From the Trenches: Elizabeth MacMichael

Elizabeth MacMichael is a self-taught Dartmouth illustrator, who started working in retail candy stores and has moved her way up to drawing for national magazines.

Elizabeth says she doesn’t remember a time where she wasn’t drawing. She always knew it was her passion – and her dream – but never really saw it as a career option. When she returned to Halifax three and a half years ago due to an injury after a brief stint in Toronto, she found herself stuck in bed all day with nothing to do but draw and develop her skills in Photoshop and Illustrator. When she returned to work as a retail manager, it just “kind of clicked” that all she wanted to do was draw. And once she had enough experience and clients under her belt, that’s exactly what she did.

It obviously was the right decision. Last year, Elizabeth was contacted to do an illustration for Canadian Geographic of William Shatner. Yes, that William Shatner. Elizabeth illustrated a portrait of the one and only Captain Kirk for a mini-feature the magazine was doing on the actor. For which her only comment was: “he saw that!”

In April 2016, Elizabeth was also the only Canadian selected for an art competition called Ink Wars put on by Creative South. Artists were given a 4x8 canvas, two Sharpies, a pencil, one hour, and one word given seconds before the timer starts to base their whole work from. Elizabeth competed fiercely in front of over 1,000 people and came in fourth place overall.

Don’t worry, though. She hasn’t let her success go to her head. When asked about her work, Elizabeth says she “just gets excited about creating.”

“I love any project where I get the reigns. It’s all about creating. I find excitement dies once a leash gets involved, so really I just enjoy any project that allows me to do my thing, my way, and deliver the best possible product I can.”

Her work includes a variety of projects and talents. Besides her illustration work, including interior book illustrations, Elizabeth has completed film posters, label designs, logo re-designs, and re-branding for various clients. Recently, she’s also discovered her love for stationary and has shared her talent creating wedding invitations, specifically for the LGBTQ+ community, combining her passion for activism and support in the community with her skills and work.

Elizabeth also carries her own product line, or as she likes to call it – “a line of stuff people can’t say no to.” Her products are available wholesale to local suppliers and are retailed via her online store, with products ranging from print to stationary, cards, recipe cards and more. The whole line is manufactured in house. That is, manufactured in Elizabeth’s house.

To learn more about Elizabeth and her work, visit her profile at www.gotothewell.ca/elizabethmacmichael1