Michael Rohner has always drawn. From childhood, his visual palette was influenced by the great graphic mediums of comic books, graphic novels, graffiti and anime. His diverse Northern California home life shaped his emotional and intellectual capacity: Korean and Swiss parents, an East Indian stepfather, and three older sisters by a different father. He attended college in Colorado and subsequently lived in Chicago, Japan and Los Angeles.
He yearned to draw his way for a living, but didn’t know where to turn; art schools offered to reshape him, and that wasn’t what he desired. In 2007, he had a personal awakening that led him on a pilgrimage to Peru and then to quit his job, sell most of his belongings, and embark on a road trip with no destination.
He landed in Santa Fe, NM without specific aim but loaded with internal ambition. He began to sell prints of his artwork in public gatherings, bars, and parks; whatever he could fit in a backpack. It went well: he wound up in markets and festivals and his popularity grew. He developed his own style of illustration that suited him: pen and ink drawings colored with a medley of media, including water color, gouache, spray paint and acrylic marker. Since then, his work has gone to thousands of people across the country and has been licensed around the world. He aims to express ideas and notions that are difficult to convey with words; he hopes to uplift, inspire, and comfort you with his imagery. If he can accomplish even a portion of that, then he is at peace with his passion.
Today, you can see is work in a number of galleries and boutiques or in person at various art festivals in the Bay Area or throughout the country. He currently lives in Berkeley, CA with his partner, Tara. They have a Japanese Akita named Kimchi, and a cat named Agave.
Awards and Honors:
- Best in Drawing - Tempe Festival of the Arts 2022
Best in Show - Arts, Beats and Eats 2022
- Award of Merit, 2D: Drawing - Evanston Arts Fest 2022
- Featured Artist - Art Fair on the Square Madison 2022
- Featured Artist - Tempe Festival of the Arts 2021
- Best in Drawing - Tempe Festival of the Arts 2019
- Best in Drawing - Tempe Festival of the Arts 2016
- Best in Drawing - Tempe Festival of the Arts 2015
- Best in Drawing - Tempe Festival of the Arts 2014
- Best in Show - Houston International Festival 2012
- 1st Place - Houston International Festival 2012
- 3rd Place - Bernallilo Arts Festival 2011
- Ian Russell Gallery - Prescott, AZ
- The Raven's Wing Magical Co. - Portland, OR
- Mostly Madrid - Madrid, NM
- Masks y Mas - Albuquerque, NM
- Lumen Gallery - Capitola, CA
- Pure Soul - San Juan, Puerto Rico
- The Regal Find - Middleton, WI