Artis Mike Williams' Vintage Art

I would have to say I am more of a professional daydreamer than an artist. Instead of paying attention in class, I would daze off thinking of far off places, which were more interesting and exciting than a classroom.

Two weeks after graduating I started working as a carpenter, building homes on the shores of Lake Erie. After three years of this, it was clear to me that this was not going to be my path in life. I started concentrating on what I loved years earlier, drawing.

I took a chance one Saturday morning and walked door-to-door offering to create renderings of the many summer cottages as well as their boats to the weekend vacationers. It took off from there.

Not only did it get my name out there quickly, but it allowed me to quit my full-time job and focus on what I loved.

I figured to be an artist I should have a degree in art. I took my portfolio, walked into several well-respected colleges, and asked the art professors for their opinions on which direction I should go. I received an answer I was not expecting.

They told me not to go to school, and that there was nothing they could teach me that I did not already know. 

Pleasantly surprised, I figured the next thing to do was to make money. I opened up a small gallery, which resembled an old fishing shack on Catawba Island. For three summers I successfully ran my shop, but something was missing…freedom.

I was married to it. Having set hours that I had to be somewhere seven days a week quickly became no fun. I would exhibit my work at shows along Lake Michigan as well as Lake Erie throughout the summers as well.

I had heard of the great number of shows held in Florida throughout the winter months and decided to give it a try. There was endless inspiration to be found in Florida, and after two years of driving up and down Route 75, I decided to make it my new home. It has afforded me to enjoy the most important part of what I do for a living. Freedom. 

My inspiration comes from traveling, where endless ideas for new pieces can be found. My work is a combination of where I have been as well as places I would like to be. I try to portray a simpler time when things moved at a slower pace. Through my work, I hope to bring back fond memories for the client who hangs my work in their home or places they have been as well.

The best part of what I do is not knowing where it will take me next. I hope you enjoy my work as much as I have enjoyed creating it.

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