Michele Wood (American born 1964) is an American Artist, who creates imagery from found materials, plants, artist paint, photographs and more. I construct my paintings, and collage paintings to be an installation when exhibited to fill the exhibition space. The paintings transition to living art in a space. The painting and public together change the space to become a new living artwork. My work is often found in literary work for children. I am an Author and Illustrator too. My motto is “ We all can be victorious with exposure to books that reflect and engage.”
Who are you? In recent times, I have evolved as an Artist by expressing my work through literary means. I wrote my first story in 1998 in the picture book Just Like Me. My first published essay for the Hornbook Magazine May/June issue 2019 and SCBWI Newsletter. The struggle to become a whimsical writer and thought provoking was a result of lack of confidence. Now, I pour out my colorful and important stories that are reflective of my experience.
In 2021, as a result of becoming a professional award-winning illustrator, my work was selected for the Hamilton Cast Read Along /Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, read by Elijah Malcomb.
What do you do? I create award-winning historical, educational and entertaining stories of my own and illustrate other author’s manuscripts. I work two different ways. I create my own stories and my paintings are painted before the text. Second, I receive manuscripts to partner with an Author and illustrate. When taking on important projects, my work is reflective of the story and I add to it. My job is to find the adjectives and create from the descriptive words. I add more in greater detail by researching. The information I gather must be accurate. I create some of my books from concept (idea) to finish form. The books that I have created are engaging students in several learning styles: visual, text and musical.
Why do I do what I do? The reason why I am an Artist is to inform the viewing public about American stories and theological stories. With the weight of my experience and maturity, I believe what I do as a creative person can be used for reconciliation and restoration.
How have you reached this point? By mastering my way of painting after receiving my undergrad degree, I became a conceptualist and Illustrator for picture books. The first book I created won an American Book Award Before the Columbus Foundation. Afterwards, the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, Ashley Bryan Illustration Award, the 47th NAACP Image Award honor nomination and more.
My artwork is in rich tones, values, and vibrant. I went back to school to obtain my Masters in Divinity. It complemented my work by executing theological knowledge application to my books in order to further guide audiences into a richer based art and text.