The Resume: my work life in a nutshell


Quantifying a creative career into the constraints of a typical resume just doesn’t quite fit, you know?
It really had to have some images… a feel… something you could get a quick taste from, and dig into all the typical verbage as needed.
So, in trying to walk that line and keep it clean and professional, yet interesting and at least somewhat visual – I came up with this.

Feedback welcomed–as are inquiries!

Forever your Art Shero,

What’s In My Bag? Artist’s inside secrets revealed!

Whats In My Bag Illustration

Whats In My Bag Illustration

What’s In My Bag? Artist’s inside secrets revealed!

You’ve seen the stars reveal their secrets in countless ‘What’s in Their Bag?’ features – so what better way to give a sneak peek into the mind of an ordinary ol’ artist like me than to draw staples of my bag’s contents – the good, bad, and the ugly? (Yes, the spattered background could very well indicate a presence of DUST. Yikes it’s time to clean this thing out.) I could totally charge for these lifehacks, y’all… but, just for you, I’m offering these gems for FREE for a limited time!
In all seriousness, drawing everyday objects and what they reveal as a collection has been very fascinating. I would love to do more series along these lines. Plus, it allows for some puns and fun, both of which I’m a fan.
This piece was a warmup ‘mini’ for a book concept prompt from Lilla Roger’s Studio MATS Bootcamp. The final concept that came from this is here: a ‘what’s in her bag’ life hack book featuring Amy Poehler.

Art News and Updates…

Hi there…

I’m pleased to announce that my piece ‘Chickasaw Panther Woman’ is showing in the exhibit ‘Our Nature’, the 2017 WCAGA Member Exhibit! I can’t wait to see her among the other fantastic chosen works. If you haven’t seen her in person, this is a great opportunity. Encaustic pieces are always so much more impactful in person—I believe even more so than many other mediums.

Exhibit Details:

Opening ReceptionMarch 23, 2017 – 6 pm to 8 pm
Exhibition Dates: March 23 to May 5, 2017

4th Floor Gallery, Jim Cherry Media Center
GA Perimeter College, Clarkston
555 N Indian Creek Drive
Clarkston, GA 30021

About ‘Our Nature’: 
Please join us for the 2017 WCAGA Member Exhibit, Our Nature. Nature and the environment is ”Ours” to enjoy, care about and celebrate. Some of us make work inspired by our surroundings, through images that remind us our world is to be treasured and sustained. Plants, birds, animals, insects and flowers reach into our psyche. We may be awed, inspired, calmed, excited and even protective of this world that sustains our life, and some artists create work that speaks to this inspiration. Other artists address the backstory to our urban environment. They bravely ask, ”What happens when we neglect, reject or ignore nature’s importance?” This exhibit reflects our own vision . . . our own Nature.

More about the Women’s Caucus for the Arts, GA here.


Previous events:

I’m excited to announce that my Adornment series is hanging for the month of February at the Candler Park San Francisco Coffee on Dekalb Ave.! It’s a very cozy spot with great staff and delicious things to drink and eat — and I sure love seeing these pieces on exposed brick in such a warm atmosphere. If you’re in the A in Feb, give it a visit!

About these pieces:


Working with the common threads of mark making, ritual, sacred and decorative modifications to appearance throughout civilization, Adornment is an exploration of how this drive to decorate defines us, and how that urge carries back throughout not only history, but peoples of cultures worldwide.
When investigated globally and historically, the similarities of the practice of adorning ourselves—especially women—reveal themselves, and we see how traditions of mark making and adorning in indigenous peoples in particular have shaped the aesthetic of our modern ideas of fashion and our own personal and cultural style choices.

In these character pieces, I’ve particularly focused upon the adornment practices of powerful women figures from dwindling (or gone) tribes and eras. Their decoration is presented in a modern and stylized manner, but the real detail and power lies not in their markings or items of adornment—but in their faces.

Each piece was researched and much information gathered about customs, marks, clothing, style, culture and history. Characters and markings are first drawn, then I layer with encaustic medium (beeswax & tree sap resin), pigment, and items, carving, mark making and burning—much as the body adornments are achieved—for a final presentation that is deep and rich—as is their history. I very much enjoy the ritual process of getting to know these creations, and consider it an honor to represent a piece of character and history, and tell a story of their beauty and power.
The central character, Dropka is from the Dropka people: a very small, isolated tribe located between India and Pakistan. Their lush and expressive decorative practices come from a long, rich history, kept strong within their very isolated community.
The Ouled Naïl are a tribe and a tribal confederation living in Algeria. The women of the Ouled Naïl historically were exoticized by western men, fascinated by their dance, music, and decoration.
The Chickasaw Panther Women participated in battle as communicators and strategists. This responsibility is represented in Chickasaw oral traditions as “Panther Woman.”

Artist Profile – Michele Phillips

Michele Phillips is an artist and illustrator living in Decatur, GA. She received her bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Florida State University. Michele has worked as an illustrator, tattoo artist, graphic designer, art director, and dancer. Her history in the tattoo arts always informs her work, as do elements of figures, patterns, ancient mythology and spirituality, animals, and the natural world.


EXCITING kidlit news: My Forgotten Self   (author Lynyetta Willis, illustrator: me!) has received first place for the 2016 Purple Dragonfly Award! ~  Awarded to picture books, for children 6 and older  that “inspire, inform, teach or entertain children. Dragonflies are reminders that we are light and can reflect the light in powerful ways if we choose to do so.”

