Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Snow, Spring, New 80s, Twin Peaks, Potatoes, and Mars

Welcome to the new year, when thoughts of the Polar Vortex and Winter Storms are on the East Coast's mind. I hope you are all safe inside, or are enjoying snow like a kid! Since we're all thinking about it anyway, the theme of the first part of this Melasdesign / Design of Life blog entry is weather. 

Melasdesign Artist Blog January 2018

Through the pictures and links below, you should get a pretty good overview of the products each Melasdesign shop offers. Some items overlap - art prints, phone cases, iPad cases/skins, t-shirts, tapestry, mugs, hoodies, stickers, throw pillows, and comforters. I hope I didn't sound like the guy on Forrest Gump talking about shrimp! Fashion and Student Gear is more unique to RedBubble. Society6 has a further selection of home decor. Don't forget the CafePress shop either - fewer designs, but a totally different range of products.

Mela's Sense of Snow

What follows is my first pattern of the year - one inspired by the beautiful snowscapes I've experienced and greatly enjoyed. Yes, I am a snow lover. I am a cold weather lover. My teeth don't start chattering until about 8 degrees Fahrenheit (provided I have a good coat). Above that you can generally find me lifting shouts of joy, with face and arms up to greet the snow. 'Mela's Sense of Snow' is featured in Melasdesign shops on Society6 and RedBubble

While we're still on the subject of cold, let me wish you all a happy new year! Did anyone even go outside? Brrrrrrr.

2017 was the biggest year yet for Melasdesign, with much love shown to my shops, along with many opportunities to hone my artistic skills further, including lovely folks who entrusted me to capture their fur babies' likenesses in drawings. You took me into new areas of exploring pop culture references and looked on excitedly as I painted abstract images in acrylic. I am *extremely* grateful for all the love and support I've had over the past year; from customers, social media followers, and all the people far and wide who have given me such positive input. I couldn't do it without you. It has spurred me on and let me focus on getting even better! 

Melasdesign Thanks 2018

I've also got plenty on my plate already for 2018! Stay tuned for the return of hand-crafted felt items, more pet portraits (so popular during the holidays!), plus more abstract art, illustrations and patterns as only "Mela" can! 

Since I've concentrated on the extreme cold we're experiencing as of late, let's move on to weather that is more popular with some: Sunshine and Spring Temps.

Flowers Float by Ladybug Stream

This is available on many products in both RedBubble, CafePress, and Society6 shops from Melasdesign. The image is from an oil painting I did in the mid 00's. I think it is such a happy design and would be highly suited for nature and flower lovers, ladybug fans, and even nursery decor. It's decidedly warm and cheery! Bask in the sunny glow.

Flowers Float by Ladybug Stream - Melasdesign on Society6

Flowers Float by Ladybug Stream - Melasdesign on RedBubble

Flowers Float by Ladybug Stream - Melasdesign on RedBubble

Windows to Red Planet

From weather to astronomy, and perhaps even astrology: This is what happens when old paintings get resurrected into something new, aka abstract photomanipulation. It was created in a more or less stream-of-consciousness manner, but when I took a step back and looked at it, it somehow reminded me of the apartment in David Lynch's cult film "Eraserhead." ..... I can't tell you why! It's like being in a bizarre flat-walled building looking out a window, and seeing a vast, empty red organic surface - the red planet! It doesn't make a bit of sense, BUT many say that about David Lynch's work too! That's why people love it, and discuss it, watching it time and again. Keep reading for even more Lynch-inspired fun!

Windows to Red Planet - Melasdesign on RedBubble

Windows to Red Planet - Melasdesign

Windows to Red Planet - Melasdesign on Society6

Signs 17

And now a continuation from last month of New 80's inspired design work. I love this so much! I'm not generally so outspoken about my own preferences, but turning this old graphic into a reworked pattern just gets me excited! It's made up symbols, from European traffic signs to danger warnings of the atomic ilk. It reminds me of 80's graphic design. I have it featured on all fashion on RedBubble and it looks great on the home decor selection at Society6. Tech, Tees and Student Gear are rocking it too!

Signs 17 Graphic T-shirt from Melasdesign on RedBubble

Signs 17 Spiral Notebook from Melasdesign on RedBubble

Signs 17 from Melasdesign on Society6

In closing, a gem for you David Lynch fans who held out this far. I am such a fan of the new Twin Peaks! I loved that it was both very creepy, fascinatingly vague, and also very, very funny. The end made me shudder, and I'm a seasoned horror movie fan. Wow. So scary. 

Dougie for Congress

How could I resist making a tribute to the character Dougie Jones? Here he is running for Congress. Yes, Congress. Not the House, not the Senate. At this point that bunch is so down and out that he would fit into either like a charm! Don't you think? Unfortunately, although they are a bunch of bumbling nincompoops at the time, they haven't so far had the uncanny ability to save the day in the end anyway, like Dougie. Maybe we really do need him in office. 

