Vitality Stories ~ Artist Michael Michaud

Vitality Stories
an interview with

Artist Michael Michaud

MIchael Michaud, photo provided by Michael Michaud Jewelry


The Reason

To learn from someone else, we need only to ask them about their experiences, and that’s the purpose of the Vitality Stories Interviews. I’m not writing the memoirs for artist, Michael Michaud, but I discovered his work while I was on a four-month road trip and, unbeknownst to him, he inspired me to change.


Teri BMM (Before Michael Michaud)

I’m not a jewelry shopper. Any piece of jewelry I wear has been well selected and gifted to me by my boyfriend and all the more valuable to me because of him. Once on a trip, an earring was accidentally pulled from my ear and I spent the next hour looking for the precious gem (successfully), sacrificing an extra hour of walking in Paris. My uncanny ability to attach feelings and pricelessness to inanimate objects and my tendency to lose said objects makes jewelry too costly for my heart. My sensitivity extends to other items, too. I’m a sentimentalist, but I’m not a jewelry shopper.

I have ‘favorite things’ but I’m not a collector, nor am I an expert. I’m not a debater or sales person. I don’t feel compelled to convince anyone to my way of thinking (unless I’m right). I’m a writer and an illustrator, but I’m not a painter or craftsman and I don’t buy art, but the right work will own real estate in my memory forever. When I need to reconnect with myself, I retreat into nature. A well-worn path, the cleansing smell of rich mud, and the sound of wind flowing through the trees can bring tears to my eyes. I appreciate beauty, but I don’t want to own or conquer it. I’m on the aesthete spectrum.

I’ve never backpacked my way across Europe, but I’m a traveler who always explores new places on foot and with a pedometer. I’m a pedometerist and as of this second, a lexiconnoisseur.

But then, during a walk through Olympia, Washington, who I am and who I’m not converged.


Teri AMM (After Michael Michaud)

Oh, Ocimum Basillicum!

I stopped in a store. I can’t even remember what drew me inside—something to do with birds (I’m a bird watcher)—and then I saw the most beautifully crafted jewelry I’ve ever seen—delicate bronze pieces, perfectly detailing the blades, every vein and stem, of nature’s leaves and flowers.

Oh, Sweet Basil.

provided by Michael Michaud Jewelry

A pair of earrings weighing no more than two grams, only half an inch long each, and a mere three-eighths of an inch at its widest part, the tiny canvas embodied all of nature’s beauty. It was THE leaf, but in bronze. It was exact. It was life. It was nature. And they were mine. My heart said so. I asked the clerk about the artist and she handed me a card,

Artist Michael Michaud collects flora from his travels around the world. Your jewelry is then cast from nature’s own creation, capturing each natural detail of the original.

Instead of a wax mold, Michael Michaud uses a leaf, branch, stem, or petal. A mold is placed around the object and then heated until the actual leaf disintegrates, leaving behind every vein and detail to be cast in bronze.

I, in fact, now own a pair of spectacular bronze sweet basil leaf earrings and putting them on brings me utter joy. And soon I’ll own one of Mr. Michaud’s necklaces. Another birthday and the holidays to come, I just might own more.

I’m a jewelry shopper.


Introducing Michael Michaud

I started Vitality Stories to learn from others. I’m consistently advised by my clients to embrace travel, education, creativity, passion, family, and friends, sometimes in the context of pride, and sometimes the root is regret for not having done so themselves. Michael Michaud embodies the first.

Mr. Michaud combines his love for travel and nature to fulfill his artistic passion. Who better to interview for Vitality Stories?  I am so honored and excited to share Michael Michaud’s talent and his Vitality Stories interview. I recommend investing in his work before I buy everything. You can learn more about Mr. Michaud and buy his jewelry, which extends far beyond Sweet Basil, on his  website.

In the meantime, I gladly present Michael Michaud, a Vitality Stories Interview.

photo provided by Michael Michaud Jewelry

Q: What one word best describes you?

A:  Dogged

Q: Do you know what your purpose or passion is in life today? When did you recognize it?

A:  To manifest nature’s beauty in my work, I think I knew this at an early age.

Q: To date, what accomplishment are you most proud of in your life?

A: To have a loving family

Q: What has been your biggest lesson in life?

A: Stop and smell the flowers.

Q: Do you have a sliding door moment in life where you had the option to take two or more paths? What is the scenario? How do you feel about your decision?

A: I chose my family over other temptations. I never looked back.

Q: If you could change something about your past, whether your actions or someone else’s that impacted you, what would it be?

A: I would have not been in such a hurry to be a success.

Q: Have you ever felt stuck, or polarized by fear of change? Have you changed this? If so, how?

A:  No, I think I have always been a risk taker and let the pieces fall where they will.

Q: Do you regret anything, big or small, that keeps popping up in your life? Any plans to do anything about it? Is it correctible?

A: Perhaps not being in touch with people from my past. I’m a very private person and I doubt that will change.

Q: If you could travel back in time and speak to your twenty-year old self, what would you say?

A: Slow down!

Q: And what advice would you give every twenty-year old?

A: Take your time, the world will come to you.

Q: What is the best advice you ever received?

A: If it is wrong–you have to fix it.

Q: What is one of the best things that happened to you? 

A: Being given the gift of a creative mind

Q: What is the best compliment anyone has given you?

A: “There is nothing like what you do.”

Q: How would your mom and/or dad describe you?

A: “spoiled”

Q: How would your siblings describe you? Do you agree?

A: “a mistake” – Yes. I was the youngest of three and my mother had me when she was 40.

Q: When did you realize things/special powers/uniqueness/quirks/etc. about yourself?

A: When creating came so naturally and I became well accepted for my work.

Q: What is the next dream you want to act on?

A: Just to be totally at peace with myself.

Q: Who would play you in the movie of your life?

A: Robin Williams, I think he was a brilliant man.


What I learned

When you honor your passion, your talent, and find a way to let the joys of your life converge, your passion will resonate in your work, creating a special moment, perhaps a new experience, for someone else.

Thank you, Michael Michaud, for inspiring me. Whenever I need a break but don’t have time for a walk or hike, I simply make sure my earrings are in place, step outdoors, and let the breeze brush past the bronze leaves. “There is nothing like what you do.”

When you honor your passion, your talent, and find a way to let the joys of your life converge, your passion will resonate in your work, creating a special moment, perhaps a new experience, for someone else.

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