Melisah May


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.’

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