SOLD! SOLD! SOLD! So Much Of My Strange Art Selling!

Yes, I've been selling my strange artwork!  I'm so amazed!  I don't know......I just am always tickled when someone likes my art enough to buy it.  I don't know if I'll ever get used it it.  It's one thing to say you like it and to come to see my art shows or events, but it's a whole different level of admiration when you actually commit to buying it.  Below are artworks that have found new, happy homes because they SOLD, SOLD, SOLD!  Thank you so much!   It means so much to me! 

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My Unsettling Sci-Fi/Fantasy Art for A Claustrophobic Sci-Fi Story in Metaphorosis Magazine

I enjoyed painting the cover for the December 2017 issue of Metaphorosis Magazine, a sci-fi/fantasy fiction magazine, so I hoped to work on another cover.  I didn't know I'd get the opportunity again so quickly, like the following month's issue, January 2018.  I'd like to think they loved how well the last cover turned out and that's why they came knocking on my door again.  It makes it sound more flattering that way.

The 1st thumbnail sketch for the January 2018 cover of Metaphorosis.

The 1st thumbnail sketch for the January 2018 cover of Metaphorosis.

But the truth is that the other cover artist that they had set up for January had to bow out so they asked me to fill in.  I stepped up to the plate, ready to swing my bat again and win another one for the team.........wait a minute.........I'm an artist.......what's with the sports analogies?......errrr.......I mean I sat down to my art desk and took out my sketchbook and paints, ready to paint my heart out again.

The final drawing for the painting.

The final drawing for the painting.

The story I was to illustrate for the cover was a cramped, tense, psychological, sci-fi story called, "Jewel/Gem Offer".  It's about an estranged mother who travels across the universe to bring her grown daughter a plant-weapon.  I wanted to instill all those disturbing feelings in the story into my painting, so it needed to feel unsettling and claustrophobic.

The work in progress of the painting.

The work in progress of the painting.

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As usual, I worried and fretted as I painted, hoping it was good and that my editor would approve it.  Was I getting the characters right?  Did my illustration reflect the story's intent?  Would it create curiosity and excitement for the January issue?

The final cover that was too orange for my editor.

The final cover that was too orange for my editor.

When I turned in the final painting to my editor, he said he liked it, but it needed more of a color range for the background.  He wasn't too fond of the orange.  I went back to the original thumbnail sketch that I submitted to him.  It did have more color; reds, oranges and yellows.  

The final cover with a more colorful background.

The final cover with a more colorful background.

Once I added them, he approved it and we were good to go.  Above, you can see how it looks with the magazine title and text.  Which cover did you like better?  I asked a couple friend if they liked the orange one or the colorful one better?  They couldn't agree.  Personally, I liked it simpler and just orange, but that's just me.

If you'd like to purchase this painting, click here. 

Is Sasquatch A Magical Creature? (The Work in Progress of My Sasquatch Painting)

You know what?  I don't know if Sasquatch is a magical creature.  What do you think?  I don't know if he exists.  I don't know what he's looking for or if he has already found it.  What I know is that he is a part of the Pacific Wonderland, the place I call my home which is why I chose to paint him for ZB Gallery's "This Pacific Wonderland" art show.  

A magical creature drawing for the Secret Society of Magical Creatures.

A magical creature drawing for the Secret Society of Magical Creatures.

In some way, I had already gotten in touch with the spirit of the Sasquatch when I was creating drawings for the Secret Society of Magical Creatures.  I drew an Omni (your guide on your magical quest in the Secret Society of Magical Creatures) as a big hairy creature who was going on an adventure with a little bunny girl.

A quick sketch for the Sasquatch painting.

A quick sketch for the Sasquatch painting.

When ZB Gallery invited me to be in their art show, I came back to that Omni drawing and decided to make it into a Sasquatch.  Of course, I still wanted him to be with a bunny girl and to still be going on an adventure.

The final drawing for the Sasquatch painting.

The final drawing for the Sasquatch painting.

I imagined the two of them having a serious conversation before they decided to proceed up the hill into the darkness towards Pittock Mansion.  Bunny girl would tug on Sasquatch's hand and say, "Hey".  And Sasquatch would look down at her and say, "What?"  And they would hash it out and puzzle it over and figure out if it was a good idea to go up there or not.

What do you think they are saying to each other?  Whatever it is, they seem like they are going to be good friends and look out for each other.  They know it's a scary, cold world out there and it's better to travel through it with good friends.  

You can buy this painting through ZB Gallery at this link.

Fairytale Art to Guide the Way Out of the Hell of Depression (My Art at Ford Gallery)

During November 2017, I got into a group art show about "Self-Care & De-stigmatizing Depression" (at Ford Gallery).  I had to write a statement about my experience with depression and how my art has helped me take care of myself during it.  My child-like/fairytale-like art is always telling the stories that guide me out of the hell of giving up, dying and self-loathing----or in other words----the hell of depression.  

