Michael Rohner has always drawn. From childhood, his visual palette was influenced by the great graphic mediums of comic books, graphic novels, graffiti, and anime. His diverse Northern California home life shaped his emotional and intellectual capacity: Korean and Swiss parents, an East Indian stepfather, and three older sisters by a different father. He attended college in Colorado and subsequently lived in Chicago, Japan, and Los Angeles. Read Video Transcription
He landed in Santa Fe, NM without specific aim but loaded with internal ambition. He began to sell prints of his artwork in public gatherings, bars, and parks; whatever he could fit in a backpack. It went well: he wound up in markets and festivals and his popularity grew. He developed his own style of illustration that suited him: pen and ink drawings colored with a medley of media, including watercolor, gouache, spray paint, and acrylic marker. Since then, his work has gone to thousands of people across the country and has been licensed around the world. He aims to express ideas and difficult notions with words; he hopes to uplift, inspire, and comfort you with his imagery. If he can accomplish even a portion of that, then he is at peace with his passion.
He yearned to draw his way for a living, but didn’t know where to turn; art schools offered to reshape him, and that wasn’t what he desired. In 2007, he had a personal awakening that led him on a pilgrimage to Peru and then to quit his job, sold most of his belongings, and embarks on a road trip with no destination.
Today, you can see his work in a number of galleries and boutiques or in person at various art festivals in the Bay Area or throughout the country. He currently lives in Berkeley, CA.
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