Sophie Melissa’s Skilfully Edited Compositions

New featured illustrator on Ape on the Moon

Ape on the Moon
Feb 20 · 3 min read

Whether it is pulling in close for some dramatic cropping or changing the perspective to a bird’s-eye view, compositions are always well-considered.

As she talks about more below, Sophie takes some of her inspiration from poster design. It is some thing that is apparent in the immediately engaging quality of her designs.

Choosing wisely what to include or trim off the edge is something that helps Melissa keep the information in her illustration down to the essentials while also allowing for the biggest visual punch.

“I’d describe my style as graphic, colourful and bold — I take a lot of inspiration from the composition and layout of art deco posters from the 1930s, which I studied in my first few years at Falmouth.”

“I’ve been working as a freelance illustrator for a year now, after graduating in 2017.”

“I love working digitally but also love the imperfect nature of hand-drawn work. I combine the both of them by starting each illustration as a pencil drawing and, once created digitally, I overlay traditional textures I’ve made through mono printing.”

“My working day is always different, but I start every day with a little checklist in my sketchbook of all that needs to be done.”

“Some days, I’m working on commissions; I start each project with research, then I draw out ideas before developing my final sketch. I then spend time working with this in Photoshop adding colour, texture and extra elements.”

“Other days it’s more about ideas, planning and building my portfolio. I also dedicate time to creating colour pallets and layouts. I find balancing these different areas helps me work best!”

“Currently, I use a cartridge paper sketchbook for my drawings and a 2B pencil, and then a Wacom Intuos Tablet connected to my MacBook Pro to create the digital artwork.”

“I’m planning to buy an iPad Pro to add to this, as over the next year I’m hoping to travel with my work, and am working hard to make my equipment more portable!”

All images © Sophie Melissa

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Originally published at on February 20, 2019.

Ape on the Moon

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Alex and Phil tweet the very best in contemporary illustration, animation and the people who create it daily: http://apeonthemoon.com

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