Q: What advice would you give to beginning artists?

KM: Here’s the big secret to becoming an artist, and I kid you not: practice. I see so many people complain that they can’t draw well, or wish they could draw better, but you’re not going to just wake up one day being a great artist. It takes years of experience and practice to become good at anything, art especially. Keep drawing, don’t give up. Don’t be afraid to make bad art. Make art because you love to. Don’t get discouraged by a lack of attention online; that also takes years of networking to build up. Just keep making art. You’ll get there.

Q: When and how did you learn you could create art?

KM: My mom always made sure we had art supplies in the house, and she taught us to draw herself. She bought these instructional booklets, sat down, and drew with us! I’ve been drawing since before I could remember.

(Photo provided by Karli Melder)

Q: How do you deal with creativity block?

KM: When I was younger, an art block usually meant that my style was about to undergo a drastic change. I’d be unable to draw for a few months, and then when I got back to it, I drew things a bit differently. Now, I haven’t had an art block in years. When I was a junior, I decided to post art online every single day for a year, and that taught me a lot about art blocks. If you don’t feel like drawing, sometimes, you have to anyways. I made really bad art during those times, but I learned a lot about discipline. Motivation is so unreliable; if you count on motivation to draw, you’re not going to be consistent.

Q: Does God influence your artwork?

KM: I like to think He does. I don’t go out and draw explicitly “Christian” things, but I create because He created us, and I think that’s cool. As long as I’m creating what I love instead of what I think other people will love, that’s alright. I feel like God gives me all this imagination, so I might as well use it.

Q: Where do you get inspiration from?

(Photo provided by Karli Melder)

KM: I get a lot of inspiration from humor. I love drawing stupid stuff that will make people laugh. Especially butts on the front. Front butts!! The weirder my characters, the better, I think. I like using my art to make people laugh.

Q: Who are some of your personal inspirations?

KM: Some of my personal inspirations are the show Invader Zim; without it, I never would have decided to become an artist. I’m also really inspired by my boyfriend Tyler. He’s also an artist and animator, and I love his style a lot!

Q: Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

KM: Ten years from now, I see myself freelancing from home so I can be a stay at home mom. It’s the dream.