When you access UberPrints design studio and check out all the original art that is available, you will undoubtably stumble across some original Melissa pieces. Her time with UP has produced over 10,000 pieces of original artwork, and even a few short films.

We got a chance to take a peek inside the head space of one of UberPrints’ Athens office quirkiest graphic designer (and former tattoo artist).  Jump in with us and see what is in store.

Depicting Melissa and her illustrations.

Q:  How long have you worked for UberPrints and what is it you do here?

A: Well, I’ve been here officially since July 2009, so that’s coming up on 8 years. I did a bit of freelance with the UP previous to that. I call myself the whammy in-office and when I’ve had too much coffee I like to declare myself Melissa, Draw-er of Things! Like a knight or some D&D player. My current resumè says Illustrative Artist.

Q: What is your design background?

A:  I went to UGA for a BFA in painting but I kept taking Design & computer art classes that weren’t technically part of my major. This was back in the 1990s when computers were really becoming enmeshed in the art world. People were still fighting it at that point. Hanging on to their grease pencils in a deathgrip. I embraced the digital possibilities for art. It was likely easier for me because of having grown up in San Francisco when the PC revolution really hit. I’ve never feared a computer. So classically trained but grew up with a foot in each world.

A collection of illustrations by Melissa.

Q: How would you describe your artistic style and your personal style?

A: Eclectic eclectic eclectic. If I may offer up an idiom that makes me feel less like a scatterbrain…“Jack of all trades, master of none is oftentimes better than master of one.” …but yeah, the ADHD is strong. Haha!

Q: What are some of your favorite designs that you have seen people make on tees?

A:  I’m of two minds here. I love love love seeing people use the clip art I’ve made in creative ways. It’s amazing what a man can do with a fish besides feed himself.

I do also love seeing the designs our service members do in the field too though. They’re crazy! They must have time waiting to ship out or being stuck in the middle of nowhere. I have blathered about wanting to start a charitable service gathering up art supplies for donation to military because often they’re done in like mechanical pencil and ouch. No one should have to draw with one of those.

Q: What is your personal favorite tee?

A:  Like that I own? I have this ancient Joni Mitchell shirt a friend dug out of an attic in a downtown business. It is an alarmingly bad print. We didn’t do it!! It’s that super thick 1970s screen print ink that makes your sternum sweat and it’s a huge close-up of her face. It’s hysterical. I used to wear it when I worked as a bartender on game days. That way no one thought I was openly supporting either team. Gotta keep the customers happy! Both sides!

A moving graphic showcasing illustrations by Melissa.

Q: How long have you lived in Athens and what do you like most about living here?

A: Oooh I’ve been here 20 years now. I lived in the Atlanta area previous to that, nothing against ye-olde-ATL, you’re in my heart too, but I’m more comfortable in Athens. I think maybe it reminds me of the San Francisco of my childhood. Very liberal and though I don’t consider myself a hippie I guess I need a bit of that around. My parents are original era hippies.

Q: What is your favorite family activity and favorite meal in Athens?

A:  There are so many parks here. I have a daughter who about middle-school age. We enjoy going to Bishop Park especially. She loves books so we often go to our local bookshops like Avid & Bizarro-Wuxtry. She’s soon to be teenaged so I hope that doesn’t change too much and I end up spending all my time in like a Sephora or something!  I’ll support her either way but…team books!

Food-wise we do love a cozy pub for both going out or a family meal so we are often to be found at The Globe or The Royal Peasant. My partner is from England so this is at least somewhat his influence but it’s become kind of funny. I was unsure if I should be embarrassed that my decidedly American kiddo wanted to have her birthday at the pub. Haha! Gotta catch the EPL footie though. You never walk alone!

Want a McKim piece for yourself? Visit the UberPrints studio and get her artwork on your custom t-shirts!