Starfish Earth Clothes is a shop that features wearable designs and fine art prints by artist Michelle Ishida.
Michelle received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The Ohio State University in 1995. It was while she was in art school that her business came to fruition. She started making dresses, bags and hats for herself to wear and a local Columbus shop owner Peggy Barry noticed them and inquired about purchasing them for her campus boutique Atlantis. That was the moment she realized that making things you enjoy and want to own yourself is the most authentic way to create art. There will always be someone else out there who has similar taste and style and will want the same things you like to make.
Printmaking, drawing and painting were the areas of concentration Michelle focused on while developing her style and technique. She has always loved fashion, music and nature as well as art so it was only fitting that she would combine all of these elements into her designs. Bohemian rock star fashion was her favorite look and that has always been an influence for Starfish Earth Clothes. Another signature element has been her love of trees. Michelle began drawing trees during a class where the teacher had students practice drawing the perspective of human arms by drawing tree limbs in proper perspective. It worked quite well and also was the moment she realized her favorite subject to draw was now trees!
The 1990’s were also the beginning of her art festival participation. Since then Michelle has exhibited in countless shows and has created long lasting relationships with customers who come back to her art booth decade after decade with their vintage bag, t-shirt or hat and catch up on each other’s lives. She appreciates how rewarding doing something you love for a long period of time can be when it allows you to make meaningful connections to others.
After decades of art festivals and online selling the pandemic of 2020-2021 brought the shows to a halt and increased the online sales. Michelle made masks with printed trees and butterflies that sold very well and kept her busy for the year. It was also a forced artist's sabbatical that brought out new inspiration and creativity in the form of painting and printmaking for art prints and home decor. She is very excited and grateful for the segue back into fine art and hopes everyone will enjoy the new creations as well.
Alongside her art and music experiences Michelle has had some fun and interesting opportunities in the commercial world that allowed her to experience other creative outlets and develop great relationships and networking partners.
Some of her fun commercial work includes: HGTV's "That's Clever" June 2007, tailor and wardrobe work for the Vitamin Water Courtroom Commercial with LeBron James, the 2009 Super Bowl Commercial for State Farm Insurance also featuring James, 2010 Comcast Odd Couple Commercials with Shaquille O'Neal and Ben Stein, 2007-2017 JoAnn, Inc. styling and print work and numerous private costume and design clients. Her first celebrity client was in 1991 when the Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament wore one of her hats on the cover of Time Magazine and on SNL. This was particularly exciting and inspiring because Michelle is a musician and huge music fan!
During 2020 WOSU in Columbus, OH filmed a video segment for their TV show and Youtube channel “Broad & High” about Michelle's mask making and her art.
Copy and paste the link to watch: https://www.pbs.org/video/masks-by-michelle-ishida-commons-holiday-lights-sangria-fnizzg/