I’ve moved my art blog activities to my ‘works’ blog, so head on over and check it out/give it a follow:



A Gratitude Adjustment, and why Thanksgiving rocks more than Christmas (yes, I said it…)

print image available:
print image available:

‘Tis the season…no, not THAT season (yet!)… I’m talking about the season of ’28 Days of People Being Grateful on FB’ (while the other 337 days are spent complaining), elastic waistbands, inflated travel prices and mass turkey-cide.
But also – and how I prefer to look at it –  A time for a change of season that brings cooler temps (which for me, living in the South, is a welcome thing indeed), making it actually inviting to curl up inside and draw or read. Grey days aren’t dreaded in my book – actually kind of the opposite. Don’t get me wrong, I adore light, sun, warmth. But rain and grey has always been soothing to me. When I was a child, if it was sunny, I was pressed to go outside, be loud, ‘have fun’. I often just wanted to draw and read. On rainy grey days, it wasn’t questioned; my time was my own. It felt like a deep rush of air to the lungs after breathing shallow for too long, and I still often get that feeling on a dreary day. (Unless I have to drive around in it, in which case- yep, it sucks.)
And of course, a time when everyone takes just a little more time to feel grateful. We hear it ALL the time ‘gratitude heals’, ‘you should be grateful’…  And sometimes it’s just hard to remember. Thanksgiving Season makes it simpler… it’s built right in to our daily thoughts. It’s one great big, national gratitude adjustment.

At different times in my life, I’ve gone through various ‘gratitude exercises’. Some were simple, some were downright painful- but every time, something magic happens when I put in even just a little effort. It’s palpable, but difficult to describe. That part of me that has become hardened with time, experience, heartache, disappointment, loss, fear… it softens up. The load feels lighter, and I’m pretty sure I’m nicer to be around, too.
This is not a new idea, of course, none of this is. The importance of gratitude is a cornerstone of teachings from most world religions, countless philosophers, and even Oprah (hey, if Oprah says it… ). For me, some of the best connection to gratitude I’ve been able to tap into that has really altered my perspective, my work, my relationships and my life in general comes from a Shambhala teacher named Pema Chodron. If you’ve never read any of her work, check it out sometime. She’s easy to find. She’s a Westerner writing about traditionally Eastern concepts, and therefore her (often humorous) presentation of these sometimes esoteric concepts is simple and accessible.

One of my favorite titles of hers is Start Where You Are. Kind of nice, isn’t it? What better place to start? No special equipment required, everything you need, you have already. An exercise from Start Where You Are:

“… I work on melting that hardness by generating more warmth, more open heart. A good way for any of us to do this is to think of a person toward whom we feel appreciation or love or gratitude. In other words, we connect with the warmth that we already have. If we can’t think of a person, we can think of a pet, or even a plant. Sometimes we have to search a bit. But as Trungpa Rinpoche used to say, Everybody loves something. Even if it’s just tortillas. The point is to touch in to the good heart that we already have and nurture it.”  ~Pema Chodron

(You may be able to guess from my illustration above that often I start with the animal kingdom, when people seem hard. :-))

Hey, I’m not saying I have this thing figured out… some days are more like this for me. (Not a terrific quality vid, but one of my favorite moments from him. Louis CK= brilliance.)

So, why does Thanksgiving rock more than Christmas? How dare I suggest such a thing?? It’s all that stuff I just mentioned. Because in my (glass-half-full tendencies) mind, it’s one of the few holidays that makes us want to be better people- even if it’s for 28 days on FB, or for one day, or even just during that one, ridiculously overwrought meal.
All that’s truly required for Thanksgiving is just that- giving of thanks. And it’s usually suggested said thanks be directed towards those closest to us… a lovely idea indeed. Whether it’s easy or challenging for us, it softens that hardened shell that isolates us as connected beings, even if just a little bit, for just a moment.

It’s one nice deep breath before the Big Daddy of all Holidays truly comes barreling in the door for reals (though all retailers would love us to extend our mass consumption well before this holiday- another rant for another time). I raise my fist in defiance and solidarity: Let us not forget the simple grace that is Thanksgiving! Christmas: WAIT YOUR TURN. We humans need our gratitude.

So please know that, when I say that I am thankful for YOU… whether you are someone close to me in ‘real life’, or whether it’s simply because you took a moment of precious time to look at my little illustration and check out my ramblings… I mean it. I really am. <3


(See those icons below? Feel free to share… and if you want to e-share the Thankful Buns, go ahead! If possible link it back to me somehow. Link for prints below image!)


‘Dear-Lord-somebody-get-this-girl-a-tshirt’ Sale

miley12f-1-webSorry… really I am so sorry… I just couldn’t resist, it was right out there

Okay, the real reason for the post is the shirt sale part. Society6 (a great lil’ place that produces original works by artists- like me- and sells them for us on quality stuffs) is running a quickie special on my tee designs!

I don’t have a ton up (yet), but get what you do like now while the shipping is free! It only lasts through Sept 22, midnight Pacific Time

Note: you do need to use this link here to get the deal, rather than just going to the site regular-like.

See those little pretty social buttons below? Share the deal, share the love! That part’s free, too!