Art has the power to motivate people and offer new experiences, presenting reality in a way that may change the vision and perspective that viewers have towards the world. The responsibility to assist people in understanding the physical reality as well as the imaginary world rests on the artist. This is something Melissa Falconer, an esteemed visual artist from Toronto, understands clearly well and implements in her pop culture artwork.
Remember the name Melissa Falconer, a self-taught, pop-culture artist thriving in a genre that is deemed unfit and unwelcoming for people like her, for the people of color. “As a Black woman who has seen and witnessed how the societal obstacles have affected people of color, I feel like it’s my duty to maneuver women to greater heights,” says M. Falconer, whose artwork is a manifestation of positivity, empowerment, self-love, confidence, and above all, the Black culture.
Unlike many artists, Melissa’s story is a different one since her journey has rarely been smooth. Under the societal impression that becoming a career person like a lawyer or a doctor was the only path to success, Melissa chose to study economics at Wilfrid Laurier University, never realizing that being an artist was a viable career. However, by the end of the second year, she started experiencing depression. But she didn’t let it get the best of her and started doing arts to cope with it.
Later on, Melissa started painting portraits of friends and family, which ignited her deep-rooted spark of love for art. So she started selling her portrait pieces and decided to choose her passion as a career.
Currently, Melissa is a seasoned artist based in Toronto, Canada, with a mindset focusing on artwork that motivates and empowers others. In her career as an artist, Melissa realized early on the message and encouragement art can bring to people, letting them turn their thoughts and imagination according to the meaning a piece of art brings. Hence, painting portraits as a hobby and as an outlet for her mental health soon turned into a purpose to inspire others.
Through her inspirational and culture-depicting pop art paintings, Melissa is on a mission to inspire others, especially people of color, and help them pursue their passions regardless of societal obstacles. Each masterpiece tells a story and highlights a crucial experience of the pop artist’s life belonging to the Black minority and being a woman of color.
Her recent release of HBO’s Insecure actress Issa Rae’s portrait is, as the website goes, a “tribute to an awkward black girl.” Melissa has stated that she painted this portrait to celebrate Issa Rae for her amazing artistry and accomplishments as a writer and actress. And boy, don’t we just love women empowering and acknowledging other women of color!
Melissa’s artwork speaks volumes of empowerment as well as the mastery behind the art. Visit her website here, and you’ll be impressed by the vibrant colors and masterstrokes. Also, get your hand on one of her statement pieces before it runs out.