This is going to be a little lengthy… here’s my story in a nutshell!
Since I was a little girl I’ve always had a passion for art. I remember being 5 and having a crayon in my hand at all times ( I always drew suns and rainbows). My love for art transitioned over to the love for makeup in high school and college. I put down the pencil and picked up a makeup brush….. I started experimenting with art on the face instead of paper.
I realized how much I loved art/illustrations when one of my best friends (@odettemariewakim on instagram) gave me a fashion illustration for my birthday in the summer of 2013. I went the the fashion illustrator's website and wanted ALL of her designs! At the time I couldn't afford to buy all of her designs so I thought "Why don't I just try to create my own?!" I moved back home from Boston, was bored one night, and really needed to pick up a hobby, so I started experimenting with fashion illustrating and decided to give it a go!
Everyday, since discovering my new-found passion for art, I would go to my 9-5 job come straight home and just completely zone out in the world of illustrating. I started posting my rough sketches on Facebook and Instagram, before I knew it was gaining so much recognition on social media that I decided to research local craft fairs to sell my illustrations. I applied to SOWA in Boston.. I literally had NO idea what I was doing at first! I remember the first day wasn't too great.. but I kept at it. A few weeks later I started my Etsy shop which then lead to the birth of my company, Melsy's Illustrations!
My career REALLY launched this year, when I decided to make the big move to NYC! I became a vendor at Bryant Park Holiday Shops from October-January. It was the most UNREAL experience of MY LIFE! I met so many people from ALL over the world.. It's so crazy to think my illustrations have a home in Italy, London, Thailand, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, China, etc! (That's another story that I will discuss more in a BOOK hopefully one day!)
My mom was extremely supportive, She’s my inspiration and the one who gave me the name Melsy (she use to call me that when I was little). I get my creative style from her… she is the classiest woman I know and has a flair for fashion and home decor. She’s the reason I am who I am today! MY dad on the other hand didn’t take it too well when I left my job. He said: “Jamel, that’s what 5 year olds do!” It took him a while to warm up to the idea, but now he wants my job :) So, no matter what anyone says I encourage you ALL to take a leap of faith and follow your dreams. You are the only one that can make yourself happy!