Dougie for Congress on Society6

This is a digital drawing from scratch, by hand. It is not a photomanipulation or reworked photo. I combined Dougie's ironic persona with a background that suggests the Black Lodge, and added then the requisite campaign motifs to wrap it all up. This one's only on Society6. Be sure to click the link for a close-up image. 

Has anybody other than me noticed that Lynch has an uncanny knack for using potatoes in many different ways? Hmmmmm.... Let's see. Someone else thinks so too! Food, planets, characters, textures, and more? Some day I'll promote a drinking game called "Spot the Potato." It kills me! I love the creativity.

If you didn't catch David Lynch himself in the wonderful epic final film from Harry Dean Staunton, "Lucky," by all means check it out! There couldn't have been any finer send-off for such a fine, all encompassing American actor.

That's all for the beginning of 2018. Here's wishing you all the best! Stay tuned for more Mela and please join my mailing list (in the lefthand column) if you would like to be notified when new blogs are posted. Depending on how the Net Neutrality fiasco boils down, that might be the best way to get the latest news. We'll see. Hang tight, and we'll see if 2018 is as wild a ride as '17 was. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Something Original for the Season

Welcome to my blog for the beginning of holiday shopping season (in my mind at least!). Bravo to you, if you've been an early shopper, but let me show you my work for the season thus far. Melasdesign guarantees unique art gifts, because I stick to my guns with originality. In my admittedly idealistic mind, the purpose of art is to convey the notions of the artist himself, and not what is determined by marketing trends. Keep reading if you value an original artistic vision. 

Gifty, Gifty, Nifty, Nifty

As it's the holiday season, the sites I sell through as Melasdesign (Society6 and RedBubble) will be having sales too numerous to mention. Trust me on this one! :) I encourage you to click through, because *something* with this artwork on it *will* be on sale through most of the end of November through early January. This includes art prints, home decor, fashion, tech, and Notebooks / Stickers. A lot of times, every single product will be on sale, with free worldwide shipping at times! Please click the links. The sales are announced at the top of each product linked page, or by the product price, as a rule. Be sure to check out the savings.

Dream Series,

(Because You Should Know About the Dream Series)

Original #1: A piece about childhood. A piece about moms. A piece about dreams that are goals, and dreams that are a part of sleep. From a series of illustrations including very personal subjects that folks seem to relate to, so I'm adding it to the "would make a great gift" roster. This drawing is available on many items in my shops, some with text, some without. 

Look! IT'S ME!!!!!!!! :) As selfie-shy as I am, I have depicted myself in various works from the Dream Series. Here I am at a tender age, at the playground in the field where buttercups grew en masse. I always wanted to climb high and show how strong I was. Unfortunately in this case, getting down was a terrifying, much more difficult process!! Mom was not amused. Read here for other Dream Series posts.

Sneaky Art for the Holidays

This is as close as I am getting to Christmas-specific art this year. Look close, and you'll see it's the perfect art for folks who want seasonal colors, but unusual art. Mandalas are said to be a thing this season. I made this before the announcement came out! I was trendy without knowing it. The t-shirts are brand new posts. Attend that holiday party and stay in the "spirit," while doing something completely different. Tricky!

Shhhhhhhh.... this mandala is also available in other colors through the Pattern Collection

Calendars on RedBubble

Calendars are another popular gift item. Melasdesign on RedBubble offers four calendars with four completely different themes, all updated with the freshest artwork. The customer gets to specify the start date of the 12-month calendar, so it's flexible for folks who don't want the traditional year.

The first is a collection of pet portraiture, with my best cat illustrations. These are very special kitties from the US, all the way to Hong Kong, whose owners trusted me with their likeness. The calendar features kits of all shapes, colors and sizes, in varied settings - all adorable!

This calendar is drawn highly from my work of Octobers past. Although not limited to Halloween, the graphics are dark and magical in theme. From patterns, to abstract, to illustration, this calendar makes a great gift for fans of the Dark Arts.

So much of my work is abstract! I gathered my favorite abstracts into this very expressive calendar. Graphics vary from paintings to computer work. The pieces are full of movement and emotion. This is a great way to get "real" art into someone's life. 

Last, but not least, in the calendar feature is my collection of flower art. These range from patterns to illustrations - both hand drawn and photo-montages. This is as close as I come to having a green thumb! Give this to someone who does. :) 

Now back to general art, which happens to be posted new for holiday shopping.

To the Sun

I've been seeing a *lot* of work with triangular mountains making abstract art. I liked the geometry, but wasn't about to directly copy the style so many people are using. I traded distressed texture for gradients, blank sky for sun, and plain triangles for outlined shapes. So, yes, I took a theme and ran with it. It's a celebration of nature, of the outdoors, of sunlight (which is in short supply this time of year). With the exception of shower curtains and duffle bags (S6), all of the items shown are available in both shops. RedBubble offers both iPhone and Samsung Galaxy cases.

