Tell us about yourself!
Hi, I’m Melissa, an illustrator with an affinity for octopuses. I currently live in St. Louis County, Missouri where I run an online shop, attend local art festivals and enjoy some freelance illustration projects. Outside of design, I enjoy cooking at home, attending concerts, and exploring St. Louis’ restaurants and shops.
Tell us about the space where you do your work.
I have a home studio where I paint and design. It has a nice big window which is great for painting, and a cat tree so my cat can hang out with me while I work.
What is your background in art/design? What got you started creating?
Drawing has been part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I received a BFA in illustration from Columbia College Chicago. Working with my hands has always interested me, and I have a variety of interests in the arts including illustration, book design, wood-burning, graphic design, and photography. Lately, I’ve been working in watercolor and ink and creating story and coloring books.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
I really enjoy creating animal and character art. I am inspired by nature and animals, silly experiences, dreams, and doodles.
When do you feel most creative? Your least?
I’m definitely a night owl, and I come up with a lot of ideas in the afternoon and evening. My husband Matthew is also very creative and we often come up with fun ideas during daily conversations and experiences. When I’m tired, I’m usually not very creative.
What are your favorite products to design on Zazzle?
I love creating cards and stationery on Zazzle. It’s fun adding my critters to the cards and I’ve also enjoyed working with clients to create custom cards and invitations for holidays and events.
If you could wish for one new product on Zazzle, what would it be and why?
I’ve really wanted to design die-cut sticker sheets for a while, and Zazzle recently released laser cut vinyl stickers. I’m really excited to try them out!
What was the very first Zazzle product that you sold?
My first sales were a few different cards featuring jellyfish, octopuses, and penguins.
What Are Your 5 Favorite Products in Your Store?
Do you have any advice for new Zazzle Designers?
Create a body of work that you’re proud of and learn which products work best for showcasing your art. Descriptions, tags, and sharing on social media are also important.
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you?
It’s been really fun to create my Zazzle shop over the last ten years and share my art with people all over the world!