It cannot be said that Michael Victor Troutman is a “self-taught” artist for stating such would imply that he has sought to teach himself some sort of artistic skills; he never has. Michael often got into trouble in art classes, but that did not deter him from making his own art outside of the classrooms.
Michael has been exhibiting his artwork publicly since the late 1990s. Among other venues, his works have been displayed at: the University of Louisville, Books-A-Million, The Creative Self, Evolving Gallery, Open Community Arts Center, Skull Alley, 1619 Flux: Art + Activism, Louisville Grows’ Healthy House, and Dragon King’s Daughter. He and his late father both have public murals, still currently on display throughout downtown Louisville, Kentucky, as part of the Alley Gallery project. Michael’s mural is the only one thus far to receive a content complaint.
Michael attributes his creativity to his family (nature) and his environment (nurture). Michael’s father was an internationally acclaimed self-taught artist. His grandfather (on his father’s side) was a professional furniture-maker. His mother practices the culinary arts and makes edible sculptures of wedding, birthday, and baby-shower cakes and of gingerbread churches, houses, sleighs, outhouses, trees, etc. that rival most families’ typical holiday hobby creations. Two of his four half-brothers are also artists. One received a full-paid scholarship to Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) fresh out of high school; though he blew that opportunity and never graduated. His one and only sister is creative as well, especially with interior design and crafts. She even makes her own pulp for her own paper and stitches them into homemade sketchbooks.
Michael survived a traumatic childhood and began seeing an art therapist at an early age. As a minor, he was diagnosed with a disability and began receiving Social Security. As a teen, Michael was borderline Catatonic. Due to a debilitating depression and a crippling anxiety, and having panic attacks at school, Michael had to drop-out of grade school and received a GED.
Michael has earned two Bachelor’s degrees: one in Spanish and another in Political Science with a minor in International Studies. As an undergrad, he has published academic research, “A Political Portrait of Jean Genet through his Theatre”, in a scholarly journal, and made the Dean’s List multiple times. Outside of academia, he has also published biographical research, “The Essence of Eugene: A Populist Progressive Politician from Hoosier History”, in Progressive Indiana (Issue No. II). He briefly attended graduate school for a MAT in Spanish, but he dropped-out.
Michael is the executor of his father’s, Victor Troutman’s, estate; and he owns and manages his website as well: