Artist Statement

My Name is Melissa Koby and I am based in Tampa, Florida. I am not formally trained in art, however I have been drawing, painting, and creating since I was four years old. My current medium is digital illustrating. 

Visual art has always been my passion and my default way of self healing. My illustrations are a direct reflection of how I feel. I began putting my illustrations on Instagram during the height of COVID-19, when the world was under quarantine. I imagined a world where people felt safe and were coping just fine with being isolated. I created a series called “the quarantine series”. The people in my images weren’t scared, they were at peace and doing everything they could to cope. I figured I could draw my followers into this fantasy world with me, even if only for the seconds they looked at the picture.

It is important to me to create work that is inclusive and positive, especially for women. Most of my work is centered around connecting with and empowering females. My style includes the use of lines and negative space to create positive imagery.

Admittedly, my focus has shifted from speaking on things like body positivity lately. I have been translating my hurt, and the hurt of my community into what I hope are messages that uplift and encourage people.  My most recent illustrations are meant for people to address the racial issues in our nation right now. We see enough trauma inducing imagery online as it is. I want people to have sense of peace, hope, and mindfulness when they look at mine.

To view more visit Melissa on Instagram.

Featured in Issue Five: Black Moss.

*All artwork is featured with the permission of the artist. Please be sure to ask for permission before republishing or sharing any content.