My name is Merissa Xhelili, and I am an artist who also creates custom-made jewelry.
When did you first begin experimenting with art, and was it a natural talent of yours?
I began experimenting with art for as long as I can remember, I’ve been drawing and painting since I was a child. I would say it is a natural talent of mine; the art of drawing seems to run in my family.
I love colorful abstracts; according to the organic curves and structured lines, the image paints a different picture to what each person sees, pun intended. However, my favorite method of art is sketching in black and white. It makes the viewer focus on the importance of how dramatic shading and lighting can make a picture appear. My strength is in bringing portraits to life, I have a fascination with faces. One thing I would like to learn more about is photography. I’ve taken pictures as a hobby, but would like to have more professional experience in this.
How important is expression and inspiration to you? Is it possible to make something from nothing?
Art is where you can express yourself through your own take on reality or a dream you see in your own mind to share with others. I get inspired by the everyday things in life in even the most mundane objects, focusing on the way natural curves and lines are shaped through man-made objects and in nature.
Have you ever had your art displayed at a gallery or event?
I’ve had my drawings and paintings displayed in the College of Staten Island’s gallery, as well as in Snug Harbor’s gallery.
Do you get commissioned for projects or are you working on your own stuff?
I do get commissioned by people coming to me for various art projects. I also work on my own for enjoyment and to keep adding to my portfolio.
Tell us a little bit about your jewelry work and start up.
About a year ago, I made a unique necklace I had in mind but could not find in stores. I received many compliments on it and people asked me if I could make other pieces as well, and it began a snowball effect from there. For both women and men, I make pieces that have an artistic flair to them which makes it different from what you would find it stores.
You are currently storyboarding a project, tell us a little about that.
I am currently working on a storyboard and concept art design for an independent film project which is currently still a work in progress.
Do you think there are any similarities in being an artist and a musician? Why or why not?
I think there are definitely similarities between art and music; I feel they go hand in hand. Both are created by people expressing themselves through an art form. I know that music is an extremely important part of my life, and it inspires me totally. I can’t create art without listening to music that speaks to my soul, just as musicians see the beauty in art and become inspired to put that inspiration into song.
What is the most rewarding thing about being an artist?
Being an artist, you do not feel chained to your work. You have the ultimate freedom to create and sometimes even a mistake can become a happy accident, becoming the most interesting part of the piece.
What are your future plans as an artist and where do you see yourself in a few years?
I am currently a freelance artist and hopefully will become more successful with my jewelry line. Within the next few years, I would love to design album covers for bands, combining two of my favorite passions together.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Contact me if you need an artist for a project or want to purchase custom-made jewelry. And to the bands out there, if you are interested in me designing an album cover or accessories for your band merch!
CONTACTS AND LINKS