Jay Michael is a visual artist and veteran graffiti writer born on Whidbey Island in the furthest Northwestern part of the United States. In his early teens, Jay moved from a small town to a city where he was first exposed to graffiti art. Over the course of his high school years, an unrivaled passion for graffiti would become an all-consuming and driving force in his life.
At 18 years old, during service in the Marine Corps, Jay’s life came to a near and dramatic ending. A moment that altered the course of his life shortly thereafter became the catalyst for a tailspin into the depths of an indescribable inner hell. Numerous years of drug and alcohol addiction fueled by the effects of PTSD would degrade his mental state with obsessive perseverance. Though this nightmare would continue over the course of a decade, graffiti would provide a continuous outlet of expression and a fleeting piece of structure in his life. In the darkest years, Jay would create the best and most colorful graffiti art he has done to date. Approaching his 30’s, Jay was faced with making a choice at one of the crossroads of his life. Transmuting his inner pain into an obsession for study, he set out on a path of intense personal development, manifesting a journey of redirection in his life.
Today, infused and saturated in the word, Jay is fixed in his calling to manifest thought-provoking works that impact the lives and environments of people around the world. His ability to manipulate and harmonize contrast, color, and composition fused with various handwriting and type design coalesce into a style that is unarguably Jay Michael. A nearly exclusive education from the experiences of life and freedom from the constraints of academia allows Jay to create from a genuine place of authenticity. Aside from his primary use of brush and spray paint, Jay’s experience working as a blue-collar welder has embedded within him a personal culture of innovation and fabrication that drives his vision for an ever-evolving collection of new tools and techniques. With a combined love for the written word and a passion for artistic expression, the energy of his work invokes a nature of regeneration, resurrection, and hope.