Retro - New 80's Fun.... 

Which brings me to more fun with geometric design: Because early MTV and New Wave was a shaping factor in my life and now folks are revisiting the genre, both visual and musical. 

The first design is taking jumbled geometric elements in pastel-to-neon jumbled style a la Memphis School, but adding a distinct op-art twist in the background, in black and white. Movement over fun movement! This design has gotten a lot of attention, so I hope you like it too.

Eighty Sixty

Color Forms

Taking the shape idea further, I was reminded of a game I had as a child called Color Forms. Once again, setting off the bright pastels, I chose a neutral background to fit many homes and outfits.

Just a Small Town Boy

Finally an ode to my favorite 80's art, inspired by album art from the band Bronski Beat. Simple, but  bold. The first two pics are from RB, the second two from S6. Get your retro on.

Salt Shaker Armageddon

What Was More 80's Than the Cold War?..... which supposedly ended for all time at the close of the decade? Yesssss, I went there. I call this political satire for your favorite foodie. This is a remake of a drawing I did in college, while daydreaming in the dining hall over a spilt salt shaker. The RedBubble versions are the simple drawing. S6 has merch with the black blocks of color on top of the white.

But this might be a comfort:

Back into pure modern day, these colors might soothe from that last concept..... Color Joy Village.

It's Chaos - Be Kind

This fiery typographic design inspired by wise words from journalist Michelle McNamara, the first wife (deceased) of comedian extraordinaire Patton Oswalt. As the story goes, per an Oswalt comedy special, this is what she would say when people wondered aloud if "[bad] things happen for a reason." This was her take as a true crime author who had reported on a few too many bad things happening to good people. She said to reign in the chaos, be kind. I'm including this in the holiday section, because kindness is of the utmost importance during the holiday season. In my mind, it's what makes the world go round.

Real is Beautiful

If you've made it this far, you've figured out I tackle issues in my own way. The following is for every girl who has taken a selfie and been insecure about her looks, or if she's acting cool, or even considered plastic surgery, because she feels what she has is not good enough. With holiday advertising going crazy with over-idealized images of air-brushed beauty and unrealistic materialism, it's a healthy reminder.....

Never Miss Out

That's it for now! I should have another post in early Decemeber with some great pattern and abstract releases. Subscribe to my blog to get updates on my artwork about once a month. It's the best way to not miss any "new releases" while also not having to be a slave to social media to catch my latest. The link is on the left. My style and topic varies greatly from work to work, so see it all here. I'd appreciate it!

Have a happy holiday season, whatever you celebrate. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Abstract in Melaland - Art, Fashion, and Jewelry

Melasdesign Abstract Intro

As I write, it's the end of October, and while ghosts and ghouls are still on my mind, I'm finding time on this chilly, dreary day to reflect on the non-Halloween work of the last while. After a concentrated period of illustration work on the Dream Series (Society6 / RedBubble), I needed to cut loose and explore my abstract inclinations. Here I'm featuring work in two areas: artwork as compositions for wall art, also to be used for fashion, home decor, bags, and tech, and then handmade metal clay jewelry, which is of abstract sculptural nature. 

Since the opening of my art-to-product shops two years ago, I've regularly produced abstract photomanipulations, which is something I've enjoyed doing since the near advent of Photoshop. Now I'm taking things a step further, creating actual paintings and using them as is, or as a springboard for further digital images. In some cases the line between the two mediums is blurred. It's been very satisfying to get back to the organic aspect of "real" painting. 

Fashion by Melasdesign on RedBubble
Fashion by Melasdesign on RedBubble

Metal clay is a medium where I'm finally hitting my stride. I work with fine silver, copper, and bronze metals, and have found that my best work results in thinking sculpturally, rather than purely objectively. The examples below are my original work and can be found for sale in the Melasdesign Handmade Shop, along with original paintings and some fiber work. I concentrate on making pendants, because I do not have to think in such a way that the object be duplicated, as I would with earrings, which frees me to do more organic forms than otherwise (at this point in my development).


Here's an image that made a splash, so titled in reference to palette knife work. I'd love to see this made into a puzzle, but I am not that mean. ;) Irregular repetition makes a colorful treat for the eyes. This work is fun as wall art, but also looks great on fashion and home decor. It even makes a crazy phone case.

