KALAMADOODLE CHARACTERS: MICHAEL DUNN

Kalamadoodle Characters is a monthly series that introduces an attendee to the greater Kalamazoo community. Through these quick, bullet-point style interviews, we hope that you can learn more about your neighbors, find a common interest, and be encouraged to meet a new friend at one of our events.

 Photo: Matt Geerling - Bell's Eccentric Cafe 6.15.2016

Photo: Matt Geerling - Bell's Eccentric Cafe 6.15.2016

Meet Michael Dunn

“I have fun just doodling and sketching. There is no good or bad. It's just play.”
  • Art is his release.
  • Drawing, painting and printmaking are some of the ways Michael practices creativity.
  • He also encourages his wife to be creative and have fun with drawing.
  • Michael came to Kalamazoo in 1972 after school and was washing dishes when he met an architect who gave him a job with no professional experience in the field; though he had taken a high school drafting class and one of his college majors was photography.
  • He went to the University of Michigan for his undergraduate degree and received his Masters from Western Michigan University.
  • Michael enjoyed his art classes at University of Michigan and returned to school in the 90's for his BFA and then MFA from WMU.
 Photo: Matt Geerling - Bell's Eccentric Cafe 6.15.2016

Photo: Matt Geerling - Bell's Eccentric Cafe 6.15.2016

“You never know where things come from, so just start drawing and keep pushing it and see.”

Michael starts his doodles with scribbles and simply, “sees what appears,” from the marks that he has made.

“What I do for a living is very straight lined and very squared and so this allows me to do things free form, which is a total release.”
“Kalamadoodle is a great idea and it is working."
"I think it is just a matter of how you find your releases and what you can do to keep yourself sane in this crazy world we live in. And how you can keep playing in it.”
 Photo: Matt Geerling - Bell's Eccentric Cafe 6.15.2016

Photo: Matt Geerling - Bell's Eccentric Cafe 6.15.2016

Recently, Michael has taken what a very personal item, his sketchbook, and begun sharing a drawing a week from it onto his Facebook page. He is a fan of keeping a sketchbook handy, for several reasons.

“When I meet with a client, I have to draw on what they tell me and read in between the lines. And especially if you have a couple, they each have their own ideas of what they would like, so now you have to find the balance and search out the middle area.”
“If there is some way, I can encourage people to enjoy drawing, and have fun with it. Just go out and get a cheap sketchbook, and just play. Insert collage, insert newspaper clippings, just do things in there that are totally unrelated to the things you do every day and broaden yourself outward.”

In recent years, Michael has also picked up his camera more often. He takes a lot of nature photographs and calls them his, “good morning shots”. He has posted them on Facebook every day for the last three years.

“At this point, the intention is simply to help people look at things differently when they get up. I’m just trying to help broaden other people.”

Thank you for sharing, Michael! We appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you again soon!