Lots of 16-year-olds love to play video games, but not many of them transform that love into beautiful, fanciful pieces of art - and that’s exactly what 11th grader Melissa does.
Melissa has been drawing since she could hold a pencil (or sharpie!).
“We had just moved into our new house, I was three years old and not a single piece of furniture had been moved in but somehow I managed to find a Sharpie. While my parents were busy, I drew a track around the entire house and in the basement, complete with pictures of whales, monkeys and other assorted “masterpieces" all in marker of course. My mother was not as delighted with my creation as I was and sent me to my Aunt and Uncle's while she attempted to erase my drawings. Parts of the track can still be seen in the basement or on my door as Sharpie does not wash off well on cement or wood."
But Melissa really came into her own as an artist when she discovered video game concept art.
She admired what other artists had accomplished and she decided that she wanted to be the kind of person who could create imaginative worlds and characters through art.
Now when Melissa reads a book or plays a video game art is often the result. With a simple drawing tablet and occasionally clay, Melissa’s vivid and fantastic imaginings are given form.
“One of my favorite video games would have to be The Legend of Zelda, Wind Waker,” said Melissa. “Among other reasons, I really like it for its simple yet expressive style. It’s bright and colorful but not too detailed.”
“One of the many reasons I like art is because I am able to create what’s on my mind, make something beautiful that I enjoy and maybe others enjoy, and tell a story. I do show my work to other people, usually only if they ask. From that I have learned something - art makes people just as happy as it makes me.”
Melissa dreams of doing concept art for Nintendo, or storyboarding and concept art-ing for Pixar, but she does have reservations about a career as an artist.
(Click on the images above to make them larger)
“Art is definitely involved in my dreams for the future, even though I'm always skeptical of my ability to build a stable career in art. Frankly, the idea of art school and going fully into art terrifies me. I've heard so many horror stories of unused degrees, failed art careers and the idea of failing in something I feel I'm best in sounds like an absolute nightmare,” said Melissa.
And maybe that’s another reason Melissa prefers to draw situations where the heroine or hero must go on a long difficult journey in order to achieve her goals. She has a real life adventure to face with potentially challenging obstacles.
I’m guessing that she will face difficulties as she always has; by transforming something scary and intimidating into a beautiful adventure.