When and how did you first become interested in creating art and poetry?
I was brought up by my grandmother, Beverly, because when I was a young child and a teenager my mother, Debra, was not a big part of my life. My mother and I had only two or three real conversations together, and those conversations were shortly before her death. I was seventeen years old when she died. Hey, death is a part of life, right? Though my mother wasnít a person who was regularly in my life-a person who was there to teach me the world-I did learn a lot from her. And she gave me something, a gift, that I appreciate very much, even though I sometimes wonder if what she gave me actually is a gift at all or just some kind of curse.... She gave me my talent.... She gave me poetry and art. When I was very young, probably twelve or thirteen years old, I came across some old notebooks while snooping through some of my grandmothers dusty boxes in the attic. The notebooks were my mothers, from before she got tangled in the life of the streets. The books were filled with poems, short stories, and small abstract drawings-all of her own creation. I sat there and looked through these notebooks for quite a while; and as the days and weeks past by, I would find myself going up into the attic to look through them more and more. I was amazed. I was looking at my mothers art and reading her words. My mother, who I was unfamiliar with and confused about. This is when I first started to "doodle" my own small abstract drawings. Before this, I was never into any type of art at all, besides music. As time passed even more, I continued to draw, and when I was about fifteen years old, I first started writing my own poetry. I didnít start painting until 2005, thanks to some close friends. Iíll tell you though, I probably would of never even drew or wrote or painted a thing if I hadnít come across my mothers notebooks in the attic. I never mentioned anything to my mother about this. Hopefully she now knows, where ever she may be.
Why do you create your art and poetry?
This is a simple answer: because I have to. One time (when I only drew and wrote-long before I started painting) I tried a little experiment. I honestly got completely bored with art and writing and didnít feel like doing it anymore. I decided to quit. As time progressed, here and there I missed the pens and paper routine, I missed sitting at my desk and lying on my bed and doodling and writing the late night hours away...But I stuck with my guns to not do it anymore. I wanted to see how long I could go. Time kept moving on however, and the creative fire continued to grow inside me. After only a few months I couldnít do it anymore; I picked up the pen like a junkie picks up the needle. I am addicted to what I do!
Regarding your paintings and drawings: Why do you continue to stick with the "abstract art" expression-the "non-figurative art" style? Why not portraits or objects or landscapes?
Well, I really donít want to do anything else at the present time. Right now Iím comfortable with my styles. People always tell me my work is psychedelic, and I like that. Psychedelic feel is what Iíve been shooting for. I feel the placement of the different shapes and the contrast of the colors in my work letís the viewer see many possibilities, where when they look at a portrait or an object or a landscape piece-an image that their familiar with-what they see is more limited to only that specific similarity. Now in no way do I feel portraits or objects or landscape pieces are bad things, some of the most famous works of art are of these, all Iím saying is, what I like about my work is that when say two people are viewing one of my pieces, one person can see and feel something entirely different than the person who is standing right next to them. I guess what you see and feel when you look at one of my pieces all depends on where your mind is at while you are looking. I can not say that Iíll never try some new things or new technics, but for the time being, Iím sticking to my guns.
What do you enjoy more: painting, drawing, or writing?
This is a difficult question to answer; I imagine itís like a mother of three trying to answer a question like who her favorite child is. I guess I enjoy them all equally; though I will say when Iím doing one Iím hardly thinking about the other two. Sometimes I honestly get sick of doing all three, but this is usually after a period of time when Iím absolutely saturated with creativity and just create one new drawing or painting or poem or fictional story after another till my brain hurts. I get sick of it all, take a short break, then fall right back in love again.
Do you listen to music while you are creating your work?
Yes, matter of fact. I listen to music and believe it or not, I also watch television while Iím creating at times. I would never be able to paint or draw in silence. Music puts me in an artistic trance, I guess you could say. And I listen to everything-it just all depends on what mood Iím in. I believe without music there would be no art. The two just simply go together, no?
Pascarelli Gallery is a great place to see some of your most recent artwork, but whereís the best place to read some of your poetry?
Well, for now, my Blog Space at http://www.myspace.com/cmelanson There is always poetry up there. Soon I will have my own personal website. You can also purchase my poetry book "Love, Death, and Pain" directly through me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Who are some of your favorite artists and poets, and do you feel they have influenced your own artistic styles?
The first poet I was ever interested in was James Douglas Morrison, or Jim Morrison from The Doors. Being a big music fan, I enjoyed listening to The Doors and then learned about Jimís poetry. Other poets I enjoy are Robert Frost, Charles Bukowski, Emily Dickinson, E.E. Cummings, William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, and about a book full of others. For artists, I like the work of Pablo Picasso, Normal Rockwell, Andy (weird as he is) Warhol, Vincent van Gogh, Peter Max, Sir Real, M.C. Escher, Salvador Dali, Alex Grey, Robert Williams, James Sebor, local artist Scott Holloway, and many others. To say if my own artistic style is influenced by the works of others: yes, I believe any work that I see and find impressive influences me to a point, though I try not to let it. I want to keep my work mine. I want to keep my work honest.
What are some of your short term goals, regarding your artwork and your writing?
To pretty much simply get my work more into the public view-starting locally. I want to get involved with the local artist groups and get in on many of the great art festivals that entertain the Worcester area. I plan to get more involved with the local poetry movement-if there even is one. Iíll be reciting my poetry at the local coffee houses, etc. I need to get my personal website up and running. This all is very important to me.
What are some of your long term goals, regarding your artwork and your writing?
This is fun. It takes a lot of imagination with this one. Thereís many long term goals-the sky is the limit: Shows at respectable galleries; the sale of work to recognizable people; having my artwork on musicians album covers; published poetry books, novels, and short stories; I want to give back to the communities, by maybe starting a foundation for children and have an "art" theme to it. Thereís so many goals. But it all boils down to this: What I want to do the most is what I feel keeps an artist from being a "trend artist" and defines them as a "timeless artist"...I want to inspire others.
Do you honestly believe your name and your work will be known by people all over the world? Will you become a house hold name, like say: Picasso, Rockwell, Warhol, or Vincent van Gogh?
Well in no way do I compare my work to the work of some of the
common house hold names out there, but yes, I do have the belief
that Melanson is destined to be a name thatís known. Why