The first creative to be featured is Melissa West! Melissa is a super talented young lady that I have grown to adore! She is a freelance stylist, photographer, and decorative painter. I met Melissa a little over a year ago when she joined my team at work. When she started, I told myself, I will train her up real good but I’m not getting attached (no new friends)! Well, a whole year later, we are attached at the hip at work.
We started chasing walls together here in Atlanta. As you can check out on both of our IG pages, we love colorful murals/walls. This has really become our thing, so I thought it was a great idea to not only feature Melissa and her work but to check out our new favorite mural in Atlanta by Molly Rose Freeman . So check out my conversation with Melissa, and to see more of her, follow her on IG @melissabwest.
photo credit: Valheria Rocha
STYLE DATE WITH MELISSA WEST
I am really excited to feature my first Style Date! A Style Date is an opportunity for me to feature some amazing creatives in Atlanta. I started this blog to not only share my personal style but to also inspire people by the awesome talent in this city. They will share their creative craft and talk a little style on the side.
What do you love about ATL?
The variety! There is so much to do in Atlanta and the surrounding areas. Some of my favorite things to do in Atlanta are hiking at Sweetwater Creek, shopping and eating at Ponce City Market, riding bikes on the beltline, and dancing the night away on Edgewood. Each part of city is uniquely different and has something special to offer. I love that Atlanta is a large metropolitan city but surrounded by nature.
How would you describe your style?
Quirky, free-spirited, bohemian! I think it is really hard to narrow down exactly how to describe my style. I’m casual but like to dress up, I love wearing black but also love color. I like a little bit of everything!
What’s your favorite piece in your wardrobe?
A good pair of jeans! My current favorite pair are a skinny high-waist light denim jean from Anthropologie. I can’t get enough of a comfortable pair of jeans!
How did you get into decorative painting?
I grew up crafting with my mom and working on rental houses my parents owned. Even though the painting and laying wood floor as a kid wasn’t the most fun and creative thing to do, it taught me how to use my hands to build and create things. In high school, I took photography, ceramics, and graphic design classes. I always had a love for art. My love for fashion brought me to SCAD to study Fashion Marketing and Management. After graduating from SCAD, I started my first job running a small women’s apparel and home boutique. This is where I was introduced to Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. From there I worked on finding furniture and decorative pieces to paint and sell in the shop, teaching workshops on how to use the paint, and custom painting client’s pieces. I’ve painted everything from a ceramic planter to a king size bed to kitchen cabinets. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint can truly paint anything!
Tell me about your style of work.
I typically like to make things look old when I’m painting. I can take a new IKEA dresser and make it look like it is 60 years old. Layering, dry brushing, distressing, crackling, these are all techniques I do quite often.
Who/what inspires you as a creative?
I get inspired by my surroundings. I can honestly say I can be inspired by anything. Buildings, nature, people, food, anything can spark inspiration for me. Specifically for my decorative painting, I really get inspired by old things. The older the better. An old rusty bike, a French chateau, a house that has been painted over a million times. I love laying colors when I’m painting so when I see something that has years of paint layered on I get really inspired to paint.