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Below is my artist statement for the show.  You can view all my paintings closer-up in in detail at this link to my online gallery.

How To Overcome the Darkness of Suicidal Thoughts & Come Out With Gold

I consider myself a recovering suicide addict....not because I have attempt it....but because I’ve been addicted to thoughts and plans of it since I was a teenager. As I’ve come to learn how to take care of myself, I’ve realized all those thoughts were addictions like alcohol, drugs or compulsive behaviors because like those abusive habits I engaged in those thoughts to avoid what I really needed to do to take care of yourself. Suicidal thoughts were my ultimate way to avoid dealing with painful feelings, abusive relationships and self-deprecating behaviors.

As I weaned myself from those thoughts and little by little faced the mess I was in, I came back to my art and created allegories, fables and fairytales for myself that foretold how I could get out of the darkness.

”Out-Running the Hounds of Hell” is about hanging on to hope, just like the little girl holding on to the spring flower, even when you think you can no longer run, there is no escape and your feet are giving out, there is always hope.

”How to Catch Yourself” is about feeling like you’re falling to your death and not knowing what to do, but knowing somehow, someway you’ll find the answers within yourself when you surrender to whatever you were avoiding.

”A House Divided” is about realizing that if you ever want to feel whole, accepted and truly loved, it starts with self-love which means finding self-compassion for that part that you were ashamed of and thought wasn’t good enough for the light of day.

”Armchair Traveling” is about overcoming many treacherous situations....the ones you wanted to avoid..... and gaining treasures after going through them. There is always gold on the other side of your fears.

Who else has felt this way? Who else wants to heal and find their way back home? I’ve created an allegory—fairytale—fable all your own at: www.SecretSocietyOfMagicalCreatures.com

Here's What Happens When a Sasquatch Hooks Up With a Bunny Girl (My Pacific Wonderland Painting)

I'm surprised how many great opportunities keep finding me from doing all those sidewalk chalk drawings.  Most recently, a gallery (ZB Gallery in Sherwood, OR)  saw my chalk drawings on Instagram and wanted my art in their gallery.  That is always flattering to hear that your art is wanted.  They invited me to their "Pacific Wonderland" group art show, asking me to create work that showed what I loved about the Pacific Northwest.  I thought about it.  Well, it's the spooky stories about serial killers and sasquatches, bunny girls that you meet at cafes, mysterious landscapes and old creepy buildings, like Pittock Mansion

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What would I get if I put all those things together in one image?  What would happen if a sasquatch and a bunny girl hooked up?  Where would it be?  What would they do?  In my world, this would be quite an innocent hooking up. I thought they'd go on an adventure together under the cloak of night and guided by starlight.

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As you can see, I managed to get those 2 characters together in my painting.  I think they are going to have a lot of fun wherever they go.  The gallery was delighted to receive it and added it to their promos for the show.  I was thrilled to get such great exposure of my painting.

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I made the journey out to Sherwood (30 minutes south of downtown Portland) for the opening night and met the gallery owners.  They were so kind and appreciative of my art.  I really was touched by their interest in what I'm creating.  They even asked if they might convince me to do a solo show with them in the future.  I would definitely think about it.  If you're interested in purchasing my little "Pacific Wonderland" painting, please contact the gallery.  Below is my statement and bio for the show.

Bio: Illustrator Melissa Kojima thinks she is ill-fitted to her pint-sized human form and sometimes fancies herself as a black, fire breathing dragon because it would more adequately house her larger than life personality and energy. With her verve and vivacity, she has been creating strange, mysterious and magical art for over 20 years. Some of her favorite projects have been to create; fantastical animal opera masks for the Loyola Marymount University opera department, a downloadable DIY, paper fairy mobile for a children’s website in New Zealand and a chalk art story hunt about a mermaid all over downtown Portland, Oregon. She has sold art in galleries and been hired to illustrate many books. She is currently working on a series of ghost paintings and fantastical creature sculptures. If you want to have a peek into her strange, secret world, visit: www.melissakojima.net or www.SecretSocietyofMagicalCreatures.com


Statement: “Pacific Wonderland” was a perfect theme for my fantastical artwork because people always tell me my work reminds them of “Alice in Wonderland” and because I love living here in the Pacific Northwest. In my painting, which has the same name as the theme of the show, I imagined a magical moment when a sasquatch befriends a bunny girl (a reoccurring character in my artwork) and they decide to go on an adventure to Pittock Mansion. The Pacific Northwest is a place of strange tales, mysterious landscapes and many places to go on adventures. I hope my painting has captured that.