Michael Graves, born April 29th, 1975, noticed that he had artistic talent at an early age. When selected for the special arts program in the 3rd grade at Kilby Shores Elementary School in Suffolk, Virginia, he easily took a liking to this new world of creativity. He remained in special art courses and advanced art electives throughout his elementary, middle and high school years, and won an art scholarship after winning a regional art contest at Nansemond River High School in Suffolk, Virginia.
He went on to major in Art Education and also studied graphic design and fine arts at Norfolk State University. In 2001, Michael joined the military and served his country for 8 years. However, upon returning to civilian life, he picked up where he left off and finish his Fine Arts Bachelors of Arts degree. His reintroduction to art sparked a new found passion and journey.
Since 2010, he has sold hundreds of his original acrylic paintings, Has done artwork for a published self-help book cover, a 25 x 22ft mural for Nansemond River in Virginia, A 20 ft. mural at Booker T. Washington Elementary in Suffolk, VA. , A “Unity Mural” done with the help of every student at Northport Elementary in Minneapolis, Minnesota ; works in Atlanta, Georgia; Charlotte, North Carolina; New York City, New York; New Jersey; the tidewater area in Virginia, even Venezuela and Brazil. He has also sold paintings in venues including: restaurants, office buildings, and art galleries such as the annual art display at The Slover Library in Norfolk, VA., and annual Art Show and Sale at Nansemond Suffolk Academy and also including one featured at a gallery opening. And, the journey has just begun. His influences are Ernie Barnes, Paul Goodnight, and Norman Rockwell.*(Barnes and Goodnight for their style and expression; Rockwell for his content and style).
As a Founding Illustrator for Strive publishing, Michael is helping to bring the vision of writers to life.