Santiago was born near Buenos Aires, Argentina. His artistic ability presented itself early in life, following the influence of his grandfather who would sit and draw horses with him. Michalek owned a business restoring vintage Volkswagen bugs and buses, fascinated by the emotional attachment and nostalgia that we often place on vintage things. His current work as a painter creates connections with people over stories and experiences. His paint and canvas revive the narratives that exist under rusted metal frames and worn out engines. He resides with his wife and their three budding artists in Highland, UT.