Copyrights © 2017 All Rights Reserved by Michelle Black, A Color Affair
My parents were hippies, to say the least, and were always reminding us to keep open minds and hearts, love everyone no matter who they are or what they look like, be one with nature and express yourself every chance you get. The nature part I don’t do well because of my fear of bugs but the rest of the virtues stayed with me. Thanks Mom and Dad.
For most of my childhood, I lived in San Antonio, Texas with my family yet I was born in Marshalltown, Iowa. For my high school years, we lived in Duluth, Georgia. I totally fell in love with art when I was in middle school and high school so I took every art class available and practiced my skills all the time. My senior year, I made some immature 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. 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 art.
Then I made the decision to move my family to Savannah, Georgia (where family had moved to) 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 and juggling acts 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. My family and friends ended up with all my first pieces of artwork. It was a great way to give gifts without having to spend money I didn’t have. I wonder if they still have them.
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 him. 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 family. My kids and I just adored him from the moment we met 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. And just so you understand how great Danny is, all my single friends always say, “I wish I could find a Danny” and all my married friends say, “why can’t my husband be like Danny?” That’s a pretty good indication of how great he is, right?!
Because we just bought our first home and had a wedding with days of each other, the week of our honeymoon was spent in our new 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, basketball 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!
After finishing my first professional mural project, I started getting projects here and there, gaining experience as I went while getting paid to do it. When I started as a muralist, I was still working full time as a sales rep for a local company so I painted the murals every holiday, every vacation day, every sick day, and every single weekend I had available just to get my business to grow. It was a huge risk but on June 30th, 2010, I resigned from the sales rep job almost exactly 2 years after the first mural project and have been working my mural business full time ever since.