My name is Michelle Rios and i'm a self-taught Mexican artist who lives in Franklin Park which is right in the outer skirt of Chicago (western suburbs of Chicago). I've been into art all of my life and have been creating as long as I can remember. When I was young, it was mostly just stick figures and coloring books. As I got older I started to try and replicate pictures as they were, like from manga's, cartoons, and real people. I thought that a good artist just meant being able to create something that looks identical to something else, so like realism in a way. I'm 22 now and currently going to school to become an early childhood educator, which is something I have grown to love to do, but art has always been, and will always be the biggest part of my life. As of right now, it is something I do on the side for myself and for others as well since I do commissions/have an art store online where I sell my works. Although, it has always been a life-long dream of mine to be able to make a living out of my art and have it reach as many people out there as possible in hopes to inspire others, especially people of color. I noticed my art style has really come together along the 22 years of my life, because all of my works have a tendency to be colorful, whimsical, or more out there than your average portraits or scenery like work.

Art has always been the biggest part of my life. Towards high school, I realized that copying art/being realistic was not at all my thing. It was fun at first, but it was not something that kept my interest at all. In fact, I honestly hated most of the art classes I took in high school except my painting classes, where I started to paint more intensely my freshman year. All of high school I found myself doodling eyes throughout all of my notes and assignments. One day a teacher of mine pointed it out to me. It wasn't till after my sophomore year that I realized I liked drawing and painting things that caught people's eye. I liked coming up with more complex concepts and things that didn't necessarily have to make sense. I realized my senior year of high school that surrealism was something I really loved to work with, and illustration as well. That year I took an AP advanced studio art class. After high school, I had taken a year long break from creating because all my art classes drained me from wanting to paint or draw. All the classes I took made me feel everything I was creating was wrong, because it didn't meet a certain standard or criteria. Now I find myself creating surreal illustrations. All of my art is mostly inspired by all of the things that I love in my life, and when I can I try to incorporate my culture. I work with many mediums from watercolor, acrylic, to colored pencil, and even digitally now. My art reflects a lot of what and who I am by creating all the things that catch my interest.