About Melodie UstichWho am I: As a kid I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t making something out of something else. I loved to tinker with Legos, paints, model cars and clay. I often took music boxes apart to see what made them work. In my teens it was just me & mom. Hardship of life then taught me how to look at something and figure out how to create or design something first, but mostly because we couldn’t afford to buy it. You learned, in our house, how to make do with what you are given. If you had a cardboard box to play in, my mother would make sure that it not only had windows, but shutters and a doorbell. We would make curtains out of newspaper. After all it wasn’t about keeping up with the Jones it was about making your own mark. Originality, It’s all yours. Today I am a full time stay at home mother and I am married to my best friend of 13 years. We have 3 great girls who each in their own way keep me on my toes and have deeply added to my inspiration. I hope to one-day design and craft a line of whimsical children’s furnishings that is both fun and practical for the eternal child in all of us. For now with young children, time is always a factor. Where I learned: Mostly a self-taught artist, my background in formal artistic training is sketchy (no pun intended). I originate from Jacksonville, Florida and had studied Interior design and art off and on for 2 years between Florida and Illinois. I prefer credibility to be that from life skill. I started sewing at an early age and made my first leather Barbie vest and skirt when I was 12 from an old purse my mother gave me. I painted furniture because I never could find anything I liked. Most of my commercial inspiration comes from cartoons, the great Walt Disney, Jim Henson and his Muppets, and a wide variety of music. Famous artists such as Matisse, Picasso, Monet, Jackson Pollock, and even Andy Warhol give me the drive to be free in my expression without having to color inside the lines. What I use: Acrylic paints and a little of this and that on… fabric & wood, small-scale furniture, or a combination to form one of a kind decorative mixed media sculpture, or fantasy characters. (Um...you name it?!) I have chosen to express my imagination in unlimited ways using the “canvasses” that come to me in all shapes and sizes and from vast resources. This is what keeps the uniqueness of my work so much fun in that it is always something different and new. If it is a custom piece I may let the piece “tell” me how it would like to be adorned. Intricate or simplistic with the subject matter being primarily contemporary, surreal, and at times passionately detailed. Before starting a piece of sculpture, be it a painted shoe, a fabric caricature from a dream, an odd little chair or a simple painted wood box I like to involve what ever request, idea or emotion I am given at the time. sometimes a flaw or scratch will be the starting point of the whole theme. Bits of negative scraps of wood from some other crafter’s creation along with cast off wire and found objects carefully fastened together with wit and wacky make up my imagination creations. I can’t possibly limit the description of my work to just one style. Just like I would hate to say I have one favorite color. (Ok, iridescent is my favorite that should explain a lot!). In the end: My creations are meant to amuse, inspire, and to draw interest into that goofy little space in everyone’s heart and mind, and maybe into your home or office. To those who say to themselves “I am not talented, I could never do that, I can’t draw, I can’t paint….” JUST DO IT. I have come to realize that the most rewarding emotional release next to a spiritual one or the gift of having children, is to create something from nothing and bring about a smile to someone else. Also once you finally try and get your feet wet, paint between your toes feels really cool. Welcome to my head , and thank you for visiting!
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