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Meet Brian Walline

I am an Ann Arbor-based graphic artist & designer with over 15 years commercial experience. I began my formal art education at the Savannah College of Art & Design in 2000. I was captain of the cross country team there, which was a lot of fun, but a close call with an alligator convinced me to transfer out. I finished college at the University of Michigan where I received my BFA in graphic design in 2004. I liked it a lot and learned all sorts of great things there, but none of them were how to breathe underwater, which has been a long-standing goal of mine. So it goes. When I'm not working I enjoy foot races, adventuring, exploring outdoors, singing, writing, caffeinating, brachiating, carrying on, and snorkeling. 

How long have you been creating your artwork?

I've been creating vintage-styled Michigan travel art since roughly 2010.

What is your favorite piece of work that you have created?

Please. As an artist, I'll have you know that I dislike all of my work equally.

What are your goals for the future, both artistically and in life?

Someday, I would love to have my own little studio/store in the woods where I can live and sell my art. Kind of like Gwen Frostic :-)

What do you remember wanting to be when you grew up?

Definitely a paleontologist or a herpetologist.

What are you currently working on?

I've got a new project in the works that is wildly different from my Mighty Mitten stuff and is exciting to me in different ways. It involves abstract sculptural reliefs out of thin layers of wood.

Where do you gather most of your inspiration for your artwork?

My inspiration is pretty easy to come by...from the heights of the tallest pines to each of Michigan's 3,288 miles of shoreline, there are places and moments all over this beautiful state that get lodged in our hearts and want to express. If I can get a little of that to rub off on one of my pieces then I'm doing pretty well.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies or maybe a fun story about an experience involving your artwork?

My biggest hobby is probably running, which surprisingly goes hand in hand with my Mighty Mitten work. Not only do my best thinking and daydreaming occur while out on a run, but I believe that is the single best way to explore a place is on foot. You really get to give your curiosity free reign to seek out new paths and discover new vantage points. It's always an adventure and it often leads to new artistic inspiration.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I can name over 100 genuses of dinosaur. Also, over 100 kinds of shark. In other news, I'm a nerd.

Do you have any inspiring words or tips for others?

All dreams are crazy. Until they come true. 

Quotes you love or live by:

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - Hunter S. Thompson

"There's only one rule that I know of, babies- God damn it, you've got to be kind.” - Kurt Vonnegut

What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

In the summer I used to work for my dad on his charter fishing boat ( on Lake Michigan where I would work very hard getting sunburned and killing fish. Mostly king salmon. 

What is your favorite...

Color: Brian Walline Pet and/or animal: North American River Otter Season: Autumn Movie: Winged Migration Board game: Carcassone Holiday: Summer/Winter Solstice Best cup of coffee: The kind with caffeine in it Ice cream: Lemon Custard at the Dairy Maid in Frankfort

What superpower would you have and why?

The ability to breathe underwater. It's a whole other world down there! Next power after that would be the ability to stay warm underwater without the blubber.

You can find all kinds of Brian's gorgeous mitten state prints at Yellow Door and online

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