Michael Dea is a graphic designer and illustrator based in San Diego, CA. His design work is primarily focused on branding and packaging, utilizing bold shapes and patterns, while his illustrations take on a more abstract and heavily detailed approach.
His pencil had a bit of a late start in college when drawing classes pushed him to work beyond the walls of the classroom. In order to overcome the struggles of being a perfectionist, Michael challenged himself to use only a pen for illustrations and to incorporate any mistakes into the final piece. The results of this challenge became a myriad of swirls and tight knit lines, some taken from the natural world and some from another world entirely. With no eraser or ruler to hold him back, his sketchbooks are filled with abstract, organic pieces that sometimes consume the entire page. Varying boldness of lines and curves allows him to create recognizable forms while also leaving the drawing open to interpretation in both figure and emotion. Introducing color into his illustrations brought on new challenges and surprises, allowing streaks of color to break through the sea of black that normally dominated the line work. Finding a balance between the worlds of black and color will continue to help him push the boundaries of the page and eventually allow other mediums to play a role in future illustrations.
When he is away from weaving lines together, Michael has been immersed in the web marketing industry and recently was able to land a position in front end web design, allowing his design skills to unfold on each new website. His career in the creative realm has only just begun and one day he hopes his work can live beyond the pages of his sketchbook.