Gypsy Illustrator and founder of Summer Por Vida Melissa Enriquez better knows as Melisscious has lived a little bit of everywhere, but is currently based in Vancouver, B.C. where she creates cheeky cartoons and characters that smirk with pop color and bring moods of whip cream highs, candy cigarettes and spitballs in a summer school math class.
"I created Summer Por Vida as a pseudonym and a vibrant identity for my personal work". With Summer Por Vida, I'm able to bring my sketchbook to life and share it with the world through a novelty gift and accessories collection.
The term “Summer Por Vida” became this surreal world- evolving our perceptions of summer into a state of mind. That energy can exist whenever and wherever we want. It’s an ideology that grounds my reasons for creating.
BLNQ X MELISSCIOUS Giveaway & Interview Below
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Where was your head at when you were 15 years old?
So it would have been 1999. I was probably just super confused on the division of people in the world. Those who believed in Y2K and those who didn’t... all while dodging dumb boys left and right. Typical high school life. Naturally.
Where was your last flight to? Did you Work, Sleep or Drink on the flight?
It was back in March. Cory and I went to San Diego. We camped in the desert and I painted a trailer that was made into a tiki bar at my friend’s spot called Sunset Hideaway (@sunsethideaway) We got back to Vancouver and then the borders closed.
What digital tools do you use in your organic creative process? How does using blue light glasses help you?
It’s an ongoing evolution. I remember only having a primitive Wacom tablet at some of my first jobs as an apparel graphic artist because I lied and said I knew how to use it. It really wouldn’t have mattered if I knew how to use it or not but I just wanted to sound legit. I actually got pretty damn good at it and ran that for 14 years or so.
Just a couple months ago I got the iPad Pro and now I’m all about Procreate. I’m still learning so I revert to Photoshop and Illustrator here and there but damn, the technology is insane. Blue light lenses are a game changer. As a graphic artist, the longevity of computer time isn’t even a factor anymore and headaches, strained eyes, or blurred vision is a thing of the past.
Travel has always been a huge part of your life, how does your environment effect the art you create?
My artwork will always be grounded by my upbringing but I love sprinkling in new and unique ideas inspired by my everyday- wherever I may be in the world. It’s pretty fun exchanging cultures and backgrounds with others and seeing how that plays a pinnacle role in our lives and who we are.
The struggle is real when you’re trying to make it on your own. How do you deal with challenges along the road?
So real. I guess I’ve learned to be resilient in that sense. I mean, where I am now is not where I pictured myself to be- but it’s definitely not a bad thing. It’s a weird concept trying to build your ideal path in life but also allowing room for twists, turns, hurdles, and anything else that could get in your way. I’ve learned how to balance taking control versus letting things unfold naturally. I don’t really like to waste my time complaining about all the things that didn’t go my way, I just keep on keepin’ on.
Give us one of your craziest travel experiences?
I think going to the Philippines is a crazy adventure. Especially when you’re in the outskirts. On a mission to visit each village my parents were from, I jumped on the back of a water buffalo that belonged to a farmer on the side of the road, rode a motorcycle through farmland- dodging chickens, goats and the rice fields and jumped off rickety boats in deep crystal clear warm tropical waters. I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.
Whats in your garage right now?
Garages aren’t that common here, our garage is our van. Just keeping my dirt bike out of the rain/snow during the winter. I’m also pretty sure there’s an outdoor survival kit, a ramp, a jerrycan, a spare tire, some tools and random spare parts from the 80’s. It’s basically a 1981 time machine equipped for post- apocalyptic life- Mad Max style.
Whats the strangest thing you have ever painted on?
A box of instant scalloped potatoes I painted into a robot.
What’s your favorite cartoon of all time?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I never thought I could relate to adolescent turtles living in a NYC sewer so much.
What is something that most don’t know about you?
My original dream job was to be a wrecking ball operator.
Who are the top 5 bands or artists in your playlists right now?
Well, quarantine life's got me listening to a whole bunch of epic 80's love ballads with occasional 90's rap sprinkled in. Basically anything that I can sing (and dance) my heart out to, in a really cool way...REALLY cool.
I guess it would look like- Echo and the Bunnymen, REO Speedwagon, Whitney Houston, Bone Thugs, Snoop Dogg.
What BLNQ frames are you running today?
Loose Cannon blue light lenses all the way baby.