Name: Melissa Falconer
Craft(s): Visual Art/Painting
- How did you get started doing art?
I’ve always been into art as a kid. I was constantly drawing in my spare time, just in my personal sketch books and stuff like that. Whenever I saw something that I liked, I would always try and draw it or make it myself. But I actually didn’t start painting until about 2 years ago. I wanted to make something personal for my mom for mother’s day, so I randomly decided to paint her portrait. It turned out pretty good so I started painting my friends as gifts, and they liked them a lot, I just kept doing it. I eventually decided to start painting every day and see where it would take me, and here I am.2. Does your ethnicity/Culture play a part in your art?
Definitely. My art is heavily based in pop culture and black culture. I like to think of my art as a representation of my life as a modern black woman. I just paint what I know, what matters to me, aspects of who I am, which includes my ethnicity and culture. And that’s my main inspiration for most of my pieces.
- Who was your favorite commission?
My favourite piece is my “Lost Kings” piece of Mike Brown and Freddie Gray. This painting was the first piece I ever made that actually had something meaningful behind it. It wasn’t just another portrait of a celebrity or something, but it represented a struggle of my culture, what it means to me, and how I want to express it. So it was definitely the beginning of how I was starting to define myself as an artist. This piece also marked the beginning of when I started to get noticed and gain exposure online as it quickly became one of my most shared paintings. So I’m definitely proud of that.
- How Does fashion and style influence your art?
I get a lot of my inspiration from fashion bloggers that I see on Tumblr and Instagram. I’ll just be scrolling through my feed and if I see something that I like or that I identify with, I’ll often save it as a reference for a future piece. I’ve even had the opportunity to work on a collab with a local fashion blogger “Reney Fresh”. We did a whole photoshoot together and I made a piece based on the shoot. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUtPwQLrSY4)
- Who is in your music rotation rite now?
I’m a huge Drake fan, so I’m always bumping
Drake. But I also really like the Weeknd, Tory Lanez, Kendrick and Kanye right now. I love Dancehall too so Vybz Kartel, Popcaan, Mavado, Alkaline, and Demarco.
- If you could work with anyone dead or alive who would it be?
Definitely Andy Warhol. My style is really inspired by his, and I love the way he expressed pop culture through his art. I feel like I could learn a lot from him about pop art.
- How did you develop your artistic style?
When I first started, I actually made my art by using stencils, cutting them out, and painting in the shapes with black paint. Then I started to add more colours, but still using stencils. After a lot more practice, I figured out how to make my own style without stencils, and just by drawing it out on the canvas. Then my use of colours and technique developed overtime to what it is today.
- Can you recommend 5 artists that most people wouldn’t know about?
Markus Prime, Rob Regis, SemiSkimmedMin, Madam Muse, and Justice Dwight.
This verse is one of my favourites in the Bible. In short, it basically says that anything that comes against you won’t prosper if you’re a child of God. As a Christian, it’s just a reminder for me that as I go through this journey of trying to become a successful artist that I can overcome any obstacles that I encounter and that, at the end of the day, I shouldn’t stress because God will fight my battles for me.
- What’s one thing you can’t live without?
That’s a hard one, but I’d probably say Instagram. I’m low key addicted to Instagram and it’s definitely the most used app on my phone.