Hello, I am Mallori. I am a small town girl raised in Homer, MI. I am studying Art Education at Western Michigan University, and hope to one day be an amazing art teacher. I had an amazing art teacher, who pushed me to do my best, and i hope to do that for my students someday. Someone else who played a big role in making me the artist I am today was my grandma Jojo. She was an amazing artist, and will always be an inspiration to me.
I really enjoy using charcoal, but going to school has really broadened the art techniques and mediums that I use. While charcoal was my first medium, I have come to love other things like like pastel art and ceramics since enrolling in art school.
Art is my happy place, especially when i see the outcome
Meagan is a creative designer who resides in Marshall Michigan. At 6 years old she knew she wanted to be a professional artist.
A few years ago she decided to take the leap and complete a graphic design degree.
While there is love for digital design, she prefers to get messy with acrylic and watercolor paints. Her work is described a playful and childlike. It's her mission to find the beauty in everyday life through art.
Outside of the art studio, you'll find her on a hike in nature, or snuggled up with a good book.
Ray Swaney is an artist who was born in Spencer, IA, and grew up in Marshall, MI. All he drew was comic books until his early 20's. He earned an AA in Graphic Design from Kellogg Community College (Battle Creek, MI) right around the turn of the century. After a few years in California (Riverside for a year, than Sonoma Co.), he ended up diving into abstract art and painting, and started writing and performing his poetry. To pay the bills, he worked at a popular grocery store chain for over a decade. A handful of years ago, Ray's brother gave him a Wacom tablet for Christmas, and since then, Ray's also explored the world of digital art and illustration. He has also lived a few years in New Orleans, LA, living a laissez les bons temps rouler kind of life, guiding kayak swamp tours and working the beer room at a deli.
What inspires the artist, who largely works intuitively, is music, humans, nature, observation, motion, color and sound. He says it's a compulsion to create.
Currently, Ray is working in Michigan, painting, drawing, doing portraits, designing, writing, working on a new issue of his poetry zine, Ted Ate America, and finishing up a poem in comic book format. He is also working on his website. Until that is up and running, you can follow him on Instagram (@rayasway).
I have always been the doodling kid. As far back as I can remember I was drawing aliens, monsters, and foreign planets. I used to think that I would become an engineer or a scientist, but I knew that because of the way the schooling system was structured, I wouldn’t be able to learn properly in that setting. However, I didn’t immediately pursue art after high school because I believed the world was already flooded with artists and I thought that my work was too different to be coveted.
After almost two years without creating any art, I decided to buy a few canvases and paints in January of 2008 so that I could make my own home décor. When I finished my first five mixed-media paintings, using sprays, acrylics, water, oil paints, markers, and pens, I decided to apply for my hometown’s art fair just for the sake of it. I had no expectations of getting accepted, so when the letter arrived in the mail congratulating me because the jury had selected my work for the show I was blown away!
I found myself forced to focus on creating enough pieces to fill a booth. When the time came, I had sixteen originals completed for the show, but my only goal was to sell a single piece of art throughout the course of the whole weekend. I was shocked, and unprepared to have thirteen of the sixteen pieces fine new homes on the first day of the show. When the day was done I went home and painted until one in the morning so that I would have enough art to fill my booth for the final day of the art fair. When the show was all finished I found myself standing in the middle of the street, gazing down at the fair like it was an entity of its own, and I realized that I had something special here. That was the spark the ignited my art career.
Nicole Ray is an artist and illustrator living in southeast Michigan. She grew up on the East Coast and received a BFA in Illustration from the School of Visual Arts in New York and a BA in History from Trinity College in Hartford, CT. Her illustrative work consists mainly of graphite and pen and ink drawings enhanced with digital color.
In endless pursuit of the cool factor -
A down to earth aproach to whataver your vision in steel art
Gary Horton is an artist and designer from Ann Arbor, MI. He moved to Pittsburgh, PA in 1996 to study fine art and design at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. This is where he developed his unique style and range. While being classically trained in oil painting, Gary would spend late nights in train yards and rooftops learning the forbidden art of graffiti. Today you can see the influence of these two styles in the community. His murals and over sized paintings can be viewed all over the state of Michigan and more. He specializes in bright, colorful and imaginative designs that help bring joy and wonder to an area that may otherwise be seen as ordinary.
Having a passion for art since I could hold a creative tool I strive to live a life full of creativity in all aspects of life. I think that by surrounding ourselves with things that are beautiful both inside and out helps us to attain a beautiful life. I think one of the most special things about art is that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. The subjectivity and vulnerability of art is in itself thrilling.
Making connections over the years with people who appreciate my work has allowed me to sustain myself with art sales, while tending bar part time, for a good chunk of years now. This hasn’t always been an easy path to traverse…the occasional uncertainty for when the next art gig will come and the many things you learn the hard way along the way has made my art career far from dull. I left my full time job of eight years to dive fully into art and I haven’t regretted leaving that misery behind for one second. Developing my brand and my career goals continues to be an astounding experience.
I devote much of my time to art yet I am thankful for multiple sources of interests and income. I love sharing my work with all sorts of people I meet at my secondary place of employment, Mike’s Place in downtown Marshall, MI. I’ve met so many art lovers over the last 9 years there and am forever grateful for their continued support. I love tending bar and serving people, likely because I like challenges and making people smile. Shout out to my Mike’s Place people!!
I studied art at both Northern Michigan University and Olivet College. While I value the tools I gained furthering my education, I feel most accomplished in my art learning many things by trial and error. I have a broad understanding of various mediums and while I’m stronger at some than others I suspect boredom would ensue if I were to merely focus on just one. I love working with charcoals, acrylics, watercolors and spray paint. I dabble in digital art and recently have coupled that with t-shirt design and screen printing. I’ve done a number of murals in private residences and establishments adding to a large portfolio of commissioned work ranging from pet portraits to logo designs.
I feel incredibly lucky to be able to do what I love as a profession, it is beyond rewarding. The gratitude I have to my amazing family and friends, my community and any and everyone who has ever sought out my creative skills is immeasurable. I’m thankful for my parents especially who have been there since day one, ever since my kindergarten teacher told them I was going to be an artist. To my husband and closest family members who always help me hold it together when crunch time is upon me, you are the real deal.
I look forward to every second of creating to come and will continue to share my passion for art every way I am able until I’m no longer able.
Find beauty in the world, Keep it beautiful. -Aubrey E. Thompke-Damron