Melissa Whitaker is a self-taught artist, illustrator, and photographer that has done artwork and design all her life. From 2002-2020 was a real estate agent that specialized in commercial and property management and served on several boards and committees, which gave her some insight into office politics. This experience has led her to translate the business and political world through her illustrations. She now works full-time illustrating for companies across the United States to help expand their branding and storytelling. Her works have been exhibited in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Kansas City, St. Louis, Murray, Kentucky, and Cape Girardeau, and Sikeston, Missouri. Whitakers’ work is collected by several individuals and companies in Texas, Georgia, Colorado, California, New York, New Jersey, Florida, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Missouri. Her commissioned work includes restaurants, medical offices, real estate offices, daycares, authors, and cover art for musicians. Currently, she has been illustrating for Free Agent Source in Santa Monica, California, and Madpipe in Brooklyn, New York. She lives with her family south of St. Louis in the Southeast Missouri area.
I have been creating art, in one form or another, my entire life. When I am not using my creative mind, I lose focus of who I am. It is the foundation of which I am made. I create art to explore and release the pent up emotions that encompass the life I see all around me. The world today is a scary place, full of troubles and chaos. My art looks beyond the troubling, to the beauty that lies underneath. There is beauty everywhere in this world, including human emotion. I try to capture that emotion in order to move people to re-examine their lives and to re-discover their passions
I have a new drug. It’s called an iPad and an Apple Pencil. Although I am versatile in several various mediums, my primary medium has become digitally drawing on my iPad. I enjoy taking more traditional artwork and manipulating it digitally. The foundation of my art has always been graphite and ink then I expanded into working with Acrylic and oil paint. I am constantly learning to use new tools to help my artistic abilities to grow.
I have been an observer all my life. My father was a Lt. Commander in the Navy and this required my family to move to different parts of the country in my formative years. After he retired, my family settled down in rural Missouri. This relocating made me the outsider that was always looking in. I became aware of the interactions of people and their surroundings and discovered how body language tells another part of the conversation that was not being vocalized. This juxtaposition of behavior created an abundance of curiosity regarding human behavior.
Having years of experience working on committees, governing boards, and in business I have observed the subtle nuances that occur between personalities in the work environment. This helped form a perspective on business politics and the inner workings of personality traits in people and how they can be applied to telling a story. I then take that experience and create illustrations on the perspective of the business world that tells a story in a creative way.