Radio Juxtapoz, ep 068: Melissa Koby's Universal Safe Space
They may be faceless, but they are definitely not nameless. The works that painter, illustrator, designer and digital artist Melissa Koby has been shared, seen and loved without you maybe even knowing she was the artist behind the work. The Jamaican-born, Tampa, Florida-based artist has created an aesthetic so universal and so universally hers, she has created a collective spirit that she notes is a "safe space" in her bio, but feels almost like an international space of power and community. In a time of collective unease, with so many conversations coming to the forefront and at times, being had in such public manner, there is a something fascinated about speaking to an artist that is about creating in a time of social chaos, and being one of the synonymous with having people think outside of themselves.
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But of course, things haven't been all that smooth. Working with these bodies, she has had to emphasize and re-emphasize to clients the importance of her content and position POC in her works in that universal spirit. On the Radio Juxtapoz podcast, this isn't a conversation we have had over the past few years; how does an artist confront expectations in commercial while simultaneously owning her unique aesthetic. In this conversation, we learn a lot about those times when Koby's had to fight back on commercial work, how she is trying not to pigeonhole herself as a self-proclaimed "moody" artist and how to navigate the fast-paced and nonstop 21st century media ebbs and flows.
The Radio Juxtapoz podcast is hosted by FIFTH WALL TV's Doug Gillen and Juxtapoz editor, Evan Pricco. Episode 068 was recorded by Doug Gillen via Skype in London and Florida on March 17, 2021. Subscribe to the Radio Juxtapoz podcast HERE