We had the good fortune of connecting with Melissa Perry and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Melissa, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
From a very young age I feel like an artistic life was the path for me. I was lucky my parents encouraged my creative spirit, and I was constantly making something. I was able to go to art camps and I studied art throughout school. At one point I had other plans to be a veterinarian or a marine biologist, but those haven’t worked out. In a way, being a miniaturist has been my fall back. When I discovered people made miniature work as a career I was so drawn in. It just made sense that I go in that direction. I can’t imagine doing anything else. I know my 8 year old self thinks I’m the coolest person, and that always makes me smile.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art has taken many twists and turns over the years, I mostly work in miniature scales using a variety of materials. I love when my work is a little off or wonky. I love taking an everyday object and giving it a magical quality that you can’t quite put your finger on. I’m always impressed with realism, but my favorite work has a deliberate handmade quality. It has life and a personality of it’s own, even if it’s just a broom or a radio. As a recovering perfectionist, I’m still on the edge of this and I’m constantly pushing myself to grow, loosen up, and let go. Even though I’ve been making art for most of my life I feel like I’m just starting out professionally. It has been a wild ride! I’ve had to overcome traumas and losses in my life. I’m so proud of myself for taking those small steps that lead me here. I’ve learned that you need to have the ability to turn off any negative self talk. The best things have come to me when I’m on my own side. I’ve also learned that taking a break can be the best gift to yourself. Your mental health is far more important than the constant hustle.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There are so many good places to take friends around LA. Some of my favorite places to eat are Courage Bagels in Virgil Village, Philippe’s french dip sandwiches in Chinatown, and Sonoratown for tacos in DTLA. I also like to take out of town friends to Grand Central Market. There’s a variety of options and everything is tasty! Stories in Echo Park is a bookstore and coffee shop with a nice outdoor patio. It’s the perfect place to just relax. Wilder and Black Leaf in Echo Park has vintage clothes, plants and flowers. It’s a good place to get a gift or shop for yourself. I have been in my apartment for so long, I feel like I need to go explore the city when more places have reopened.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Yes, Rachel D Mark! Rachel is a talented stop motion fabricator. She is a wealth of knowledge in so many areas and has been one of my biggest cheerleaders throughout the last year. I’m so thankful for her guidance, feedback, and support.