Michael Lyman has always had a need to create, even before high school, where he learned photography on a manual camera, developing film and printing his own photographs. He was photographer and illustrator of the high school newspaper, after which he became a member of the armed forces, manning a howitzer (pictured below), stationed in Germany, 45 kilometers from the East German border.
After a tour of duty overseas, he went to college, earning a degree in graphic design and photography, spending a semester studying in England and backpacking all over Europe, where he took hundreds of photographs.
In college, he was chief photographer and illustrator of the college newspaper and created a regular comic strip called Dirk Deadmeat: Ace Private Eye. He also served on the all-volunteer rescue squad with an Emergency Care Attendant certification.
He worked in Vermont’s oldest camera store before moving to Westchester County, New York for seven years, spending lots of time photographing events in Manhattan, including two New York Yankees ticker tape parades (below).
In 1996 Michael Lyman began teaching drawing to children at a day camp in Dobbs Ferry, New York while also working at a camera store. He was so popular, he was hired as an independent living counselor for troubled teens on Long Island. There, he provided guidance and insight to teens who were struggling to find their way.
From New York, he moved to Florida, where he began teaching at the Dunedin Fine Arts Center, and branched out to teaching in other cities as well. In Florida he has been involved with numerous interesting events and activities.
The 501st Legion – A global Star Wars costuming organization that raises millions of dollars for good causes, he has marched in parades (including Disney’s Hollywood Studios), organized events and been on television numerous times. To see a gallery of 501st activities, click HERE!
Found Slides, A Life Remembered – In 2011 he bought a vintage slide projector with 80 color slides from the 1950s. His search for the people in the slides became a world wide story and is the subject of a forthcoming graphic novel. Check out the original Found Slides posts HERE, on the original Magnum Arts blog.
Saving A Sailor’s Home – Michael Lyman spent a whole day in the water with his camera photographing the efforts of volunteers to push a grounded sailboat off of a beach. The boat was the only home of a retired Navy SEAL, and the coming together of strangers to help a veteran made it a truly special day.
Deconstructing Roxy – Roxy the Rancor monster is a huge replica of the monster seen in the Star Wars film Return of the Jedi. Constructed of over 500 pounds of polystyrene foam, disassembling Roxy is no simple matter; a team of people is required. After Megacon closed, he documented the process of packing Roxy up for transport back home, a warehouse where she was built and is maintained.