Knifed by Melasdesign

Blue Silver Melting Heart Pendant

This is a sculptural pendant piece of Fine Silver which is set off by copper wire and a bold 3mm leather cord. The blue-to-purple-to-yellow patina has been lacquered for permanency, so no worries about this piece getting tarnished. It will keep the lovely hues that formed so surprisingly in the patina process. It's a heart for those too cool to wear a heart pendant! ;)

Blue Silver Melting Heart Pendant by Melasdesign


As mentioned in the introduction, I've been doing a lot of painting lately. I've also been experimenting with broadening my palette. With this piece, I had fun with the best slices from the past few months. It is an eye-catching composition that has been popular both as is and as fashion design (on RedBubble). It reminds me of the ends of record album covers on a shelf. 

Stripped by Melasdesign

Vertebrate Object Fine Silver Pendant

Since it was nearing October when I made this pendant in Fine Silver, I got to thinking about monsters and aliens. I ended up with this design, which reminds me of the spine of a bug/vertebrate hybrid monster that could star in its own sci-fi/horror movie. The patina came out a spectacular silver-black. The pendant has been varnished to maintain the effect.

Vertebrate Object Pendant by Melasdesign

612 Lake View Terrace

This is the result of gaining access to better camera tech than I've had thus far. Pure and simple. The painting is in oil and measures about a foot square, and is from the early 2010's. I've uploaded the image to my art-to-product shops, so it may be found on many different products. The original is available in the Melasdesign Handmade Shop. The image created reminds me of an aerial view of a home with a terrace on a sunny day that's lakeside to Lake Michigan. Knife paintings seem to be very popular, so consider adding one to your collection. I believe they are a form of abstract art that is accessible to all, in that the process is easily understood.

612 Lake View Terrace by Melasdesign

Circle Wedges Fine Silver Pendant

Here's another hand-sculpted piece with black patina. It is hand-built of geometric shapes, set off by a ring that's organic in nature. The piece's bale is on the reverse side of the circle, so the pendant hangs in front of the neck wire and not below it. This was formed from my wish to combine typical geometric jewelry forms with an organic element.  

Circle Wedges Fine Silver Pendant by Melasdesign

Raw Emotion

Moody and colorful, with earth tones in contrast to bright colors, I called this one "Raw Emotion," because it brought to mind a visual of the inner-workings of someone who is conflicted, but leaning to the positive side of things. Colors crash like waves. This piece looks absolutely stunning on RedBubble fashion and also is served up nicely in a framed setting.

Abstract Emotion by Melasdesign

Organic Form Copper Pendant

This piece from metal clay is copper with a light patina on 3mm black leather cord. I'm so used to seeing geometrically based jewelry that I decided to explore more flowing, organic forms. It's an abstract shape for the sake of abstraction.

Organice Form Copper Pendant by Melasdesign

Fall is Fading

This digital abstract was made as a reaction to the #metoo campaign ignited in response to Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations. I wussed out and titled it "Fall is Fading" for longevity's sake, instead of "Me Too," as I had considered. Fall *is* fading, so the title fits, BUT the real energy behind the painting had to do with past experiences and the sickening feeling of seeing how many friends and colleagues also said "me too." Sexual harassment, to abuse and violence by strangers, even to familial sexual abuse are *NOT* uncommon things, although many victims (and the public) are led to believe so in an attempt to silence them (or told they will have no power in court, or that nobody will believe them, or, or, or,....). I've done a lot of research, and the statistics are horrifying. Even in the midst of the #metoo campaign, I ran into people who said "well, you know, it's not that common." It is distressingly common, and few are being held accountable. Something's gotta give. May there one day be results from strength in numbers.

Fall is Fading by Melasdesign

Crescent Moon Pendant

In the same way I made a non-stereotypical heart above, with this pendant I chose to explore the crescent moon. It is made of copper, and the slight cracking that occurred in firing add to the organic feel of the piece. This one is for the mystics!

Crescent Moon Pendant by Melasdesign

Hot Hot Hot

This is another original knife painting in oil on canvas which measures 12x12. It was originally made for a gallery show having to do with images dealing with fire. The reds and yellows are offset by streaks of gold-toned paint. I made the motion of the palette knife make flame-like shapes out of the raised paint. The title is borrowed from a song by the Cure. The original painting is still available. Please contact me if you are interested in purchasing it. Otherwise, it is also available on a wide variety of merch in the following shops:

Hot Hot Hot by Melasdesign

Fall Cat Pattern

The last two graphics are actually patterns, but there are quite a few abstract cats if you look closely. The cats and swirls create a complex pattern reminiscent of damask. I prefer it on home decor! My pup is shown modeling a pillow below. 

Fall Cat Pattern by Melasdesign

There Are Cats Pattern

A reworking of the above graphic with a decidedly different color scheme.

There Are Cats Pattern by Melasdesign

Elsa the Wonder Dog

What better than a black beauty to set off a lovely fall colored pattern?

All the News

Like what you see? Be sure to subscribe to this blog for the best way to find about all my new art in one fell swoop each month. The link is on the left! I'd certainly appreciate it.