Michael Brooks, Saint Joseph, MO Member Since June 2007 Artist Statement Mike Brooks was born and raised in central Wisconsin. Shortly after graduating high school he enlisted in the Air Force. Being an Airman with no car and little money gave Mike plenty of time to draw and sketch. Living in England and inspired by fantasy artist Boris Vallejo, he drew pictures of castles, dragons, and damsels in distress. He was further inspired during visits to the National Gallery in London and the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel in Italy. Despite the influence of Renaissance Masters, Mike soon found himself in college to pursue a degree in business. Too many classes and competing priorities left little time or creative energy for art. It was a creative dry spell most of the first two years, that is until Mike met renowned aviation artist Rick Broome. Rick's love of aviation and art really inspired Mike to begin creating again. Rick became a mentor of sorts and sparked new creativity in Mike that hasn't expired.
Having discovered the internet during college, Mike found a wealth of art programs. Paint Shop Pro was cheap, powerful, and easy to use, but it was enough to spur a new wave of creative projects. Soon digital art began to replace the pencil as his preferred medium. Mike found a way to develop his digital painting skills while working on projects for various business and engineering classes. While not fine art, those projects fed the creative spirit. A lot of time has passed since then. Mike now uses primarily Photoshop and the Corel Draw Suite for his art.
Still in the military, painting is not part of Mike's daytime job. Fortunately, he's had the opportunity to create various graphics and other works of art for his unit and the local community. While not a trained artist, art (in all it's forms) has remained an important aspect of Mike's life. One day he hopes to go back to school for a degree in fine art or graphic design. Until then he'll have to try to learn from more modern masters like Bert Monroy, Maryn Roos, Michael Kungl, and all the other great artists out there.