Today we’d like to introduce you to Melissa Reischman.
Melissa, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
From as far back as I can remember, I have always loved drawing and painting. I grew up in Portland Oregon, where it rains a lot, so there was plenty of quiet time spent at a drawing table with crayons, watercolor paints and just getting lost in the process. I didn’t know it at the time but I was learning how to be alone with my thoughts. I wanted to work in a creative field and be able to support myself. Graphic design seemed like a good fit, so I moved to Denver to study at the Colorado Institute of Art. The following year I moved to Los Angeles and, over the next decade, built a full-time career as an award-winning graphic designer. Over time, though, I felt the call to realize my own artistic vision. I enrolled in a painting class at Art Center at Night with Ray Turner, and I started painting. My further curiosity about the creative process led me to the UCLA Extension class Art as Transformation taught by Linda Jacobson. Making personal art has given my creative life a balance. Now, I am concentrating almost exclusively on my art.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I am interested in light and its effect on darkness, both visually and metaphorically. Through my exploration of the forceful movement of light, I am connecting the internal to the external and blurring the lines between abstraction and representation. I take inspiration from nature and infuse it with my own imagination. I work in charcoal, employing methods of application and reduction to create drawings that allude to natural elements, landscapes and the still life. Although my work is dark in appearance, I think the images are hopeful, contemplative and evocative inviting the viewer to contemplate parallel possibilities beyond the physical realm. Working with charcoal is immediate, and it allows me to get the image down on paper before it disappears into the ethers. I work intuitively, and I am in constant dialogue with my work.
Do you have any advice for other artists? Any lessons you wished you learned earlier?
I think the best advice I could offer is to just keep making your work. Have confidence in your ideas and vision and work as much as you can to develop them. Keep a journal and spend time just looking at your own work. Don’t be afraid to seek guidance in areas where you fall short, this is ongoing. Make growth a priority and be fearless in your artmaking and learn to work with your inner critic. It’s imperative that you surround yourself with supportive people. Join art organizations that support your goals and philosophy. This will expand your community, and you will find other artists in your ecosphere to align yourself with. This is important. Seek out art that resonates with you, and look at it in person and ask yourself why it has such an impact.
If there is one thing that I could say to my younger self, it would be that “you are enough.”
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I have work on display in the show (Beyond) Redemption juried by Andrea Stang (CSU Dominguez Hills, Hauser & Wirth, Occidental College and MOCA) at Backspace Gallery located at 1528 E. 17th St, LA CA 90021.
More of my work can be viewed on my website: MelissaReischman.com
and on my Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/melliska/
Any inquiries or requests to be added to my email list can be done through my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Website: MelissaReischman.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/melliska/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MelissaReischmanArtist/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/Melliska