Inspired people – Melissa Moss
Artists are inspired people. But what makes them create what they create? What lights the fire that produces such wonderful work? Here are a few questions that will hopefully inspire some answers.
I’d like to introduce you to the art of Melissa Moss. Beautiful, curious work, exploring colour and shape with an originality that caught me the moment I saw it. She has an uncanny ability to balance a composition while working with a kind of complex simplicity of design. One mark by Melissa Moss can mean more than a hundred elsewhere, simply because of her wonderful ability to compose. I’m happy to have her here to share some of her inspirations.
Who are you? What factors in your life have led you to create? Was it an epiphany moment or something that has always been?
I am Melissa Moss and I have been a full time artist since 2002. Before that I worked for many years in book and magazine publishing. At first I really loved publishing but eventually I was very unhappy. I remember being at my last 9-5 job and walking through the garage to get to another building and the garage door, which was always closed, was open. And I remember seeing the beautiful day outside and just wanting to run out the door and never look back. This was when I knew that I had to start looking for a different way to make a living.
Where are you from, where do you live, and how does your location influence your art?
I am originally from Cincinnati but have lived in Chicago, NYC and Los Angeles. I am currently living in Asheville, NC. I am happier in Asheville than I have ever been in big cities. I am definitely more relaxed and this helps me to create.
Were you ever distracted away from your art and creating by the need to make a living? Have you ever stopped creating?
I’ve never been distracted away from my art but I am always thinking about what will sell and what won’t. I wish I didn’t have to think like that but it’s a sad reality these days. I definitely go through periods where I don’t feel inspired at all. Fortunately, it doesn’t last too long.
What do you create? Do you have a niche or do you spread your creativity across several disciplines? Do you have a preferred subject?
I paint with acrylic on wood. I paint tiny creatures and trees with a lot of very tiny detail. The only thing different that I’ve tried is t-shirts. I would love to branch out but can’t seem to find the time to learn something new.
What inspires you to create? Do you have any techniques to find inspiration?
I get a lot of ideas when I’m driving, for some reason. Long walks in the woods also helps. I don’t really have any techniques but getting out my sketchbook is always a good start.
How often do you create? Do you procrastinate? How do you balance between the things that have to be done versus the things you want to do?
It depends on what else is going on in my life. I have a 3 1/2 year old son so most of the time I paint after he goes to bed. And most of the time I am exhausted by then. I tend to procrastinate and get my best ideas and work the fastest under a deadline like a gallery show or the holidays.
Where do you create?
I like to paint at a tiny table next to the TV. Listening to the TV while I paint somehow allows me to focus for a long time but not get bored.
What do you enjoy doing the most?
As far as painting goes I love when a really great idea just hits me. Those are always the best ones. They have a great flow. And I enjoy pretty much everything about my son. He is the best.
Do you have any advice for other artists?
Just to keep at it and try to create something that no one else is doing. Etsy is a wonderful place to start but you have to stick to it, list often, have great photos, use your tags. It is a tough economy right now but there are still people out there willing to buy something that’s unique and special.
My website – http://www.melissamossart.com/index.htm and my etsy page are the best places. But I sell prints all over the country. A list of galleries and stores can be found on my website.