Michi Calica spent three decades in the fashion industry from 1989 to 2019.
She was a high-fashion wedding gown designer,
a high-end retailer in Greenbelt 5.
She ran a best-selling pret-a-porter line called MiChi for ten years.
A full scholar at the Art Institute of Seattle under the Carolina Herrera full scholarship, Michi went on the live a well-storied career competing in fashion competitions in Osaka, Jakarta, the Louvre in Paris, where she won an incitation in 1995.
In 2019 Michi was hired by Vera Wang to spearhead her Manila sales team. During the height of the pandemic, 2020, the designer-turned-artist was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
After a neck dissection, she lost her voice completely for over a year. On the 2 weeks of her isolation for radio-active iodine treatment, Calica packed a huge box of acrylics canvasses to a farm in Pampanga where she was not allowed to be around people. This is where she found her voice - without speaking. A voice only found deep into the expression of abstract art.
She paints between her Quezon City art studio loft and her beach front art studio, in Surf town, La Union.
I’m being slowly taught how to look at life’s challenges in the bigger scheme of things.
I think the recent thyroid cancer journey was possibly the best thing that happened to me - no kidding. It not only paved a way for a slow-burning repair on my body, but even in vital relationships. It also led me to find my voice again deep inside layers of my art. What was once a point of despair, is not a path to emancipation, a quiet freedom. One day at a time, one painting session at a time.
My brushstrokes resemble a weaving motion of the medium I once loved - Fabrique. You will catch glimpse of ghostly patterns. My eye is very romantic, with an element of surprise.
I am inspired by insurmountable challenges that foray into what I call hope. A hope that in due time will give meaning to the whole storm. When you weather a tough storm, you are changed. Hopefully for the better.