"So please, oh please, we beg, we pray. Go throw your TV set away, and in it's place you can install a lovely bookshelf on the wall."

-Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory


Hello there!

I'm a freelance illustrator who grew up in a big farm house in Central Illinois with three sisters, several dogs, and a million cats. My childhood memories include reading in our treehouse, drawing in my sketchbook, collecting rocks, riding bikes, and bossing my little sister around. If I wasn't an artist, I'd probably be a baker, own a book shop, teach kindergarteners, or work at a zoo studying animals and showing kids how to feed giraffes. 

my studio & garden

my studio & garden

I currently live in a small rural town with my husband Seth and two children Josie and Lane where I write and illustrate my own stories and scenes from real life and my imagination. I paint custom portraits for a broad audience of people all over the world. My children inspire me every day with their wild imaginations, fierce love of animals, and funny wit and silliness. 

My work has been featured in Bravery Magazine and Voyage Chicago. I was the "Illustrator in the Spotlight" in the Prairie Wind 2018 Spring Newsletter (click the images below). I've been a member of SCBWI since 2017.

Please feel free to get in touch! Michelle@CustomPortraitsbyMichelle.com, 309-392-1492