Who is Melisa? Where are you from? How did you become the woman you are today?
I am a self-taught abstract artist living and working in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. My journey as a creative individual started early at the age of six. While other kids were playing outside, I was drawing and painting.
I always had a clear goal towards what I wanted to be. I challenge myself to be better and get better. That’s why I chose to study graphic design. I like beautiful things and the aesthetics of an object. After working in graphic design for a while I got bored. I was creating things for customers but I missed the creative part of my own input. As ambitious as I was I started to follow courses in visual art, silkscreen, and photography. In between, I traveled a lot in Europe for inspiration and to taste different cultures. Every trip I went on so far opened my eyes to the beauty that surrounds us every day. I like to encourage myself to do more and am always interested in gaining more knowledge.
My love for color grew more on my trips abroad as well. It was around that time I realized I want to tell stories with my art. I captured all these moments on photo and started to interpret them with painting and the use of colors. Making art and being creative is my purpose and this is what I will always hold on to.
What is the message you're sending into the universe with your work? Why do you feel so strongly about the said message?
Our world has a lot to offer. There is so much beauty around us, but this is not tangible for everybody. With my art I want to share my personal story with you. I like to see my art as the feast for your eyes. My outlook on life is really broad, I like varying cultures and I like to taste every piece of them. Every moment is an emotion and I try to capture this through my art. I believe the smallest things in life have the most potential to make you happy.
Tell us a little bit about what drew you to your medium. Did you choose to work with said medium or did it choose you?
Painting has always been my first love. When I paint it feels like I’m escaping the world. Creating art is like stepping into my own world full of colors. It sets me free, gives me joy and a lot of power at the same time. I am a sensitive person and painting helps me relate to myself. This is an emotion that I can always build on and trust. So I can say painting has chosen me.
Your Insta feed is ON. POINT. How do you get your feed to be so aesthetically pleasing?
Thank you, I feel honored and you make me blush!
When you visit my page it should feel like a journey into my world. I believe that the character of an artist is just as important as the artwork itself. Somehow you will always see this character portrayed in the artists work.
I also learned that presentation is key. You’re your own shop window where you can tell your story. I believe being authentic is the most important goal, and that it is the individual choices of a person that makes art beautiful and unique. Beauty and aesthetics have always been an important part of my inspiration. Hereby, I like to make the world a more beautiful place.
What's the hardest part about making money as a female artist?
I never started this to make money. I always knew that being creative, and finding an outlet for that creativity, was my purpose. As my work and my talent developed, I started to post photo’s on my Instagram. I was amazed by the positive feedback I got when I shared more of my work.
When I sold my first piece of art, I was proud and sad at the same time. It’s never easy for an artist to see your art go, but at the same time I know they are not meant to be created and just sit with me forever. I feel honored that I am being acknowledged by people I don’t know who just admire my art.
It was so unrealistic because I saw myself as a starter and not as a legitimate artist. I decided early on that art is for everybody and not only the rich, therefore, I am against the high prices that artists ask for their work. However, I respect every artist and I know how tough a profession it can be so I would never judge someone for trying to make a living off their creativity. I worked hard for the place I am now and will always strive to be better. I want to give the opportunity to people to buy a piece of art for a reasonable price. This gives me, as a female artist, a lot of power.
What do you want the younger female artists coming up behind you to know about you, your journey, and the art industry in general?
The art industry is one of the toughest to get into. I was always determined to become an artist and, therefore, I made the decision to attend art school. I got rejected twice. The first time I got rejected was because I wasn’t good enough, and the second time I got rejected was because I was too good. They didn’t know if they still had the capability to teach me. This was a bitter pill to swallow at the time. I couldn’t understand it, and then I realized that becoming an artist doesn’t rely on getting into art school. You become an artist because you know you have talent, and you’re willing to work hard with that talent to improve.
I knew in my guts that I would become an artist and that I just had to believe in myself. I am a stubborn person and this experience taught me to never give up. Where everybody turns left I would turn right. Art school would have never been able to teach me what I know now. This is my own process and over the last few years, I have found my personal strength, and am continuing to learn more about myself along the journey.
Art is a personal and evolving process. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attend art school, but keep following your heart and trust in your own judgment. The answer is always within yourself.
What do you know for sure?
That life is too short. The path was chosen for me already and I knew that I had to do something with my talent. It is my curiosity and ambition that had led me to discover more of my creativity. However, there is always more I want to achieve. I always trust my feelings and am sure that my natural path will lead me in life.
How do you stay motivated? What does your daily routine look like?
I start my day by having a good breakfast and drinking black coffee. I don’t have a daily routine, to be honest, every day is different.
When I have time, I always browse my visual diary or read art books. I love to visit museums and to go outside for walks. I take pictures of objects and places that inspire me for a new piece. Creating palettes of colors and different structures is something I do a few times a week. Finally, when it comes to the weekend I have more time to work on my bigger projects.
My art is based on my mood and how I feel at that moment. I keep myself motivated by working out and taking inspiring walks outside. Channeling my creativity in every possible way keeps me sharp and motivated.
What are your future plans for your work now and in 1, 3, 5 years from now?
I have a few big plans this year. In my mind these plans are ready to be executed, however, they are a work in progress and I don’t want to rush them at the expense of my creativity. I am a dreamer, but I keep it realistic at the same time - things don’t always go as planned. For now, I can tell you that I am excited to announce that I am planning my first exhibition: Hidden Beauty.
Hidden Beauty will be a collection of unique artworks based on unprecedented beauty and endless discovering. There is hidden beauty in everyday moments and shapes. If you take the time to look deeper, you will discover and experience the beauty in everything that surrounds you.
What's the best advice you've ever been given?
The best advice that is been given to me is that I shouldn’t be so tough on myself. In the past, I threw my pieces away if I wasn’t satisfied with them. This led me to develop lots of insecurities. I had to see and learn that there is also beauty in imperfection. I believe now that this is a part of the process. Now that I am older and more sure about the process, I can appreciate the flaws in my work. This showed me that I am growing as an artist and as a person.
What do you never leave home without?
I always have my visual diary with me. It is a collection of my memories that I capture in my artworks. This means there is a memorable story behind every piece of art I create.
Like I said before, I believe there is beauty in everything. It’s my little lifesaver in which I can write my thoughts, my emotions and things that I have seen. Even though I don’t do this every day, there are always moments where I revisit the collection.
Last but not least; my red lipstick. I can skip my whole make-up routine, but I will always put on my red lipstick. My favorite is Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet #15.
Cocktail of choice?
I am a fan of PORNSTAR MARTINI’s, oops excuse my language.
These are like a little taste of heaven in a beautiful glass.
How often do you create?
I don’t have a daily routine when it comes to making art. When I am in my studio I am always creating. When I’m not physically in the studio, it continues in my mind. Creating and coming up with new ideas is a constant activity.
Fill in the blank. Painting makes me feel _____