Origin of Art
Steven McGee is a long time artist at Artist First studio. He’s dedicated to his practice of art and the community of friends he’s made there. He spends most weekdays in the studio. Steven’s art is a combination of drawing and painting characters, often inspired by cartoons and video games.
he deeper side to these characters are represented by details in their clothing, accessories, and facial expression ( or lack thereof). Steven doesn’t just create an image he creates a story. Each character has its own personality, hopes, dreams, fears, and outlook on life.
Steven’s been drawing characters for as long as he can remember. He doesn’t know when he became interested in art because it’s just always been so much a part of his life. Aside from a cousin who paints realism, Steven didn’t grow up with anyone else close to him interested in the arts. As a child he constantly drew stick figures, which developed into more human like images as he became interested in cartoons and video games. Prior to joining Artist First studio, Steven had been focused on creating images of masks which he now incorporates into the drawings he makes today.
The ProcessSteven gets inspired for a character while he’s playing video games or watching a movie . When he’s settled on an idea, he takes a mental note of it and saves it until he gets to the studio. He never writes anything down to remember, but is certain about his process and doesn’t have any concern that he could change his mind or forget before arriving at Artists First.
Steven focuses on both drawing and painting. All of work ends up with vibrant colors and thin deliberate lines or strokes of coverage. His style contains a unique, repetitive but yet evolutionary style of mark making.
When Steven is drawing, he’s focused on ways to represent the style and mannerisms of the character in his head. He thinks about the type of clothes the character will wear, the positions of their body as well as tattoos, accessories and of course various forms of masks!
Steven likes sharing his art and would love for it to go up in Coffee shops and restaurants. So far, he’s sold several of his drawings and enjoys being involved with art shows through Artist First.
Favorite color combination: blue, red & orange Favorite things to draw: people, colorful shapes and design Inspiration: cartoons and video games, especially Dragon Ball Z
Exciting Fun Fact: “I’m a nice person and I like to have friends”, Steven has many friends that he draws and collaborates with at Artist First
Melelani Perry is an artist ready to create anywhere, out of anything, at any time. She’s been an artist forever, and doesn’t remember a single time in life where she stopped creating. I met Melelani at Artists First STL Studio where she works as a visual artist, however she’s also a fashion designer, dancer, and seamstress. Melelani’s been in more art shows and sold more pieces of work than she can count.
While it’s pretty common for creatives to walk around with a drawing pad, Melelani’s taken this concept to a whole new level. Her weekday backpack is filled with not only markers and paper, but dozens of roles of tape, half-finished projects, sparkly foam board, pipe cleaners, and cut-outs she’s saving for future projects.
Workflow & Inspiration
Melelani’s inspiration is found in the entirety of the world around her. She finds beauty in everything. Her art speaks purity about our everyday surroundings. She skips much of the ambiguity and confusion and gets straight to point by adding titles directly onto the art itself.
Melelani’s unique use of a tape border gives them an added color pop. These bold colors leave me feeling a jolt of energy and excitement.
Sometimes Melelani is specifically inspired by an image or point of fantasy like the Eiffel Tower. There’s an interesting story about this image as it turns out to be an actual napkin recovered from Melelani’s 40th birthday celebration. She even has more napkins stowed away for future of creations.
Melelani’s art dream is to have a studio space of her own where she can exhibit her art, dance, and work on projects all in one place. In her studio she would like drawers for collage material, sewing supplies, and a mannequin. The main thing this artist is looking for is a big enough space to dance in and show art on the wall. Melelani is especially excited about the idea of people stopping by to say hello and see what she’s up to in the studio.
Favorite Color: Purple
Inspiration: Wonder Women
Studio Space: Artists First STL Studio (7190 Manchester Road Maplewood, MO)
Purchasing Info: Absolutely everything Melelani creates is available for sale. You can
find Melelani’s work at Artists First Studio or online at www.artistsfirststl.org