“A Day in the Life” with Montréal artist, Melania B

From the first time that she could hold a crayon in her hands, Melanie has been drawing and she has never stopped. Melania B began writing and illustrating her own stories while in elementary school. As her mother, I quickly recognized and encouraged her creative energy.

A curious mind and a love of colour were evident at an early age and she never went anywhere without a sketchbook. Nature has always been a source of inspiration and that is evident in much of her work. Even in fashion illustration, there is often a floral component to those pieces.

Melania B is fearless in experimenting with various mediums. Line drawing, alcohol ink, watercolour, collage, markers and digital… she does it all. Her recent experimentation with jewelry and stickers is yet another example of her distinct style and ever-evolving creativity.

If you look through her body of work you can’t help but notice her beautiful use of colour and contrast. While the abstracts are strong and commanding, the alcohol pieces use colour and metallics to blend together in a dreamy and tranquil style. Her illustrations portray beautiful and confident women.

With her love of fashion illustration, it is no surprise that she came to work in the fashion industry! As she continues to develop her style, we look forward to seeing what her next project will be.

-Written by Lynne Boychuk (mother)

Melania B
I love flowers and plants and draw much of my inspiration from them. In the summer, I make sure that my garden and flower pots have beautiful arrangements and colours that I can refer to for my art. I also work outside as much as I can during the limited warm months we have in Montreal!
Melania B
When it’s too cold to be outside, I work from my studio space in my house. I love dreamy, ambient lighting, so when I draw digitally on a bright screen, I can work by candlelight, fairy lights, and my cool galaxy light.
Working with alcohol ink is fun but requires more setup than drawing and is a much messier process! I always use puppy pads under my ink pieces (they are SO absorbent) and ensure that I have paper towels and extra pairs of nitrile gloves handy. I also make sure to keep my windows open and wear a respirator when I use this medium.
My cats are an integral part of my daily life and bring me more joy than I ever thought possible. Without fail, they’ll jump up onto my desk when I’m drawing or editing. I don’t allow them on the same floor as me when I’m working with alcohol inks, so as to protect their little lungs – they’re also not allowed in the room if I’m working on client pieces. My female cat, Navi, was found in a garden in 2015 when she was 2 weeks old and we’ve had her ever since!
Here’s a typical example of an Etsy order I would put together for someone. I love including little extras like stickers, business cards, personalized notes, and paper flowers in my customers’ orders – those little touches are the best part of running a small business! Getting a commission request or an order for a print or an original piece never gets old and I feel overjoyed when it happens. Knowing that someone else likes your art enough to want to own a piece of it is an indescribable feeling.
Melania B
Anyone who has travelled with me (especially my husband) can attest to the fact that I will make time to draw at some point during any given trip. There’s something so amazing about drawing in an unfamiliar environment and finding inspiration in new places. This photo is actually from my last time travelling and being on a plane since the pandemic hit – taken in St Maarten in February 2020! For someone who has travelled to some really cool places in the past, I miss having the freedom to take time off and leave Montreal for a bit. Hoping things start to get better soon so we can start that again.
Melania B
I love working with pen/ink and marker and will often make several pieces with these mediums back-to-back. My workspace typically consists of having the markers I’ll be using for that project scattered across my desk for easy access. The marker selection process can take an hour sometimes – I have so many of them but to be honest, I typically default to the same colour palette every time!
My other cat, Link, is my little shadow and seeks affection at the most inopportune moments, but I always make time for him. I adopted him as a 6-month-old kitten in 2014 and we formed a close bond early on – it continues to get stronger! He is an absolute joy to have around when I’m creating since he normally just lays on the floor next to my desk.

Which ‘hood are you in?

I grew up in the West Island but made St-Henri my home 6 years ago.

What do you do?

I work in Human Resources by day, but the majority of my free time is dedicated to creating art.

When it comes to my art, I don’t really put limits on the mediums I use. I love continuous development and pushing myself in my professional and personal life, so the challenge of working with a new medium really drives me. I have been wanting to turn my art into stickers for a year, so I finally set aside time recently to teach myself how, and it’s been great!

My first love will always be traditional mediums in a sketchbook though – whether it be fashion illustration, plants, or flowers, I love bringing these subjects to life with pencil, alcohol markers, ink, pens, coloured pencils, watercolour, gouache, paint pens, and collage elements. However, my illustration work is always cleaned up digitally with digital elements typically being added to give everything a more refined touch.

On that same note, I have recently started working on more fully digital drawings and it has been fun to try something new. Sometimes by using such an array of different mediums and working on so many personal and client-based projects simultaneously (I also recently started making resin jewelry), things can get a bit overwhelming, but as the type of person who has trouble not constantly doing something, juggling so many different things between art and my full-time job definitely keeps me busy and never bored!

What are you currently working on? 

I am working on a long-term client project, where I get to merge my love of drawing women with flowers and plants. I am also trying to find the time to add my jewelry and stickers to my online shop, but I’ve been busy with different creative ideas that randomly come to mind. My goal for the next few weeks is to finish editing about 10 drawings that I have scanned but have not yet finalized.

Where can we find your work?

I am reachable through Instagram, Facebook, and my website, and sell my work through Etsy, Society 6 and Redbubble. I prefer when people contact me directly through my Instagram account as I find it a bit more personal and quicker to communicate. I am quite active on there and absolutely love sharing my artistic journey with my followers.