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5937 Carversville Road
Doylestown, PA, 18902
United States


Michele Melcher Illustration, Philadelphia based illustrator, artist, painter.


Filtering by Tag: Life

One Year Ago...

Michele Melcher

I hope that you like my (poorly drawn) comic.  I'm poking a little fun at myself so indulge me in a chuckle. I also dare any other freelance illustrator to look me in the eye and honestly tell me that you have never felt that way at one point or another. ;)

A year ago (June 6th and I'm posting a few days early) I left my job to pursue illustration full time. It seems like it was just yesterday - time goes by so fast these days. Although I have been freelancing for years I never had the opportunity to give it a go full time and it was partially out of fear.  Fear of the unknown: would I make enough money? Would I fall flat on my face and have to go crawling back to a job that I couldn't stand being at because I was dead broke and not getting any work at all? What about that (measly) paycheck that I "relied" on every two weeks? How would I survive without it? Fear of unknown was keeping me from being more successful with my art.

So with the help of Brian, the mastermind behind The Unselfie Project, as well as the support from my family and awesome friends, I made a plan and jumped. A LOT has happened in one year. I have had the opportunity to work with so many fantastic people on all kinds of interesting illustration assignments. Plus, The Unselfie Project took off, I've created hundreds of portraits for it and was able to turn it into a successful side gig. Of course, sometimes there are the unglamourous bread and butter jobs that I would not put in my portfolio but I'm steadily getting more of the kinds of assignments that I love and thrive on as well. I am grateful for both.

Finding balance has always been a struggle for me. I tend to go all out on everything and am a bit of a self proclaimed workaholic. I do need to make sure that I find the time to relax a bit more. Sometimes I tend to confuse relaxation with laziness, the latter being a trait which I despise! I do need to get a more structured, as opposed to the current "somewhat" structured, day to day schedule that I live. All of that will fall into place, eventually.

Being an illustrator is not an easy career choice, but it's the path that I chose. At times it can be stressful and you need to have a thick skin because you get a lot of "no's". But when you get those "yes's" it's such a thrill. Even after all of these years I still get that rush of excitement when a great new project comes my way. So yeah, I can say that I don't mind working my ass off to be able to do what I'm doing. I don't know where the path will take me but I know that I am on the right one. So I march forward. And the fear? Well, there were ALWAYS be the unknown. You just gotta get over it.



A Fun A Week.

Michele Melcher

Have you ever met one of those people whose face looks like it would crack if they smiled? Or one of those super serious people who can't laugh at themselves and always seem to have a stick up their butt? I am convinced that these unhappy people are like that because they can't remember when was the last time that they had any fun.

It is no secret to those who know me that I have a "fun cup" that needs filling on a regular basis. People tend to forget and some even scoff at the idea of how important it actually is to have fun. "I don't have the time"  or "that's too expensive" are very popular excuses along with the fear of being judged and perceived as being childish or silly.

The truth is, fun feeds the soul. It fuels creativity, inspires adventure and can cause an overall sense of well-being.  Fun can be anything. It doesn't have to cost a lot of money. Of course, if you have the cash to take a fancy trip to a far off land then, by all means, have at it! But you can always make your own fun. My idea of fun might be different than what you consider fun, but the possibilities are endless. Build a bonfire with some friends, go for a hike in the snow, take a day trip to a place that you have been wanting to visit, etc.

"But it's easy when you don't have kids" - yes and no. I might be kid-free but that does not mean that I'm any less busy than you are! So go do something fun with your kids! They will thank you for it! And hey, if they whine and complain, they'll get over it. I know many people who do fun family activities almost every weekend and I'm not talking about those kid-centric/bored parent canned "fun" activities. Use your imagination and go do something that you think is awesome!

Deadlines, responsibilities and other obligations sometimes leave me with no time for fun. Hey, it's unavoidable - it happens to everyone. But have you noticed that after a too long constant grind that you get cranky? Uninspired? Blah? When this happens my concentration and creativity begin to suffer. That's when I know it is time to top off the fun cup!

Ready to take on the mountain!

Ready to take on the mountain!

From now on I am making a point to try and make time for "a fun a week". It can be anything. Two weeks ago I went to see an absolutely crazy metal band that I like. Last week I tried snowboarding, loved the challenge and now I have something new to learn. See how it works? Fun inspires you to live your life and try new things. The world is a big place, and there is a lot of living to do. I'm off to a good start!