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A doodling hobby turned into something bigger for Charlotte mural artist Michelle Henry

Michelle and Steve take a little break to take a picture in front of the mural they're working on..jpeg
Posted at 2:49 PM, Sep 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-06 15:27:36-04

CHARLOTTE, Mich. — In just five years, Michelle Henry turned her doodling hobby into a part-time job painting murals.

Henry got into doodling back in 2016 because she had a lot of downtime due to a divorce.

The Charlotte native would draw and paint for family and friends. It eventually evolved into selling her work at craft shows. But in the last two years, Henry says, her art changed.

One of Michelle's pieces of work
One of Michelle's pieces of work

“Before it was more of a therapeutic thing something to get anxiety out. I mean doodling is just relaxing for me. I can do it anywhere, anytime," Henry said. "Now I think in the last two years it’s just now of joy and expression and it’s just evolved so much. You can tell by the colors and the scale of things.”

Michelle Henry is working on the mural in Charlotte
Michelle Henry is working on the mural in Charlotte

In May of 2019, Charlotte Plaza Floral asked if she would be interested in helping with a mural and the rest was history.

So far, Henry has created murals for ten businesses in Charlotte, Eaton Rapids and Lansing.

The mural she’s working on now for Charlotte Rising is located at 114 E. Lovett St.

The mural Michelle is working on for Charlotte Rising is located at 114 E. Lovett Street.
The mural Michelle is working on for Charlotte Rising is located at 114 E. Lovett Street.

The mural is abstract, and it says “Take time to make a stranger a friend” which is a phrase Henry’s dad always said.

“Just that small-town feel of everybody knows everybody. Or nobody’s a stranger," Henry said. "And then the dripping the way I see it is a drip of kindness that can just overflow into something big. I mean one drip and it can be anything. One drip of education can create something big.”

D’Lynn Smith owns Acres of Play Preschool and Daycare in Charlotte. She had Henry work her creative magic last month, painting seven windows, adding color and brightness to the building.

Michelle painted the windows of Acres of Play Preschool and Daycare in Charlotte.
Michelle painted the windows of Acres of Play Preschool and Daycare in Charlotte.

“She created some murals of children just being children: climbing trees, sitting in the rain, reaching for the stars. Every time she would share with me a new one that would be done, it took my breath away,” Smith said.

Henry’s mom Kathy Hubbard said her daughter has been creating artwork since she could pick up a crayon and that she won an art contest when she was in grade school for the CATA bus system.

Michelle is working on a mural
Michelle is working on a mural.

“And I have so many little doodles and everything from all the years that she’s made for me. I’m just proud of her and each thing she does just amazes me, and she just continues to grow,” Hubbard said.

Henry expects the mural to be complete by next weekend.

Click here for more information about Doodle Art by Michelle JL.

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Cali Montana

Cali Montana

2:27 PM, Jan 20, 2021

Charlotte & Eaton Rapids

Neighborhood Reporter

Cali Montana

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