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Conversations with Melissa Danielson

Hi Melissa, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I’ve always been an artist, in every sense of who I am, it just took me a while to gain the confidence and courage to live it fully. I was born in Venezuela to a Venezuelan preschool teacher and American missionary. We moved to the U.S when I was two and moved state to state until we settled in Hollywood FL at the age of seven. My childhood home was filled with art supplies and craft projects. I’d scribble drawings on my homework and class work and sell drawings of mermaids and fairies to my friends for 25 cents. I went to the university of FL for a bachelors in fine arts with a concentration in ceramics. Somewhere along the way I lost confidence in myself and felt I couldn’t possibly become a full-time artist. I decided to become a preschool art teacher after graduation.

A couple years later I became a mother to my first daughter and fell into a deep depression. I’d forgotten who I was and what made me happy. I had no hope for the dreams I once had. I soon found out I was pregnant with my second daughter and vowed to remember who I was. For my babies and for myself. Through this journey of life and motherhood, I was reawakened. I made art a priority in my life, and it has made me a better person, mother and friend to all In my life. Art fills my cup and so here I am, in the middle of my pursuit of making my dreams come true.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Like everyone, life has had its smooth and rocky moments. How to unlearn and ignore the negative that society teaches us, about who we should be and what we should do with our lives has been a life long struggle. But id say the biggest struggle I’ve had has been learning how to balance being a mother and self. This summer I become a single mother, it has been an extremely difficult and emotional journey. It’s been a very overwhelming time in my life, but I use my art to release and process what I am feeling and going through. Through art and through poetry it has helped me see that in the darkness there is always light within. Though sometimes life feels like a void, there is beauty waiting to be created.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am a artist. In every aspect of my life, the way I see the world, religion and people. In the way I think and process things, and in the way I live day to day. I work with many mediums, including ceramics. But I am currently working with paint, ink and thread. I use acrylic paint for my abstract ethereal backgrounds. I then use ink pens to draw details and figures, who usually represent myself. Finally I use needle point thread and sew it into the canvas for a final 3d element. What sets my art apart is the poetry that accompanies each piece. Connecting my thoughts throughout creation to the image, as well as giving the viewer a little more to grasp and connect to.

Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs or other resources you think our readers should check out?
My current favorite books are, “Women who run with the wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. “The Game of life and how to play it” by Florence Shinn and “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle. My current favorite podcast is “Know your aura with Mystic Michaela”

Pricing:

  • Inner child and spirit animal portraits – $125 – 9×12 acrylic, ink and thread on canvas paper
  • Inner child and spirit animal portraits – $125 – 9×12 acrylic, ink and thread on canvas paper
  • Family or friend portraits – $100 – 9×12 acrylic, ink and thread on canvas paper

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