Michael Grills Portrait

About Michael

Michael has been making art, illustration and logos for design agencies, magazines, publishers, video directors, and video game makers from all over the world ever since 2000.

Michael Grills graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design and went directly to Bioware Corp. in Edmonton, getting hands-on experience making AAA story-driven RPGs.

When his first son was born, he decided to move back home to Calgary so that he could raise his family in his hometown among their relatives.

He started independently illustrating and has enjoyed working as a production manager, art director, creative director and illustrator.

He lives in Calgary with his wife and two children; and loves bike riding, martial arts, kites, and camping. With Banff right out the back door, it’s no wonder he keeps the studio here.

Artist Statement

In my art, I explore how mythology relates to identity.

Our fantasies often begin with toys. My work uses dolls as an entry point for the viewer allowing them to become a child again, and play pretend.

The dolls represent all the masks we wear. We are never ourselves in our fantasies. We are more loved, wanted, stronger, healthier.

There are themes related to the moral lessons of fairy tales, the magic of the superhero costume, the objectivity of the burlesque dancers, and the elegance of the human figure. I’ve chased my curiosity about different forms of our character, be it a hero, villain, friend or family.

I work with a variety of mediums, including digital, paint, watercolour, and found materials.