Michael David Ward was born in 1958 to parents Toshi and Lewis Ward. His mother Toshi Karasawa (maiden name) and Lewis Ward an Irish American met while Lewis was stationed in Japan as he served in the United States Air Force in the 1950's. Toshi married Lewis and returned with him to the United States where Michael was born in Clovis, New Mexico.
Michael was seven years old, he and his parents returned to Japan where he lived on two American Airforce bases (Yokota and Johnson) for almost four years. While there, Michael was heavily influenced by his mother's culture. He was surrounded by the beauty of Japanese art such as woodblock prints and brush stroke paintings, Zen gardens and temples, and the elegant architecture that was predominate in the many places he visited with his parents. Michael also loved the outdoors and would often venture off base to trek through surrounding forests where he would observe nature. His love of zoology drew him to a myriad of exotic lifeforms that were indigenous to Japan. He collected strange insects, reptiles and amphibians and observed and studied them often taking notes in a journal he created that were embellished with his own illustrations. Michael also loved to visit with many of the farmers and shop owners while on his little adventures. He recalls a little restaurant he would frequent as a boy that was owned by an elderly Japanese woman who for lunch would make his favorite dish "Yakisoba" for him. She took a liking to him and they became friends.
Another form of art that also heavily influenced Michael while he lived in Japan was the pop culture. Mediums such as Manga and Anime were compelling and dynamic contemporary art forms that inspired the young artist. Television shows such as Kimba, Ultraman, Atom Boy, Speed Racer, and Giant Robot were just a few of the numerous forms of entertainment that shaped Michael as he grew up in Japan. His mother who was also an artist and his aunt whose Kanji writing was exhibited in a museum were evidence of Michael's predisposition toward the arts. For him, art came naturally and he began drawing as a young boy and eventually experimented with painting when he was in his teens.
Michael returned to the United States with his parents in 1969 where they were stationed in Hamilton Airforce Base in northern California. There, he continued to draw and paint, attempting to capture his imagination on paper. Now that he was back in the United States, new forms of entertainment began to compel him. The pop culture and educational television here started to shape his interests and influence his art. Disney, The Wild Kingdom, Jacques Cousteau and Star Trek were some of his favorites. He also continued his outdoor adventures going on numerous hikes where he observed and illustrated nature. He often envisioned living off the land like a boy in one of his favorite movies "My Side of the Mountain."
paintings are collected worldwide. He has exhibited his art in galleries and
exhibitions all over the United States, Europe, and Japan.
His paintings and limited-edition prints are in the collection of such notables as Gene Roddenberry (creator of Star Trek), George Lucas (creator of StarWars), Leonard Nimoy, Nichelle Nichols, Jonathan Frakes, and numerous other actors and businesses.
has also created many commemorative images for Paramount Studios, Lucas Arts,
and New Line Cinemas. His works of art have also been licensed by companies
such as The Franklin Mint, Hamilton Collections, Pomegranate Books, etc for
a variety of products such as collector plates, greeting cards, calendars, posters
and prints, puzzles, and even neck ties.
Some of Michael's images have been seen on television shows such as the "Third Rock from the Sun,"Star Trek 25th Anniversary Special" and the Star Trek documentary "Trekkies."
Michael derives much of his inspiration from an ongoing need for adventure. As a scuba diver, hang glider pilot and hiker, Michael has had the opportunity to amass a great deal of first hand experience to draw from. According to Michael, the ultimate entertainment can be enjoyed from the world and universe we live in. There is nothing more compelling, inspirational, and magical than our own reality. And through his art, he wishes to capture and convey the feelings and sense of wonder that reality evokes. For him, to live a fulfilling life is to appreciate all the beauty that surrounds us everyday and hopefully paint that magic into his art.