May Cover Artist: Mimi Matsuda

Mimi Matsuda is a full time artist living in Bozeman, Montana. Ever since childhood she has drawn animals and has been surrounded by them. She had pet chickens, rats, birds and fish as a kid and studied biology in school. She grew up exploring for salamanders, fishing for trout and watching birds and mammals in the evergreen forests of Oregon. After graduating from college with a degree in biology, she worked her dream job in the National Parks, as a National Park Ranger Naturalist for Yellowstone and Grand Teton Parks.

Using her artwork to connect people with the natural environment led her to a new career as a full-time artist. Today she paints to encourage people to emotionally connect with nature, sometimes through sheer beauty, sometimes through humor. She hopes these connections will lead to preservation and protection of wild lands and animals. “Every painting is an opportunity to tell a story.” Mimi works in soft pastels, acrylics, oils, watercolors, colored pencil, and enjoys the challenges of the variety of media.

Mimi’s whimsical art evolved from several interests. “I’ve always loved science, sports, conservation, and the universality of humor. People can identify with the imagery and put themselves in the animals’ situation. It’s a different kind of wildlife watching. The humor in my art seems to cross boundaries of age and culture. If people have an emotional connection to the natural world, which is easy through humor, it is my hope they will care enough to save it.”

“I am thankful for the support from the Montana community, which keeps me busy working on art and illustration. It’s the most fulfilling and creative job I can think of. I get a chance to tell stories through my art and hope to inspire viewers to appreciate the pure joy that wildlife brings to our world.”

See more of her work at: and Mimi Matsuda Art on Facebook. Her art will be up at the 406 Brewery during the month of June, with a show opener June 2.