Machel tells us, “I grew up all over the place as my father was in the Army. We traveled so much I was born in Japan and spent a huge chunk of my childhood in various other countries. Eventually we landed in Florida where I spent most of my formative years and attended college at the University of Florida, I received a masters degree in Zoology. After collage I relocated to Seattle to continue my education and that's where I met and married my husband of 17 years. We have a 14 year-old daughter whom we adore!”
Machel takes her love of nature and photography and creates some amazing works of art. “The smell of the forest is the best smell in the world and I have honed my skills of finding fungi using all of my senses, I even smell them before I find them now” Machel told us during our interview.
When she is not taking photos or learning about different zoological species, she teaches biology three times a week to K-8 grade kids. Prior to teaching and when her daughter was born she worked at the Seattle Aquarium as an interpreter and bird cephalopod biologist.
I asked Machel how she found her way to Etsy and here is her response. “I actually started with my seashell art on Etsy many years ago. Then I switched my shop to photography after I felt confident about my mushroom images. I had a huge support team through Flickr that pushed me to do it full time. The transition was pretty scary, but after about 6 months I was selling a print nearly every day!”
Mushrooms are a favorite subject in her work. “My mushroom photography has been featured in Fungi Magazine, Natural History Magazine and several cooking magazines. I've also been approached my National Geographic about putting a book together but the terms were not to my liking. That is why Etsy is such a great place to feature my work. I can make what I love and share it at affordable prices.”
Her favorite words of advice “Do What You Love” and Machels’ wonderful photography sure shows she lives by her words.
Interview by Alisann of Art by Alisann
Edited by Gail of Digital Expressions and Artful Papers