Calligraphy artist John Michael creates art that invites the viewer to peek through an open window into this fantastical world, which also tempts the viewer to step through this window into an opportunity to explore a world not governed by the rules of the logical mind.  He specializes in two-dimensional and inter-sensory installations incorporating oil paint, collage, calligraphy, audio and selected found items providing an inspirational catalyst. Discovery begins his creative process and relies heavily on research surrounding each of the chosen elements, studying their histories for a more informed understanding and potential connections to other components within the collective piece.

John-Michael’s work has been featured at the Grunwald Gallery of Art – Kinsey Institute, Morpho Gallery and Governor’s State University and honored to receive Illinois Arts Council’s IAS Professional Development Grant in 2014.  He is currently participating in Visual Arts Certificate Program at Graham School-University of Chicago. He’s currently a member of the Chicago Artist Coalition, Rogers Park Arts Alliance, Protect RP and Chicago Calligraphy Collective.

What’s your favorite book?

Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert

Favorite movie?


Alice In Wonderland

Favorite TV show?

I chose not to own a television.

When did you realize you wanted to share your passion/skill?

I was very young when I realized that art was the one thing that everyone could participate in the moment at the level they were the most comfortable. We are all creative by nature but everyone has a different idea of what that means to them.
We all use different tools to create the magic~ painters use brushes, accountants use numbers.

Did you go to school for your craft or teach yourself?

My degree is in Art and currently participating in the Visual Arts Certificate Program at Graham School-University of Chicago.

If you could choose a spirit animal what would it be?


Unicorn~ because they are never confined by realistic expectations!

What makes you laugh until you cry?


How do you like to spend your weekend?

My weekends are spent in the studio either creating art or teaching classes.

What’s your favorite city and why?

Chicago. The city allows me a wonderful opportunity to explore new ideas innovative concepts surrounding what art can look like and different ways it can be expressed. Chicago has many artist communities that support and nurture its artists’ creative process as they explore the subtle nuances as they strive to deepen the scope of their work.

Where do you find inspiration?

I am constantly surrounded by objects and ideas that inspire me. The most simple of things can inspire a new or even a new series.


Are you in Chicago and want to check out one of John-Michael’s hand-lettering workshops?! Or do you know someone who might? Sign-up or share this event here.