Date: 17 September 2020
Former OHS student, Michel Mulipola is testament to the value of following your passions. Michel returned to OHS recently to speak to students in L2BEE about his journey to international recognition and success.
Michel described himself as being a “nerd” when he attended OHS. He wanted to spend his time reading, most often comics and drawing. Despite Mr Clark encouraging Michel to go to Art School, he made the decision not to go, but rather to concentrate on what he loved, drawing comic characters. It was not too long before his talent was recognised and he earnt commissions to illustrate school journals. Michel loves myths and legends and he is particularly proud to see his work shining a light on Samoan language and culture. A proud South Auckland Samoan he explains, “it is cool to tell brown stories for brown people” He is gratified to be able to enable people to read, learn and celebrate culture via the medium of comics.
Michel has worked for many international franchises, including Spiderman, Captain Marvel, the Avengers, Green Lantern and the Headlock series of books, which are based on the adventures of WWE wrestlers. The work he does for the Headlock series is particularly close to Michels heart, because he is a WWE pro wrestler! He has spent 14 ½ years ‘punishing his body’ on the pro wrestling circuit and he has many titles under his belt. As if all this wasn’t enough Michel who has illustrated for video games got into the top12% playing Tekken7 at EVO2018.
Michels advice to students, “take risks, ask yourself what is the worst that can happen? Never take life too seriously and make the most of every opportunity. Understand that everyone fails and failure is just another opportunity to learn.”
What an inspiration, a professional artist, professional wrestler and a professional gamer! You can find out more about Michel on his website ’Bloody Samoan’. Thank you Michel for coming to share your journey with us.
Why not check out Michel’s Samoan language comic, ‘Ole Aiga Samoa’.
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