Mike Purdy was born in Riverdale, Maryland and raised in Sunnyvale, California. He began to use colored pencils at the age of 15 while attending street faires and festivals and setting up an easel and chairs on the sidewalk and inviting the public to sit for one of his portraits.

This experience would lead to his first paying job as a portrait artist for a local amusement park. He attended Mission College in Santa Clara, Calif. majoring in illustration and earning an A.S. Degree in Commercial Art. 
Upon graduation he obtained a position as a muralist/portrait painter for a major music/video chain. a job that he held for over 11 years. During this time he also accepted clients for commissioned artwork and has successfully created portraits in colored pencil for over 35 years.
In addition to art, Mike loves the outdoors, hiking in the mountains, exploring, and photography. He is also a fierce animal lover and pledges a portion of sales and donates his animal drawings to charitable organizations and rescue groups that fight to stop animal cruelty.
He has achieved Signature Status with the Colored Pencil Society of America.