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  • Jennifer Adler

MARIN'S UNDISCOVERED GIFTED ARTIST


When you are in the presence of his strong stature and soft-spoken voice, you can immediately connect Mike to his art. The pointillism technique that Mike uses for many pieces, combined with his masterful drawings, creates art that has a strong quiet presence in any room. Mike spent many years in yoga studios and at retreat centers. During this time, he received requests for yoga mat designs, and eventually this work led to the idea of putting some of his art on leggings. His legging designs translate like a lacey tattoo on textile. They are a must-purchase for any yoga lover.


When many kids were dreaming of becoming firefighters, doctors, or astronauts, Mike was practicing doodles to kickstart a career as a cartoonist. He was obsessed with the freedom that came from letting his imagination run wild on the page. He didn’t like to follow typical rules and art was his way to feel the freedom of being untethered.


Surprisingly, considering his profound talent, he never studied or took formal classes. He learned by a process of experimentation and letting his intuition run the show. Mike obviously was born to be an artist. The only struggles he experienced came when he stopped cultivating and practicing his art.


Mike spent most of his twenties as a musician and bartender where his creative outlet was less visual. After opening multiple bars and restaurants in Bogota, Columbia, he felt burnt out and decided to funnel his energy back into painting and illustrating. Living in Colombia sparked a creative fire in him and he spent a few years traveling around Central America while building a health coach offering and taking part in art residencies at different resorts and boutique hotels. Mike has experienced it all, including living out of his car when he camped up and down the California coast for nearly a year after returning from Central America. This wasn’t the VW van life version, but the VW GTI version.


Combining all of his travels with living in Marin has allowed him to create an artistic repertoire heavily influenced and inspired by nature. A lot of his work is inspired by the California coast that he camped on. He feels incredibly lucky to have the Marin backdrop to play in and influence his creative flow.


He also draws a lot of inspiration from the ocean. The hypnotic pulse that moves energy to every edge of the earth has always fascinated him and brought him a sense of peace. Looking at this vastness has kept his problems small. It not only creates our coastal landscapes and carves epic cliffs into the earth, but it creates the opportunity for all of us to live and breathe on a healthy planet. He reveres and respects the ocean for everything it has offered and is grateful to help protect it by supporting organizations that are focused on its wellbeing. A portion of his art goes back to keeping oceans thriving with coral reef restoration and regenerative practices. So far, Mike’s art has planted 250 mangrove trees and 3 artificial reef structures to repopulate sea life.


Discovering Mike’s Art

Are you interested in collecting a piece of Mike’s work for your living room walls or wearing his yoga pants to your next yoga class? Mike’s work is available online at seabyland.com and Mikepinette.com. Mike’s favorite piece of work is called The Color of Falling which he created for a poetry book in collaboration with Michelle Gerrard. Michelle is an incredible poet and author and Mike feels lucky to have illustrated her book. The Color of Falling was heavily inspired by the Mt Tam coastline. It is also currently available on his websites.


We asked all of our features if they wanted to honor someone that struggled with cancer. This is near and dear to Mike’s heart. Last year, after a long fight, Mike lost a dear cousin to adrenal cancer. For any purchases made in the months of November and December, Mike will be donating 10% to cancer awareness.


Fun Fact about Mike:

What was the first art that you created?

I don’t remember the first piece I ever created, but the most memorable was an assignment in first or second grade where I had to draw a picture of my future self at my dream job. It was a crayoned image of me selling one of my paintings to someone with a $500 price tag on it. What’s wild is that the first piece I ever sold cost that much. I hadn’t remembered it, but the picture resurfaced a few years ago and it blew my mind.

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