Mike Shiell - Illustrator
Like most kids, Mike liked to draw and once he started to get recognition for his drawings, he drew more and more. He also liked to make people laugh, so put those two together and, in his case, you have a cartoonist on your hands. Mike is inspired by the way that kids create art that is so alive and loose and free. For kids, the act of creating art is just another time to play. This gives them the freedom to try out new ideas without the fear of failure. Many of Mike's funny ideas come from observing the world around him and twisting everyday occurrences into funny and sometimes totally absurd cartoons. At other times, Mike likes to let his mind go off on a freestyle cerebral stroll, untethered from the constraints of boring stuff like logic and reason. Sometimes his mind just meanders aimlessly for a while, but at other times it comes back bearing some interesting little nuggets, such as an idea for a goofy animation, a weird invention or toy or even a memory from childhood that can be turned into a quirky cartoon. Mike's cartoons and illustrations have appeared in many magazines, books and greeting cards in North America and Europe. His animated series The Melon Shorts has appeared in numerous film festivals around the world and has won a number of awards. Mike currently works as an animation director at Corus Entertainment in Toronto and says that even on his most stressful and not-so-fun days he reminds himself that he is making a living doing the thing that he had dreamed of doing when he was a little kid.