Saturday, 22 October 2011

Culture? introducing Melissa Contreras...

..What a joy to be visited by such a talented artist as Melissa Contreras! Melissa`s work is psychedelic, girly, both light and dark at the same time. At first glance the work may seem to be for children, but it most certainly has an adult quality when looked at closer, Melissa`s patterns and detail-work is amazing! Melissa is telling us a little bit about herself and her work today, it has been a pleasure to read trough it...
...Here it is, your shot of art featuring Melissa Contreras...

-Can you tell the readers a little bit about yourself, name, what 
country you live in, age etc?
Hello! My name is Melissa Contreras. I grew up in Central California and currently live in Southern California. I have 2 sisters and 1 brother. My parents live in the foothills on the way to Yosemite National Park. I have a loving husband and my favorite color (at the moment) is yellow. :)

-What inspired you to start being creative?
 I can remember my mom cooking play dough on the stove. God's eyes, friendship bracelets, seed bead bracelets, stained glass ornaments, dough ornaments, weavings, tie-dyed clothes. Maybe one of the strangest things, making a doll with the head made out of an apple, that was carved and left to shrivel to look like an old lady. I did that at a special afternoon event at our neighborhood library. One wall of our dining room was covered floor to ceiling with my, as well as my brother's and sisters', art work. I also went to a school where we had art class once a week. I learned about perspective, negative space, composition - the most valuable art classes I have ever had.

-Is making art and jewelry your fulltime job, and if not, what else do you do?
No. I also work part time as a graphic artist for another jewelry designer as well as doing freelance graphics and illustrations.

-Have you gone to art school, if yes where did you go and what did you study?
After transferring to UCLA to major in Biology, I switched to Art and never looked back!

-Where do you find inspiration?
I think there is an underlying theme of feminism in a lot of my work, about being a women. Being sweet, innocent, vulnerable, strong, mischievous and capable - all at the same time. It's also about celebrating imagination. The power to believe that anything is possible as long as you can dream it. That is what is so fun about drawing. You can draw anything, ANYTHING. There are no limits. I have been told that it seems I have created a different world where all these characters and places I have imagined and painted live amongst one another. And it's true, there is this little world in my head where all these things exist. I would love to one day really expand on that and flesh it out. The written word has never been my strong suit so for now I am content to convey it in little glimpses, little disconnected pictures.

-Do you have a favorite artist and if so who and why?
I don't have one particular favorite. I did just go see Tim Burton's exhibit at LACMA. Such an imagination! He is so creative. I do tend to like more illustrative work. I am a fan of pop & street art. I have always been a fan of Miss Van & James Jean—well, I don't even want to start or I'll never finish! Many of my peers create beautiful art, too. I am constantly inspired by so many unique voices & views.

Want to see more?

culture? Melissa Contreras!

1 comment:

  1. Melissa's artwork and jewelry are such an inspiration... her designs pair so well together, I'd love to come across a show featuring both! I just wish you had shared images of her jewelry alongside the artwork on this post, they may not have the vibrant color of her illustrations but they are just as alive!!


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