m wood pen

illustrator of books, cocktails, travel + more

A Bit About Me


I am a graduate of Cornell College in Iowa, where I majored in English Lit, Art & History. Having zero career trajectory in mind, I took courses that made me happy.
I did, however, have one passion: it was Hollywood (the producer-writer-director side), & was buoyed by then-NBC President Brandon Tartikoff’s response to my earnest letter, “That girl is going somewhere.”
Right to the unemployment line.
Liberal Arts, not as alluring as other majors in those halcyon days of 1982, found me operating an ancient Heidelberg letterpress while sending resumes into the ether of no-reply-whatsoever (you missed out, Leo Burnett!)
Now in a sick panic, I leapt into graduate school. The School of The Art Institute & Harrington College of Design did the trick, netting me sturdy skills & a nifty job in Interior Architecture, Design & Space Planning.
Shortly thereafter, marriage & baby sidelined the city office life for something akin to cottage industry when the birth announcement designed for #1 son hit the streets, a boxed notecard dynasty was born.
Featured in House&Garden, Town&Country, InStyle, Lucky, New York Magazine, Country Living & more, the little notes boxed by hand in my basement by big & little hands (the children were now 3, husband exited stage left) became a bit of a phenomenon.
Sold to Nordstrom, Neiman-Marcus Direct, Retailers far & wide, George Lucas, Kyle Maclachlan, Peter Duchin, Vanessa Williams & a Hilton heiress, my little house was greeted often by a huge envelope delivery truck and daily at 2:30 for a pick up from Tom, our trusty UPS man, hauling cartons of packaged notes off for points hither and yon.
The cherry on the top? M Wood Studio notes were chosen as one of Oprah’s things of 1999.
After 18 straight years in the notecard business, I shifted my pen to licensing & freelance design. Feathers in my cap include illustrating 3 series of framed art prints at Crate&Barrel; 2 series of holiday bedding at Garnet Hill; framed art prints at Baker Furniture; & humorous greeting cards at Recycled Paper Greetings & Trader Joe’s. I’ve even seen my sketches atop Sperry Top-Siders.
Social media, incessant sketching, & blathering away on my blog caught the eye of a fabulous book editor, beginning a new phase of my patchwork career.
Books illustrated so far include “The Architecture of the Cocktail”, “Citysketch New York”, “Citysketch Paris”, “Citysketch London”, “Ms. American Pie”, and “The Architecture of the Shot”.
Despite a dire case of wanderlust, I have lived in Chicago forever. My three children, loves of my life, are beyond wacky, cool, & smart. They continue to both inspire and mock me: a delicious combination! Road trips with paper maps, anything Europe, foreign films, a good meal, awards season, music, family and travel are what I’m all about.



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