We first featured Michelle Abrahall and her talents on our Warwickshire Business Spotlight back in 2019 (click here to read the blog post). She was working hard as a creative freelancer on a wide variety of design projects and had big plans for the future.
And now today, this talented artist is the product of her own hard work. Since 2019, Michelle has poured her efforts and passion into developing the illustration side of her business. As we mentioned back then, illustration was always her biggest passion. We are so pleased she decided to focus her attention on what makes her truly happy, allowing her to be ready to take on each new day and each new project with excitement.
After leaving her Wolston offices behind, Michelle moved into the community of artists and business owners in Leamington Spa. Since then, she has continued developing strong friendships with like-minded creatives and independent business owners, both online and in her local community. Michelle gives plenty of credit to her community and support network for helping her to develop her craft and build her confidence. And to her loyal clients, some of which she has continued working with since she first set up her business in 2012. She feels confident that if she was ever struggling with anything, she would be able to find plenty of people with valuable advice.
Developing strong connections isn’t just with her community though; most recently, she has been connecting with plenty of people on social media through her artwork.
The pandemic changed everything. The Lockdown specifically gave us the big red stop sign we needed to look at our lives and re-evaluate what is important. Michelle made the decision to start giving herself permission to explore her craft further. Now working from home, she enrolled on an online creative course which gave her the much-needed perspective to reevaluate her business. She changed the name of her business to Michelle Abrahall Illustration, worked extremely hard on making the cutest logo ever and said goodbye to freelancing jobs that no longer stimulated her. Now, she works on illustration projects and honing in on her craft full time, including getting more involved in large-scale work and cartoon-style illustrations.
Michelle has installed two murals so far, however, this excludes the beautiful walls of her home which have become quite a canvas. Check out her instagram for some beautiful corners of colour and massive birds. She has also handpainted a VW van and created some A1 posters to be showcased in a new office. She told us how grateful she feels to be able to work on such amazing projects that give her the opportunity to create something totally new.
In her Instagram post back in March this year, Michelle said goodbye to her final copywriting client, posting about her empowerment for letting go of things that didn’t fulfill her to make room for other things with a little post-it doodle…
“Focus on what you want” she says, and we couldn’t agree more. Being able to reconsider the nature of her freelancing work and start enjoying some of the benefits of self-employment has allowed Michelle to slow right down, take care of herself and focus on the projects that are important to her.
As mental health has declined for many of us during this difficult time, Michelle also found herself struggling with her own mental health. Inspired by her own emotional roller coasters during the pandemic, Michelle started posting her drawings and paintings communicating those experiences to her followers on social media. With a theme around looking after yourself, making your needs a priority and giving yourself permission to enjoy life, Michelle has shared some beautiful illustrations and some beautiful messages across her platforms, connecting with plenty of others struggling too.
After such a difficult year but with plenty of inspiration and plenty of drawings, Michelle has decided to mark the extraordinary time we have all been through by releasing her year-long series of illustrations into a book; “I get Locked Down, but I Picked Up a Pen”. She describes it as “a visual diary of a very strange year that I hope will make people smile with recognition and be reminded of our collective resilience”.
If you are a lover of Michelle’s quirky prints, you will be happy to know she has also begun selling her original paintings on her Etsy shop. You can access Michelle’s full range of products for sale via her website and Etsy page, as well as find out more information on what services she can offer.
Keep up to date with this incredible local artist as she continues to develop her business and creative portfolio on her Instagram and Facebook. And can’t wait to see where this fabulous creative will be in another two years!
Written by Heather