from one of his biggest influences, the British street artist Banksy. His work has led him to begin creating posters and t-shirts for friends, but the work doesn’t stop there.

“I’m actually going to paint the wall of a hookah bar,” he said. “I’m doing a painting of Times Square with little graffiti artists standing next to it.”

While that may seem like a pretty big task, Brodnansky also plans to start painting his car as well as a friend’s motorcycle.  This type of background may lead people to believe that the he is trying to make a career out of this, but in actuality his career plans lead him in an entirely different direction.

“My life view is that I love art, but obviously if you want to be a doctor there’s not a lot of art that goes into that,” Brodnansky said.

The St. John’s resident assistant is pursuing his goals of attending medical school and becoming a surgeon or medical examiner.  He sees the realities of the “starving artist” way of life and wants to continue his hobby without having to rely on it to get by.

The drawing and painting isn’t the only side to Brodnansky’s artistic abilities, however.  Starting in high school, he got himself interested in writing as a way to pass the time.

“I was really bored in class and normally I would doodle, but by that time in my life I was tired of doing it, he said. I had drawn every possible doodle I could think of.  So I thought, “Why don’t I write Haikus?”

What started simply as writing Haikus quickly morphed into all sorts of poem writing and even music writing.  Now, the creative mind is learning the guitar so that he can put his words into melody.

For now, the biology student is focused on school and waiting to get to the next step in the education process.  When he gets to medical school, he is planning on continuing his hobby through tattoo art for which he already has designs he would like to try out.

With already a lifetime of artistic work behind him and much more to come, not even Brodnansky is quite sure what art will take grasp in his life in the future.  There may only be one way to accurately sum it up.

“I love creating stuff,” he said.