About that mural…
An interview with artist Melissa del Pinto
If you’ve walked by our Glebe store, chances are you’ve noticed our fabulous radish mural. We were so excited when we realized the exterior wall of this store was basically a blank canvas. Ottawa’s Glebe neighbourhood is vibrant, colourful and cool – and this was an amazing chance to create an homage to the local vibe.
So we reached out to Melissa del Pinto, a Montreal mural artist who had previously done commissions for The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and asked her to beautify our wall. And the result was better than we could have dreamed. So we just had to reach out to Melissa to find more about her creative process and what makes her tick.
Mad Radish: How did you first get into painting?
Melissa: I was a very creative child and started drawing from a very young age. When I was only 5 years old, my teacher enrolled me in a drawing competition and I won first place! This propelled me into knowing exactly what I wanted to do when I got older.
Mad Radish: Describe your creative process…
Melissa: Unlike most artists, these visuals don’t come to me while I’m meditating or resting in a hammock waiting for inspiration – ha, I wish! I don’t have time for that…My visuals come to me while I’m working on other projects, painting, or running from one thing to another – from day care to dance to my kids’ soccer practice. This is my reality and it works for me!
Mad Radish: What’s your favourite thing about painting murals?
Melissa: My favourite thing about painting murals is that it gets me out of my studio. Being a fine artist can be a lonely profession. Unless you share a studio space with other people, which I don’t, you may long for interaction with the world outside your creative bubble. Painting murals gives me the chance to meet interesting people, and working outside can create new mural painting opportunities, when people stop and take notice.
Mad Radish: What was your inspiration for the Mad Radish project?
Melissa: I have always appreciated botanical illustrations. I love that they’re so intricately drawn and provide the viewer with so much information, almost like telling us a visual story. I wanted to do the same with a radish. My mural tells the story of the life cycle of a radish: from seed to flower to seedling, to the full-grown radish with its lush leafy greens.
Mad Radish: What do you do when you get creatively blocked?
Melissa: I simply take a break and walk away from it for a while. Sometimes a little distance can help give you a clearer perspective. Hmm…I think I should apply this to life as well!
Mad Radish: What is your favourite veggie and why?
Melissa: Oh, that is a hard one…almost as hard as choosing a favourite colour! We are not big meat eaters in our home, so veggies are a major part of my diet. My favourite veggie at the moment is string beans. I love them raw, steamed with a little sesame oil and fresh garlic, or cold with rice wine vinegar and black pepper…my kids love them too. They have become a staple in my home. Now I’m getting hungry!
To learn more about Melissa’s beautiful murals, visit her website or follow her on Instagram at @melissadelpinto.