Melanie Mikecz is an artist who thinks big—as in big, bold graphics. Her subject matter runs the gamut from animals to architecture, and her subjects are rendered in her immediately identifiable, confident style. Recently, we had the chance to catch up with Melanie and ask her a few questions.
Oopsy Daisy: Do you have formal art training?
Melanie Mikecz: I do. I went to Washington University School of Art and earned a BFA in visual communication, which basically means graphic design and illustration.
OD: Are you a full-time artist?
MM: Yes! I am about 50/50 graphic design and fine art. My graphic design is things like print design, layouts, and book covers and interiors.
OD: Your medium isn’t quite painting, but I can’t quite put my finger on what it is.
MM: I call it digital mixed media. I start with a painting or painted swatches and do a lot of computer scanning. The final project is digital and I use a lot of Photoshop. People always ask me for originals, and I don’t have any! It’s all digital.
OD: You often depict animals in your work. Have you always been a fan of animals?
MM: I do like animals—if I wasn’t going to be an artist I was going to be a vet at the zoo. I like architecture, too, often based on where I’ve lived. I lived in London for a year and did some art based on that architecture. Now I’m in San Francisco.
OD: What are your artistic influences?
MM: I like a lot of old-school artists, like Klee, Kandinsky, Chagall. There are a lot of great artists working right now, and I admire a lot of the artists working on Oopsy daisy right now. I really like Jennifer Mercede and Jennifer Kostecki-Shaw.
OD: Do you ever experience “artist’s block?”
MM: Sure, all the time. Usually I find the best thing to do is to stop. I’ll do something else or take a break. Sometimes I’ll switch to another piece, but a lot of times I’ll take my dog for a walk or quit early.
OD: What’s the hardest part about being a working artist?
MM: It takes awhile to get your career going, especially when you’re right out of school. It takes awhile to actually make a living.
OD: Is there any advice you’d give the you of ten years ago?
MM: Ten years ago I was in school. When I was in school I was too worried about grades and how I measured up to my classmates. I wish I would have spent a little more time exploring and not worrying so much about those things.
OD: What’s hanging on your walls?
MM: A few of my own pieces, but a lot by other artists I admire. And my husband has a lot of band posters.
OD: Earlier you mentioned you have a dog. Would you want to trade places with your dog if you could?
MM: I have a Boston Terrier named Peanut. Even though she has an easy life, it seems a little boring! So I probably would say no.
OD: If you could invent a new ice cream flavor, what would it be?
MM: Maybe some odd combo of gummi bears and marshmallows and m&m s. Very sweet.
Have a look at Melanie Mikecz’s Oopsy daiy art