Today we’d like to introduce you to Mike Shisler.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
After graduating with an architecture degree and working in that industry for nearly a decade, I realized that I had drifted away from the artistic and creative aspects that attracted me to architecture as a child. To immerse myself back into these visual and aesthetic channels, I began carrying and making daily entries into a small sketchbook. These early sketches were simply visual records of my daily routine, vacations and my surroundings, but more importantly, each sketch was an opportunity for me to view my world from a different angle, with a more acute eye and again, become a student of architecture.
However, after a year of creating private sketchbook entries, I opened my book up to Instagram and received support and encouragement. I was urged to share more and push my craft to another level.
In 2017 I quit my job as a project manager, put my things in storage and moved into a van. I set out to explore the country, have grand adventures, and live more with less. A sketchbook and pen were the most important things I packed. Today, I am fortunate to wake up in a new place every day with a blank page laid out before me, just waiting for that first stroke.
To share my art with as many people as possible, I created an Etsy shop called “Drawn There,” where I sell a growing collection of prints from nearly 500 beautiful places around the United States.
Please tell us about your art.
I live and travel full time in my self-built Sprinter van. Since 2017 I have traveled to 47 states and cataloged my journey through a unique style of precise and dynamic drawings. Working on location and in the elements, my ink and watercolor works capture time and place with a sense of immediacy and intimacy. I am inspired by architecture in the urban and rural environment, natural landscapes, oddities, and other vans I encounter on the road. The name Drawn There embodies my passion to explore and be drawn to inspiring places coupled with the chance to create art that is literally drawn there.
Choosing a creative or artistic path comes with many financial challenges. Any advice for those struggling to focus on their artwork due to financial concerns?
In many ways, I feel that creating art should not be restrained by financial concerns. If art is truly a passion, then it will be pursued regardless of the monetary reward. And in the end, that passion will become evident to the rest of the world.
Before I started drawing, I had a woodshop in the basement of my house, and I would spend my nights and weekends down there designing and building furniture. I had no clients or even a need for more furniture. My budget was slim, and so I worked with plywood, steel, and concrete. But pushing those materials into new forms was my art, and I was going to do it whether it sold or not. Creating was my passion, and I focused intensely on the things that drove me. Mostly, the furniture I made got tossed to the corner, sold to friends or disassembled to create the next design.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
Because I have no real fixed address, I encourage people to first see my artwork online. I post a new drawing to Instagram daily along with a story or interesting fact about that particular place (@drawn.there). Secondly, to support my work and my continued nomadic journey, I sell prints and original works through my website (www.drawnthere.com) and on Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/shop/DrawnThere).
In addition to the travel and on-location art that I continue to create, I create commissioned drawings created for people who appreciate my artistic style and techniques.
- Website: www.drawnthere.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/drawn.there/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drawnthere/
- Other: https://www.etsy.com/shop/DrawnThere