Michelle Buvala

Michelle Buvala, illustrator of children's books, stand outside under a mesquite tree. she is smiling and looking into the camera. kidlit illustrator author

Michelle Buvala is a visual artist and illustrator residing in the desert of Arizona, USA. Art and creating has been an intrinsic part of her life for as long as she can remember. As a child and teen, she explored every art material she could get her hands on, even winning some awards and selling a few pieces. When she entered the beautiful chaos of raising and homeschooling her four children, she wanted her kids to experience the magic of making. Together, they explored a diverse world of art materials and methods, from process art to crafting.

Michelle set aside her art-creating until her youngest turned 17 in 2015. An intense, persistent calling tugged at her heart, strongly urging her to return to her own art-making. So she carved a section out of the family room to set herself up a studio and finds herself doing something artsy nearly daily.

Her creative journey encompasses various mediums, including watercolor paintings, pen and ink drawings, linocut prints, and mixed-media art pieces. However, she has discovered that her true expertise is watercolor cut-paper collages. This unique art form allows her to blend her love for watercolors with the intricate beauty of collage, resulting in vibrant pieces. She has even enjoyed illustrating several children’s books using this art style.

Through her artwork, Michelle treasures the beauty of the Sonoran Desert, which serves as her home and endless inspiration. She seeks to capture the essence of the desert’s flora, fauna, and gorgeous scenery in her creations. Of course, her artistic exploration often leads her on detours not limited to the Sonoran theme. Her pen-and-ink character, Cosplay Cat, comes out to play occasionally. She is intrigued by birds, skulls, and little critters and loves diving into holiday art.

Her mission now is to make a living through her art and assist other parents and caregivers in nurturing their children’s curiosity and learning through the exploration of process art and play. It’s a deeply fulfilling path for her that allows her to combine her artistic talent with her desire to support and encourage young minds.

Michelle holds a degree in Elementary Education from Arizona State University. She founded The Mesquite Tree Studio in Avondale, Arizona. She is active on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/themesquitetreestudio/.

cover of of and crow book showing fox looking up a tree at a crow with piece of cheese in her mouth. watercolor collage pictures. kidlit Michelle’s Books and Illustrations:
The Fox and the Crow: Art and Stories Inspired by Aesop
Apples for the Princess
The Gecko is On the Cover
My Expansion