My name is Michelle and I was born in Marshalltown, Iowa; stayed in Germany at an Air Force Base for a couple years and then lived in San Antonio, Texas all the way through my middle school years. I fell in love with two things by the time I was 10 years old: Art and Jeeps (CJ-7). It wasn’t until the sixth grade that I started getting serious about my artwork. Everything I did, I did with a pencil and a sketchbook. I still have some of the pieces I created from those art classes at Ed White Middle School. At the time, my big dreams were to be a big, famous artist (while getting paid for it) and to own a really cool Jeep.
I was 14 ½ years old when my parents made the decision to move to Atlanta. Actually, it was Duluth, Georgia in Gwinnett County but everyone calls their city Atlanta, no matter where they are in Northern Georgia. That move changed my entire world. I moved from a big city that was very diverse and cultured to a town that was still segregated and very small (at the time). I attended Duluth High School, took every art class available, gained a new passion and adapted to the changes I couldn’t control yet caused.
That new passion was Basketball! I was 5’11” tall when I was 15 years old (I am 6’1” now) and I guess the basketball coach saw the height, not realizing I didn’t know anything about the game, when he invited me to try out. From my freshman year on, I played basketball all the time; for the team and in the streets. I still loved art and I took every art class I could but I was in love with basketball too. I would actually create artwork of basketball. I remember a sculptor I made of Michael Jordan in his signature pose (slam dunk - all air) out of plaster and sometimes, I wish I still had that piece.
My senior year at Duluth, I made some unwise decisions and changed the course of my life. I got pregnant that fall and I gave birth to a baby girl in the summer of 1992, two months after graduation. My art and basketball dreams were put on hold as I now had to raise a little girl.
Exciting things as well as struggling moments happened in my life early on and I just kind of put my art on the shelf and watched it collect dust for a number of years. I was a single mother raising two children by the time I was 25 years old, working long hours at jobs that I didn’t like, barely making enough money to pay the bills. For over 10 years, I didn’t create any artwork nor did I pick up a basketball and I still longed to have a Jeep (Wrangler by this time). Then I made the decision to move to Savannah, Georgia (where family was at) and I got a new job, a new place and I gained a new attitude. Savannah is where I became inspired again after so long. The city, the people and the art would move anyone and I was no exception. I started drawing and painting again; drawing into the wee hours of the morning, painting anything and everything I could. When I couldn't afford canvases which were often, I could dig around for scrap pieces of wood. When I couldn't afford paint, I used pencils or found old house paint, even crayons so I could keep creating. After a couple of years in the Deep South, I moved back to Atlanta and though the struggling, juggling act didn't cease, it also didn’t stop me from doing what I love: creating art.
Though I have not had any formal training as a professional artist, I have had plenty of life experiences and years of practice as one. My first love will always be sketching but painting is a very close second. My favorite kind of artwork has been and always will be “creating something out of nothing” which in my eyes, is just about anything.
In June of 2007, I met the man I was meant to be with; through a website called www.plentyoffish.com. Yes, it sounds corny but that's where I met my Danny. Danny is not only my best friend and soul mate; he's also the one that inspires me to do great things. He’s supportive, attentive and very kind to my children and me! My kids and I just adore him. I don't know if I have ever had that kind of inspiring person in my life so I will spend my life making sure I don’t disappoint him (though he says I could never).
Danny and I bought our first home together on June 11th, 2008 and then got married on June 20th, 2008. Having spent years as a single parent, it was such a wonderful feeling to be able to share the love and the responsibilities with the one person that was meant for the job. Danny loves my children as his own and I couldn’t have asked for anything more. (sniff, sniff)
Because we just bought our first home and had a wedding, the week of our honeymoon was spent in our home as our funds were limited; working around OUR house. We painted the kids' bedrooms and decorated all that we could. This included my 10 year old son's room. He wanted a soccer ball on his wall with his name on it and begged me to paint it for him. I painted my son's wall with his name really big and added not just a soccer ball, but a football and baseball too. After many experiments and errors later, he had a custom artwork piece; a mural to be exact! I had so much fun painting that soccer mural and decorating his room that I thought I would love to do this for a living! When I told Danny what I was thinking, he pushed me to take pictures of the mural and together, we placed an advertisement on craigslist.com on July 7th, 2008 for murals. The very first call I got from the ad was from Zoo Atlanta which was to become my first professional mural (art piece) and that was just the beginning!
Dreaming big 27 years ago has kept me going as I still have the same dreams: I still want to be a big, famous artist. I still want to get paid to do what I love: creating art. And I still want a Jeep.
Updates as of December 2008:
I am getting paid to do what I love – Creating Custom Artwork in the form of Murals
I own a Jeep – A 2008 4-Door Jeep Wrangler JK – Black on Gray (birthday present from hubby - can't wait to see what the next birthday present is) I’m still working on the “Big, Famous Artist” part but I’ll get there!
Updates as of July 7th, 2010:
I have painted over 300 murals throughout Atlanta and the Southeast US, have meet some really wonderful people along the way, and have gotten to paint some really creative pieces. While painting those 300+ murals, I was working a full time day job as a customer service representative. I painted the murals every holiday I had, every vacation day, every sick day, and every single weekend I had available just to get my business to grow. On June 30th, 2010, I resigned from the customer service rep job and have been working my mural business full time ever since.
Updates as of July 7th, 2013:
Now that our 5 year anniversary has come and gone, it’s time for an expansion. A Color Affair is now offering interior house painting for families looking for high quality painting at an economical price. Danny Black, my husband, is now part of the company on a full time basis and is excited to call himself a self-employed man. He’s finally left his full time job and is taking on A Color Affair with all hands on deck. I’m just so happy! I’ll still be painting all the murals and creating the artwork. Danny will be taking on the Interior House Painting portion of the business, with me as his assistant, and together, we’ll take on the world! I’m just so happy!
We are living my dream!
|Church, Restaurant and Retail Murals|
|Atlanta Swim Academy Underwater Murals|
|Fun Forest Bounce Jungle Murals|
|GSA (GOL SA) Clubhouse Soccer Murals|
|Boys & Girls Club (Atlanta) Donated 3M Mural|
|Gwinnett Citizen Fire Academy Alumni Association Little Fire House Murals|
|Core Performance Company Studio Dance Murals|
|Global Soccer Training Soccer Murals, Flag Murals, Kickboxing Murals, Gym Murals|
|Total Fitness Revolution Gym Murals, Logo Murals, Crossfit Murals, Decals|
|Stone Mill Elementary School Murals|
|Vanderlyn Elementary School Murals|
|Lovin Elementary School|
|Man Caves & Playrooms|
|Furniture & Objects|
|Jungle & Nature Murals|