Crate Cafe | Gallery

Michael Shortill

For as long as he can remember Michael “Shorty” Shortill has had a pencil in his hand. His early school day memories are of filling exercise books with weird characters and doodles, and not much else.

Born in Perth, Western Australia, Shorty didn’t last long in town once he was done with school. A stint in London travelling Europe in-between working in fashion and construction soon followed, before he joined the oil and gas industry six years ago, around the same time as moving to Bali.

While Shorty’s motto is “Passions Before Pay Cheques” he’s also a realist, and beer and surfboards don’t come for free. These days he spends half his year working offshore, the long stretches at sea giving his vivid imagination the opportunity to drift away, before he’s released into the real world full of pent up creative energy looking for an outlet.

Despite having no formal training the one constant in Shorty’s life has been converting that energy to art, whether with pencil, paintbrush or the graphics tablet.

With a weird and wonderful imagination his guide Shorty is looking to encourage the same in future generations, and get them off their iPads along the way. He has almost finished writing and illustrating his first kids book, The Boy Who Could Be, about a little boy’s discovery of using his imagination, and all the wild adventures it can lead him on.

While Shorty’s cheeky nature is obvious in his art he also likes to show it off with his irreverent fashion label #GLUTENFREEGOODS, another outlet for his creative energy and a way of keeping his finger in the fashion game. “It has nothing to do with gluten by the way,” he laughs, while eating a Mexican pizza with extra jalapeños.