Embracing the Whimsical: Exploring the Creative Realm of a Whimsical Artist
Meet Melina van Wyk, the imaginative mind behind m_illustrate, a digital artist from Brightwater, Nelson, New Zealand. With a heart that resonates with all things whimsical, Melina has carved her artistic niche by infusing her work with an enchanting touch of the unexpected. Her art isn't just about visuals; it's about emotions, stories, and a dash of magical charm that brings a smile to anyone lucky enough to stumble upon it. Step into the enchanting realm of Melina's whimsical artistry as we embark on a journey through this Creative Chats blog.
Nature's Muse: From South Africa to Digital Canvases
Melina's roots trace back to South Africa, where she spent her carefree days wandering through nature's embrace. Bush walks with an entourage of animals, including a pet warthog, horses, dogs, and a feline companion, painted her childhood memories with vibrant hues. Nature was her playground, and its creatures were her companions. Even after moving to Nelson, New Zealand, nature's allure continues to be the wellspring of her happiness and creativity.
A Digital Menagerie: Unveiling Melina's Whimsical Creations
Through her digital art, Melina gives life to a delightful array of creatures. From adorable hamsters floating in peony air balloons to cute animals sailing on the sea in a wooden barrel, each creation boasts a unique personality that aims to brighten anyone's day. It's her way of sharing joy, and it's evident that her art is a labour of love and a form of meditation.
A Heartfelt Chat with Melina: Insights into Life and Art
In our conversation, Melina revealed the story behind her artistic journey. "My son was diagnosed with Autism/ADHD at 5. It remains an incredibly emotional and challenging journey. As a parent, it is easy to lose perspective and forget “to put your oxygen mask on first before you try and save the rest of the family.
I struggled with peri and postnatal depression, and it took me several years before I recognised the need to set aside time for me to be me.
Drawing saved my life and is how I meditate. I love that something that gives me a few hours of calm and mindfulness, in turn, brings a smile to someone else."
From the Stage to the Canvas: Unveiling Melina's Diverse Background
With a background in Performing Arts from South Africa, Melina's journey took her through the realms of theatre, film, and television before she settled in New Zealand. But it wasn't until a moment of epiphany that she embraced her true calling as an artist. She learned that being good at something isn't the essence; it's the journey and the experiences that make one interesting.
doodlewear 'Kool Sneakers, Kea!' art print t shirt by Digital Whimsical Artist Melina van Wyk and is dedicated to her autistic son. Art for a cause: Melina will generously donate $5 from each of her 'Kool Sneakers, Kea!' t shirts sold to Altogether Autism.
Nurtured by Inspiration: The Influences that Shape Melina's Art
Melina's artistic inspiration isn't confined to one realm. Her identical twin, a talented fine art nature photographer, played a pivotal role in encouraging Melina to pursue her dream. The artistic community of Nelson also fuels her creativity, with fellow artists like Tamsin Baxendale, Nicola Reif, and more, offering a space for growth and shared experiences.
A Whimsical Heart: Connecting with Nature and Audience
Nature is more than a muse; it's a guiding force in Melina's work. Lorraine Anderson's words resonate with her deeply: “Nature has been for me, for as long as I remember, a source of solace, inspiration, adventure, and delight; a home, a teacher, a companion.”
Her art is a celebration of uniqueness, inspired by her son's battles with Autism. The whimsical creatures she crafts remind everyone of their extraordinary potential. "My son and his ongoing battles inspired my art. I started drawing to remind him and others that we are all created to celebrate our uniqueness and that we’re capable of achieving extraordinary things."
A Digital Canvas: The Medium of Choice
While Melina loves traditional art, her bustling life as a parent and employee led her to embrace digital art. Her iPad Pro, Apple Pencil and ProCreate are her trusted companions, allowing her to create beauty within her time constraints. The convenience of digital art empowers her to translate her imagination onto the screen.
Beyond the Screen: Where to Find Melina's Art
Melina's work isn't confined to the digital realm. You can find her selling her art & merchandise at local Nelson region art and craft markets where she loves to see her art bring smiles to so many faces! Her art spills from the virtual world into the physical, inviting art enthusiasts to experience her whimsical wonders up close.
Behind the Whimsy: Getting to Know Melina
Beyond her art, Melina shares some quirks that make her human. She humorously admits, "I can’t tell direction – don’t mention North, South, East, or West – whaaat!!! Oh, and if you turn me around, I’m instantly lost. My helicopter pilot-husband has given up on my non-existing sense of direction." But navigating the world of colours? That's where her magic shines. "My favourite colour is green!!!! And there is a specific shade of pink and orange - next to each other; they are pure magic to my soul. If Melina could be any animal in the world she'd be a feline in her house.
Inspiration for Aspiring Artists: Words of Wisdom
For those who dream of making art their life's work, Melina's advice rings true: "You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you." A quote from Maya Angelou that encapsulates the essence of passion-driven success. Melina adds, "Give back; use your gift to make others’ lives better. Be generous with your knowledge and hard-earned learnings."
Touching Lives: Melina's Art with a Purpose
Melina's art isn't just about aesthetics; it's about giving back. Her heart's desire to promote mental health and autism awareness led her to donate the profits from specific art pieces to Altogether Autism. Through personalised illustrations for families with children on the autism spectrum, she spreads love and understanding. Melina shares, "One aspect of my art that remains very close to my heart is where I create and donate personalised illustrations for families with children on the autism spectrum. People with autism have a unique view of the world – captured so well by the Māori word for autism ”Takiwātanga” which means in his/her own time and space.
I want to do more of these – it is so rewarding and such a blessing to give something back to parents and caregivers of special-needs children.
My work has never been about making money; instead, it has allowed me to connect with people and causes I genuinely care about."
A Whimsical Invitation: Connecting with Melina's Artistry
As you journey through Melina's creative world, you're invited to explore her collaboration collection, where whimsical creatures come to life in a charming synergy of art and fashion. Each piece is a testament to her dedication, passion, and the boundless creativity that defines her work.
doodlewear 'Forget-Me-Not' art print t shirt by Digital Whimsical Artist Melina van Wyk. Art for a cause: Melina will generously donate $5 from each of her 'Forget-Me-Not' t shirts sold to Altogether Autism
Are you ready to embrace the whimsical wonders crafted by Melina van Wyk? Dive into her world, let your imagination dance with her creatures, and discover the magic of art that's both delightful and purposeful. Visit her collaboration collection, and let the charm of her creations brighten your day.
What are you waiting for? Click here to explore now!