Coco Loco Featured Artist: Michael Rohner
On tour this summer, Oakland based artist Michael Rohner has always drawn. From childhood, his visual palette was influenced by the great graphic mediums of comic books, graphic novels, graffiti and anime. His diverse Northern California home life shaped his emotional and intellectual capacity: Korean and Swiss parents, an East Indian stepfather, and three older sisters by a different father. He attended college in Colorado and subsequently lived in Chicago, Japan and Los Angeles.
He yearned to draw his way for a living, but didn’t know where to turn; art schools offered to reshape him, and that wasn’t what he desired. In 2007, he had a personal awakening that led him on a pilgrimage to Peru and then to quit his job, sell most of his belongings, and embark on a road trip with no destination.
He landed in Santa Fe, NM without specific aim but loaded with internal ambition. He began to sell prints of his artwork in public gatherings, bars, and parks; whatever he could fit in a backpack. It went well he wound up in markets and festivals and his popularity grew. He developed his own style of illustration that suited him: drawings inked in pen and marker with spray paint overlayed backgrounds. Since then, his work has gone to thousands of people across the country and is licensed around the world. He aims to express ideas and notions that are difficult to convey with words; he hopes to uplift, inspire, and comfort you with his imagery. If he can accomplish even a portion of that, then he is at peace with his passion.