Melisah May

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Illustrator Melisah May opens up about her journey as an artisan and reveals the inspiration behind her gorgeous, whimsical narratives. ‘I’ve been drawing and making art for as long as I can remember. My mum is very creative and a great artist herself, so I remember her painting murals on my brother’s bedroom wall when we were young, which fascinated me. I just knew I would do something creative eventually – it was a given for me. When I first started, I was a bit all over the place! I remember writing stories, and drawing the accompanying pictures was something I always had to do – the story was never finished if it didn’t have pictures! I didn’t just draw as a kid though; I loved painting and making things: jewelry, sculptures of all kinds and collages, and adored photography. The process of creating is an amazing feeling … somewhat indescribable. I like to start with raw materials like graphite, and develop an artwork by incorporating different media. Technically, I love the detail that can be achieved in drawing; I like my illustrations to have a delicate, multidimensional quality. I guess my work can be described as very realistic, flowing, and often features water colour. It tends to be quite feminine, and has a strong focus on detail. I love faces, and creating personalities on the page. I have always been attracted to portraiture – it really has been a constant theme in my work. I am also quite fascinated with beauty, and what we perceive as beautiful. I am an avid consumer of pop culture, but I am constantly questioning motives and preconceptions. I like to push boundaries in a subtle way; small quirks and anomalies interest me more than making an overly obvious statement. I value the aesthetic in my work, but not to the detriment of conceptual strength; I find the balance of those things to be essential. I believe the same can be said of human beauty – I’d like to think my work is not just a pretty face. I love to share my experiences, which is why I dedicate a lot of time to my studio workshops and soon to be released e-courses and blog, focusing on creativity in all facets of life.’

Tomek Photography
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