I love learning about so many creative women. It is my pleasure to introduce Melanie Ray today.
Melanie Ray is both an artist of the visual and the written word. She creates pieces that are unique, that people either love or hate with a passion. She writes romance and fantasy, but designs in many different genres. She is a stay at home mother, who is trying to guide her daughter to her own right path in life by pursuing her own and leading by example. Happily married with her husband they make a home with their daughter, cat, two dogs, and thirty four tarantulas.
From where do you draw inspiration?
For my writing, I often draw from the feelings of my own life. For my art, that is tricky. I tend to start looking at pictures, and when something strikes me that could make it beautiful, I go for it. I wittle away at the original image, adding and taking out things until I see what my mind wants to see.
What is the hardest thing about your creative process?
I cannot do reality. I have tried. My failure to be able to sculpt in the real kept me from getting my graphic designer degree. Many times, I don’t know what I want when I first look at a raw piece. I just know what I want to convey. I work through emotion, not through realism. That wouldn’t work for the coursework.
Do you work every day, or only when inspiration strikes?
I work almost every single day on either my writing or my art. It depends on which way my mind needs to be creative, through my hands or through my eyes.
How do you feel about the current art market/art climate?
On one hand, I love it. Since I have gone into ebook design, people who need a gorgeous book can come to me. I can help them fulfill their vision. However, on one hand I don’t love it, especially on the writing side. I have been working on a personal series that I give away free and/or for a low price on Amazon. Then I have books that I charge a heavier price for. I hear more about the books that I charge for then the series I put my whole heart into. However, it’s so important to me that I don’t even care if no one else reads it. It is there for those who will want it in the future. I can tell from paperback sales, and Amazon’s sales, that some people do like it. They just don’t bother to speak up, which is okay. As long as people enjoy my work, I’m okay with that.
In fact, I am going to be using my designing skills to ‘paint’ some of the most important scenes. It will cost more money, but I want to share my visual vision to the book as well.
If you could change one thing about the art world today, what would it be?
I wish I could find more people who would appreciate some of the older artwork instead of simply snapshots of manipulated stock. I would gladly create a large pastel picture or charcoal drawings if I could find someone who could appreciate it the same way I do.
Talk a little bit about your current project and why you decide to embark on it.
Right now I am creating premade designs, and I am doing some pro-bono work for an author who asked for help. The work can help me begin my custom design portfolio, so I am happy that it will help benefit both of us. On the writing side, I am working on my free series, and I might be working on a sweet short novella here soon. We’ll see.
If you had the chance to address a group of young girls, what would you say to inspire them?
Don’t listen to others who say you don’t have potential. Everyone does, just not in the same way. Keep exploring what you love, even if you aren’t good at it. Inside, there is something that you will be good at. Don’t give up. If you do, you’ll regret it later in life that you never took the chance.