Toledo native and artist Michelle Duni is no stranger to swimming against the current. Duni describes her family as “strictly in the medical field,” so pursuing art has made her a self-perceived black sheep. In her college years, she went from majoring in Biology to English Literature before deciding to take a different route. “If you have a gift and don’t use it, it’s kind of a sin,” she explained. Art is Duni’s gift and she definitely uses it.
Since childhood, Duni has been creating. “My mom would give me a pen and paper in church to keep me quiet,” says Duni. From then on, her love and talent for art blossomed. Her pieces include a lot of ink drawings and watercolors, favorite mediums for inspired images for childrens’ books. As her next challenge, she would like to take on oil paintings.
Duni is currently working on a 50-page comic called Scatterbrained. She is hoping to have it in her “hot little hands” by spring, 2015. “The art is pretty close to being finished . . . I need to move to production,” Duni said. She has shown pieces at Artomatic, the Art Supply Depo and a self-created pop-up shop called Mew Gallery, as well as Handmade Toledo for Maker’s Mart. She is looking for new shows in the future and also wants to illustrate children’s books.
When she’s not creating her intricate and lively pieces, Duni can be found working in the University of Toledo Medical Center Emergency Room or rocking out as a member of The Dirty Damn Band.
Her advice for young artists trying to make it along with others attempting to achieve their dreams: “Don’t let anybody negatively influence you if it’s something you really want to do.”
See more of Michelle Duni’s artwork at michelleduni.tumblr.com.