All About Me | Melissa Helene

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Scratchboard Artist + Wildlife Art  |  Adventurer + Conservation Ally

Artist Statement

By focusing on the minute details that make every being unique, you capture the very essence of their soul. As an artist, I strive to capture the true nature of the people, creatures, and lands that together make up the breath-taking world that surrounds us. My work represents individuals as they are, finding beauty in everything they are and everything they represent. There is magnificence in all things, but we must stop + take a minute to appreciate it.   

 

My fine art scratchboard work is inspired by endangered species and wild places.  This high contrast, hyper-detailed medium is perfect for wildlife portraits and expansive landscapes.  My work is photo realistic, highly detailed and exclusively black and white.  Each piece starts with the eyes - a creature's soul - and progresses in layers outward.

My goal as an artist is to create a collection of work that speaks to people from below the surface, challenging them to see nature in a new way, and make them take another look at not only the pieces themselves, but how they interact with the world.  My personal goal as an artist is to build a sustainable business that allows me to dedicate my time and energy to creating work that makes a significant contribution to the art world and protection of all things wild.

Photo By: E L Photography

Who I am + What I'm About  

I am a Type A girl in a Type B world - I live and die by my color-coded calendar and detailed spreadsheets. Even my chosen medium is Type A - scratchboard is clean, highly-detail oriented, orderly, and every scratch in a piece has an intention and a place. I am an artist in my bones and love working in black and white and celebrating wildlife, but I've been successful in my first three years because I am a businesswoman by nature. I'm building a business that merges my talent as an artist with my desire to be Earth-conscious and help protect wildlife and their habitats. This is my passion, but it's also my livelihood.

I am a full-time, self-employed artist who, at one time, had ZERO intention of having a creative career. At 18, the thought of being a "starving artist" was completely undesirable. I craved stability and assurances of a path moving forward, so I leaned on logic and reason and landed at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities majoring in...Sociology! (Yes, that means I do NOT have a degree in the fine arts)

Fast forward to today and I'm exactly where I didn't think I'd be at 18...and it's amazing! I love my job! I get to create art and travel around the country and make a living doing it...to put it simply. The path is not laid out for me because I'm building it one brick at a time every day, but it challenges me in really exciting ways so I push through the tough days of business ownership and that's what we call entrepreneurship!

Fun Facts​ 

  • I am the fourth of five children

  • I have four nephews and two nieces

  • I love cheeseburgers, tacos, and all desserts

  • Ice cream is my life!

  • I am an athlete...volleyball, rollerblading, hiking/backpacking

  • I love organization and color-coding

  • I read National Geographic every month (okay, sometimes it's three magazines all at once...but they get read)

  • I am trying to go as plastic-free as possible

  • I love hiking and backpacking in the beautiful National Parks

  • I'm a little clumsy and get a lot of bruises

The Business

Melissa Helene Fine Arts and Photography, launched in January 2015, is dedicated to using art and creative expression to raise awareness of wildlife, wild places, and conservation issues to help protect the very places and creatures that most inspire my work.  One of my biggest business goals is to create interesting, new ways to raise awareness of critical wildlife issues and make concrete contributions to the world of wildlife and wild place conservation.

Harry Potter | LOVE

I LOVE Harry Potter!  I've read all 7 books more times than I can count and have watched all 8 movies even more than that!  It is a self-proclaimed obsession!  I am not ashamed! Yes, I have HP clothing, decorations, jewelry, and assorted memorabilia.

Food Lover

I love ice cream more than any other food - chocolate is a close second. I love trying new foods, but will always be happy with my classic comfort foods.

Adventure + Hiking | Wildlife

I will try just about anything once + live for new adventures. Put me on a dirt path any day and I'm happy!

I am a lifelong conservation learner and dedicated to educating myself and others about important issues!

Hands of an Artist

One of my favorite parts of being an artist is that on any given day my hands could look like this and they often do, though not with chalk anymore, just scratchboard ink.  I love digging in and getting my hands dirty - literally + figuratively.

MH

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