2019 Sunset Hills Makers Market, Sunset Hills, MO The Big Glamp, St. Louis, MO 2018 A Happy Little Holiday Market, Webster Groves, MO St. Louis Small Press Expo, St. Louis, MO Strange Folk Festival, St. Louis, MO River Des Press Expo, St. Louis, MO Beastly Beauties, Soulard Art Market, St. Louis, MO 2017 Strange Folk Festival, St. Louis, MO Holiday Show, SOHA Studio & Gallery, St. Louis, MO 2016 E'ville Indie, Edwardsville, IL Let Them Eat Art, Maplewood, MO 2015 Holiday Show, SOHA Studio & Gallery, St. Louis, MO Strange Folk Festival, St. Louis, MO Joy, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, MO 2014 Holiday Show, SOHA Studio & Gallery, St. Louis, MO Strange Folk Festival, O’Fallon, IL Custom pet portrait sketches, Neiman Marcus event, St. Louis, MO Shades of Green, Soulard Art Market, St. Louis, MO 33 January, Old Orchard Gallery, Webster Groves, MO 2013 Rag Dolls, Robots & Rocketships, Foundry Art Centre, St. Charles, MO Solo Illustration Show, Black Bear Bakery, St. Louis, MO Strange Folk Festival, O’Fallon, IL 2012 Strange Folk Festival, O’Fallon, IL Manifest Urban Arts Festival, Columbia College, Chicago, IL
I'm Melissa, an illustrator with an affinity for octopuses. I enjoy watercolor, ink, and making books.
Illustration is a form of stopping time, and immortalizing the animals, people, objects and events I enjoy for the simple pleasure of enjoying the fact that they exist. By describing it on paper or canvas shows it respect and adds to the value I already hold for it.
Although some of my work is realistic, I am not simply depicting objects in photorealism. Instead, the subjects in my art are generally things that I can connect to on an emotional level, and my work brings on an emotional respect connected to the subject. My whimsical illustrations are inspired by nature and animals, silly experiences, dreams and doodles.
Working with my hands has always interested me, and I have a variety of interests in the arts including illustration, fine art, book design, wood-burning, graphic design, and photography. I therefore enjoy experimenting with a lot of different materials, although I tend to come back to watercolor & ink.
While my illustrations are focused on the emotional connection I hold with the subject, I also tend to work towards a smaller format, including the book form. When the viewer holds the art in their own hands it becomes more intimate, and therefore produces a higher emotional connection between the subject and viewer.
I am currently available for freelance projects. If you are interested in a custom animal illustration, those can be purchased through my shop! For more detailed projects, please contact me to set up a custom quote and timeline. Past projects have included storybooks, coloring books, logo design/business cards, invitations, nursery artwork, pet portraits, greeting cards, and more. Email me at Melissa@TheInkyOctopus.com, or if you prefer to work through a freelance website, my profile can be found on Guru and Upwork.