With the constantly disheartening situations occurring in society today, we as humans are always in need of hope and a better tomorrow. Many people are in search of encouragement and the positive aspects of life. The community of individuals who dedicate their time to create impacts each of us in different ways. Serving people soulfully rather than for monetary gain are those who continue to bring light to the darkest of times. There are countless artists on the creative spectrum. Musicians, sculptors, painters, rappers; all possessive different techniques, purposes, motivational and inspirational drives. However, they share a similar goal – to share their visions with the world. The masterminds behind the work of art we see daily on the streets, in museums, and social media are just as diverse as their creations.
Massachusetts native, Melissa Tripp, is an authentic and humble visionary of many talents. Not only does she create impressive illustrations, but she inspires others with her poetic and eloquent voice of reason. Tripp channels her inner self and doesn’t steer away from being genuinely connected with her work. Explore and take heed the ardent and uplifting energy of Melissa Tripp below.
Typically, people have certain aspects in life that inspires/motivates them to create. What influences your work? What inspires you in general?
Inspiration is one of those enigmatic things I’m still trying to define for myself. It’s not always purely personal, either. I find myself making intense abstract connections to random things: sidewalk litter, lost relics of history, light, war, unexplored cultures, remote places, junk mail, anonymity, rooftops, ad-libs, empty benches, ripples, abandoned cars, forgotten things left in books, unconventional sexy, coins, storms, primates, the aftermath of a smile, whispers, bridges. I pull from everything and nothing.
You are skilled in various elements of art such as writing, drawing, and designing. Which form of art do you most identify with and why?
Writing is what I love. Writing is where my innermost heart is revealed. Writing is where I’m born and born again.
“writing has taught me my heart— to speak what is true for me in between beats.”
– Melissa Tripp (@livedef) June 24, 2016
Many people consider themselves as “artists” or “creatives”. As a truly creative individual, do you think that there are specific requirements in order for one to be labeled as such? Or do you think that self-entitlement is acceptable?
While I do think there is a sense of creative authenticity that eludes some, I don’t feel it’s appropriate for anyone to dictate what is or isn’t real for someone else’s creative journey. I can speculate, but that isn’t what’s going to grow me as a creator so I try to be mindful of the omission of one’s story or creative inspiration and not judge anyone. Ultimately, create and let create.
“believe in your craft enough to not let anyone undervalue your time, or your work.”
– Melissa Tripp (@livedef) April 29, 2016
What are some memorable comments, compliments, critiques, etc. that you have received that impacted you and your work?
One that really sticks out for me is when I received a direct message from CNN correspondent, Sara Sidner. She basically let me know that my words carried her through some rough days. That was big for me, coming from someone who bravely covered the fall of the Gaddafi regime. Instant humble. You never really know the reach your work has or who it will inspire.
(iphone art designs by Melissa Tripp)
You radiate an admirable sense of what majority of people in the world lack ; positivity. How do you maintain such an uplifted mind set?
“Embrace happiness with the same intensity as you do sadness.” -MT
It’s important for people to first understand the transformative force of allowing ourselves to be human. Without embracing those real parts of yourself, it’s impossible to reframe positivity in your mind beyond the superficial sense— a real life application versus an empty concept. For me, it’s about not only training my mind in relapses of negative thought, doubt, and fear but nurturing a positive space through doing: staying productive both creatively and intellectually, celebrating my personal achievements, and minimizing toxic externalities.
“Without embracing those real parts of yourself, it’s impossible to reframe positivity in your mind beyond the superficial sense— a real life application versus an empty concept.”
Let’s talk about social media. It has truly impacted our world in many ways. How do you think that social media has affected artists/creatives?
“There will be times when the forces of
perceived creative obligation will compel
you to try to be everything to everyone.
You find yourself utilizing your unique gifts
in ways that render you too accessible.
Consequently, you have less and less room to breathe.” -MT
I think social media has given those who wouldn’t have otherwise shared themselves (let alone their work) a relatively safe space to do so. I use the word “relatively” because it’s important to establish and enforce boundaries as you will encounter those who exhibit a sense of entitlement towards you and your work (which only intensifies as you achieve more success).
Your ‘beautiful minds, ugly things’ caps are really dope. The phrase is straight forward but can also be comprehended in a broader sense. From the creator’s perspective, what does the message mean to you?
Thank you. I think we as a collective constantly distance ourselves from our creative capacities, often times failing to recognize our talents as whole or intact entities. Instead, we discouragingly perceive them as something general and limited and this creates space for negative behaviors and outcomes. With these hats, I want to empower people to expand their understanding of the direct connection between themselves and their successes. Believe that you can. Believe that you will. That’s the message.
‘beautiful minds, ugly things’ caps (available now at melissatripp.bigcartel.com)
Tell us about your book “root.” and the expedition of getting it together. Were there any frustrating obstacles that you had to overcome?
2015 (when I published root.) was a year of exceptionally luminous times for me as I was coming closer to myself. I’ve always wanted to write a book, but it was deeper than that for me. I needed to figure out the book that I was meant to write, not the book I was expected to write. In order to be present and authentic, I needed to write for me, holding tight to the notion that “the people that are supposed to connect with me will”. I never anticipated this book would positively impact lives in the ways that it has. For that, I’m grateful.
Do you have any wise words or piece of advice for all the young aspiring artists/creatives out there?
Be as authentic as possible. The more you worry about what everybody else is doing, the less focus you have to invest in developing your own style. Find what works for you, what doesn’t work, and don’t force it.
“remember, you’re the only one who has to live comfortably in your truths. be who you are, love who you love. stay authentic.”
– Melissa Tripp (@livedef) June 2, 2016
Check out Tripp’s website and Twitter below.