Posted on October 21 2020
Meet Kavka Designs Resin Artist Melissa Renee
By Danielle Downes
Melissa Renee is a resin artist based in California. Her unique and vibrant artwork washes over you like a great ocean wave, full of bright hues and glossy sparkle. Literally! Melissa was raised in the South, but when summer arrived she was brought to the beaches of sunny California where happy memories were made and inspiration for her future artwork was born. With that said, it was these blissful times which later sparked the perfect name, “fiery for deep blue”. Each piece of work is electrifying and magnificent in its own right. There is nothing perfect and everything right about each seducing curve and burst of color. Looking into the liquid pools of color is like being able to breathe underwater and freely explore the depths of the sea. Melissa’s resin artwork represents freedom and light with all of its swirling pigments that melt together to create a breathtaking piece of work.
Melissa fell in love with resin and the beautiful chaos that comes with using it. There is an incredible aspect of surprise that comes with each creation as every piece is very unique, making replication nearly impossible. She enjoys the process of using many different materials to create each piece and how they all work together to make something truly striking.
I had a chance to speak with Melissa and learn about her journey to becoming a resin artist and what she loves about working with the unique form of art:
When did art become a constant part of your life?
Melissa: I was a bit of a late bloomer. I only had one art class in high school and that was it. I received my license to do hair back in 1997 and worked as a color specialist for L’oreal Professional as an educator, traveling and teaching stylists how to use color products. This led me to selling products to manufacturers while working as a national sales manager for a start up beauty company, I traveled all over the country while going to school online. So I was living a very busy life! Eventually, in 2014, I started going to school for art in Arkansas.
Why resin? How did you start working with resin as your main medium for art?
Melissa: I was living in Seattle for a few months when I came across a YouTube video of an artist working with resin. After watching a couple of videos I decided to go out and buy everything that I would need to try it out myself, and then I was HOOKED!
What was it about creating with resin that you really loved?Melissa: It was just so fun and unique and what is so cool about resin is when I go to make a piece, I don’t just use 1, 2, or 3 colors of acrylic paint but I will also use alcohol ink, acrylic ink, epoxy paste, glitter, etc. Usually I will use about 14 different things because they all interact differently within the resin which is what gives the piece such variety. After you let a layer of resin cure overnight, you can go back to the piece the next day and if you don't like it you can just cover it up and start over, or you can just cover up part of it that you don't like and just pour more on top, try again, and keep adding to it until you're happy with the outcome.
When do you feel the most inspired to create a new piece?Melissa: My inspiration really comes and goes at random times, like spurts of inspiration. I will step away from creating for a few weeks and then I start to think about all of the cool products and materials that I have sitting on my shelves and it gets me thinking about what I am going to make next. One of the most fun parts is picking out and grouping together all of my paint and color choices and then going for it!
Mental health is such a relevant topic during these times of uncertainty. Do you find that art and mental health can really go hand in hand?Melissa: Art to me is an escape and it puts me in such a different mind space because of the freedom that comes with creativity. It is truly powerful enough to help anyone clear their mind of stress or pain. There was a time in my life when I lost a loved one and after that I decided I needed to just go for it, put my whole heart into it.
Your ocean and water pieces are so beautiful and seem to be a signature for you right now, would you agree?
Melissa: With the ocean concept, I don't want to get stuck in a pocket of just creating ocean scenes and it has kind of been where my mind space has been recently. The piece that I am working on right now kinda has the flow of water, but it is plum and black and deep cherry. So as far as creating water like scenes, I wouldn't say that my inspiration is directly the water itself but more a reflection of the feeling of freedom from when I was a kid and happy times being near the water. I still love to spend time by the water. I just sit in my chair at the beach and it is a perfect place to contemplate, it always rejuvenates me!
Melissa's work can be found on KavkaDesigns.com and on her Instagram. Melissa hopes to show her work at the Kavka Designs Studio here in Glen Rock, NJ in the near future. Follow KavkaDesignsStudio on Instagram for news and updates regarding the studio!