About Melissa Lakey
I’ve been drawing and painting most of my life, but didn’t have a very consistent art practice until recently. Near the end of 2020, one of my best friends, Natalie Lundeen (who is an illustrator), suggested that we start drawing together over Zoom. We made it into a weekly drawing session every Tuesday night, with a different theme each week. We’d have a beverage that matched the theme, and sometimes we’d dress up as well, like fuzzy hats and hot cocoa when we drew snowy scenes last winter. We’re still doing this a year later, but we’ve slacked off a little on the outfits and drinks! Making art fun like this got me excited to draw more regularly, and I found I loved working in sketchbooks. I became a patron of Emma Carlisle and her videos about drawing out on location got me excited to go out and draw, something I hadn’t done much of. I began exploring my local area with fresh eyes, and finding little moments to sketch as much as I could — even sitting in the grocery store parking lot for a few minutes before going in. I was hooked!
Drawing made everything more fun. Around this time I started taking online classes from artists whose work I admired and this pushed me to develop my style more and learn to draw from memory and imagination, which I have always wanted to do but didn’t know how to get started with. Now I draw or paint most days, a mix of doing on-location work, using reference photos and my imagination. While working in a sketchbook is still my favorite thing to do, I’m starting to work bigger and create more finished pieces of art.
Tips to fellow Artists:
Explore new places and different subject matters, experiment with art materials, and discover what you love to draw and paint! Make lots of art, and don’t worry too much about it being “good” or “bad.” Find some other artists — either online or in person — and draw and paint together and encourage each other along. Sometimes having someone else who is also drawing at the same time helps you to get started.
Connect with Melissa