Charisse ‘Dadis’ Melliza
How and why did you decide you wanted to be an artist?
I’ve always been drawing since I was little. I love reading fairytales and looking at the wonderful pictures and illustrations in books and that somehow sparked more of my interest in art. I would be spending hours trying to copy my favorite characters from story books or inventing my own. But the thing that got me going was the encouragement and support I received from my family, friends and school.
|Almost There by Charisse ‘Dadis’ Melliza|
When I went to college I decided to take a Bachelors degree in Fine Arts, major in Advertising. But along the way, I was not that enthused with |Commercial Arts, I was kind of just going with the flow. Then something magical happened, a friend of mine brought a book in school and that book definitely changed everything. It was Brian Froud’s Faeries book! From that time on I knew what kind of art I will be creating and it paved the way to where I am right now.
Your fairies and creatures have so much personality and tell such stories. How do you achieve this in your painting?
Most of my illustrations are unplanned. My characters develop slowly as I sketch and doodle and from there it takes a “life” of its own. And once I have chosen the character that mostly appealed to me then that’s the time I add more elements to it. Once I’m satisfied, I enlarge the sketch and transfer it to my watercolor pad and from there I start coloring it. I use Windsor and Newton watercolors and would loosely use colored pencils or ink for details as well.
|Grandma Hoot by Charisse ‘Dadis’ Melliza|
I prefer working with models or references especially when it comes to illustrating human figures, flowers, trees, etc. and from there I can manipulate the figure to how I want it to look like. And I also stopped using those expensive sketch pads because it somehow hinders me to enjoy the sketching or doodling process. There’s this little voice in my head screaming that I am not allowed to make mistakes (because the paper is expensive). So now I only use regular white bond paper and I can make mistakes as much as I want to.
You love to write children’s stories as well as paint. Are you currently working on a book?
I really love writing children’s stories too. I have several stories at hand and I am finishing a new one which is intended for a book proposal submission. The proposal is an illustrated book of faeries (like a field guide) which centers around the World of the Faerie Patch.
|Peaseblossom by Charisse ‘Dadis’ Melliza|
But last year, I was fortunate enough to be chosen to illustrate a book about a mother and baby whale called “Mama and Asha” written by Carolyn Rohrbaugh. It was published last March by Shapato Publishing. And also I am a part of an on-going book project about Mexican Tales, and I was assigned to illustrate a scene for The Cuddling Ghost story.
What has made you want to illustrate for children?
It would all go back to my childhood and my love for books. I would really like to become those people who have inspired me with their illustrations. I would love to inspire young minds to use their imagination and just be creative! If I could inspire a kid or two with what I am creating then that would be really wonderful.
|Pixie and Boletus by Charisse ‘Dadis’ Melliza|
How long does it take you to do an image and what is your process?
There are times when I am really excited with a certain piece then I can finish it in a few hours, two to four hours (with breaks in between). But generally it takes days or a week to finish it. I get to do it only when I have free time or when I’m not working in the office. To be honest day jobs mess up my painting sessions
Which artists do you think have had the most influence on you and your art?
The artists that have the most influence on me are: Brian Froud , Alan Lee and Tony Diterlizzi. I have a few more on my list but these three artists are top on my list.
|Boletus by Charisse ‘Dadis’ Melliza|
What do you enjoy doing when you are not painting?
Aside from painting, I also enjoy sculpting clay, reading books, and writing. But I would love to learn wood carving and botanical illustration too!
Want to see more of Charisse’s art?
Thank you Charisse, for taking the time to do this interview. I’ve enjoyed seeing your art and getting to know you. Please feel free to grab the badge below for your website or blog. It’s also available on the side bar with the code already done for you.
Drop by every Friday to meet more fabulous artists. Next week I’ll be featuring artist, Naomi Von Monsta.