ARTIST FOCUS: MELISSA SMITH
Our artist focus series today features the very cool and very talented Melissa Smith! You may have seen some of her Splatter Art series that spans across video games, comics and television shows; now you can find out more about who she is and why she is awesome below!
Tell us about yourself. Where are you from? Where do you live now
My name is Melissa Smith, I’m 21 years old, and I’m from a small town just outside Vancouver, BC, Canada. I’m currently going to university for a Bachelor of Arts degree, and I’m studying English Literature and Visual Arts, which is pretty fun. I mostly just make art in my spare time, but my art sales and t-shirt sales have been a major help in paying off my school bills. I love video games, books, movies, and all other sorts of geeky and artsy type stuff.
How long have you been designing/illustrating? What’s your “origin story”?
I’ve been designing and making art for about 5 years now. I started in high school when I took a digital photography class on a whim, and discovered that I had a hidden love for Photoshop and making graphics. I loved taking ordinary pictures and manipulating them into something that you wouldn’t see in every day life. Fantasy and Sci-fi were always interests of mine, so I worked at making images that showed my love for those genres. I picked it up really quickly, too, which helped. I got my hands on a copy of Photoshop for my laptop at home and things just went up from there! I’m mostly self-taught, as I find I learn best through trial and error.
What medium do you typically use when creating your art?
To this day, all my art is made using Photoshop. I’ve tried to learn to draw and do some traditional mediums as of late, and while I find that fun too, my real interest is in the digital medium.
Your artwork spans across video games, television, and comics. How do you decide which characters you’re going to do next?
Honestly, I just make what I want to make. All the characters I choose to make are characters from shows or games that I enjoy, and that I think other people will enjoy too. A lot of the time I’ll be watching a movie, get home, and have to make some art related to what I just watched. I get a lot of requests, and I take those into consideration too, but it boils down to what I’m inspired to do, or what I’ve been exposed to recently, and how awesome I thought it was.
What is the best art advice you have ever received?
"Don’t stop. Even if you don’t feel like making art that day, or if you’re having a horrible day and you feel miserable, or if you haven’t made anything artistic that you actually like in a while, DO NOT STOP. Push through! The best art is art that is made with emotion, and unhappiness or anger or frustration are all powerful emotions that can yield great results if you use them. Sometimes the days you need art the most are the days you’re at your worst."
Are you playing any video games currently?
YES. I’m always playing video games! When I haven’t made any art for a while and people are starting to wonder if I’m dead, it’s usually because I got a new game and haven’t been able to put it down. My most recent purchase was The Last of Us, and I can’t even begin to describe my love for this game. It’s perfect, honestly, and I recommend it to anyone reading this!! I also played through the newest Borderlands 2 DLC, Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragonkeep, the other day and it was, hands down, my favorite DLC from the Borderlands series. So good!
If you could be a dinosaur with any super power, which would you choose and why?
If I was a dinosaur (which would already be pretty amazing on its own), I would want to be able to fly, for sure. It might seem like a waste, since a dinosaur with laser eyes or super speed would be pretty deadly awesome, but I’m a pretty chill person as it is, so I feel like I’d also be a pretty chill dinosaur (T-Rex, of course. I should mention I’d be a T-Rex). With the ability to fly, I wouldn’t get it people’s way! I could just fly over the busy streets full of easily squashable people and buildings, and avoid accidentally killing anyone and destroying things. Also, how cool would it be to see a flying dinosaur? Cool, I know.
Want to keep up with what Melissa is working on? You can follow her on Tumblr, DeviantArt, and like her on Facebook for all of her artwork and updates. Also, check out her Society6 Shop for prints, t-shirts, iPhone cases and more!