Today we’d like to introduce you to Melissa Polomsky.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’ve been working towards my goal of being a professional artist since at least kindergarten! I’ve always enjoyed bright colors and creating from the very beginning. I remember looking forward to carefully selecting the brightest and most colorful Lisa Frank school supplies and the biggest box of Crayolas possible at the start of every new school year in elementary school ( I had to have ALL of the colors, 24 was never enough).
I cherished every art class I was able to attend from elementary through high school- those hours never felt like work to me- it truly was spending time doing what I loved. I knew when looking at colleges that I had to do something art related. My first 2 years at the University of Houston I spent studying interior design. After a few drawing classes, boring CAD design classes, and building 3d models of cubical buildings, I realized I had chosen the wrong major entirely. I needed freedom of expression and all of those bright colors from the Crayola box I was craving. I switched to Studio Art with a focus on painting and never looked back!
About this time I met my soon to be husband, and we decided to move to Huntsville, Texas and I restarted again this time at Sam Houston State University. Since graduating in 2012 I have sold my paintings and artwork to every state in the United States, and 23 countries and counting worldwide. I have also focused most recently on transforming my original paintings and artwork in surface designs which are generally printed onto different fabrics. I work with many other companies who purchase my fabrics and use them for their own lines of products like bedding, clothing, baby goods etc..
It’s very exciting to see my work continuously used in new ways! I also spend extra time teaching private art lessons now in our hometown of The Woodlands to both children and adults.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My biggest struggle for sure was finishing my education! It took me so long – 9 years to be exact- to finally earn my BFA! I worked full time in a retail job with Apple Computers and I pretty much would work 5 days a week, and my two days off from working I would go to school from 8am-8pm. Commuting took up even more hours of my time, so I was pretty much constantly exhausted. Finishing the projects required for my classes pretty much took up any free time that I had in-between.
During my last year at Sam Houston, I was pregnant with my daughter, so that added to another layer of complication with me trying to graduate on time. If you have ever painted with oil paint, you can imagine that the fumes would exacerbate my morning sickness. Thankfully I had some wonderful professors who allowed me to work from home and I finally finished! About a year or so after my daughter was born I started to experience daily severe headaches, issues with my vision, and some other strange symptoms that didn’t seem to go away. I was finally diagnosed with Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension or pseudotumor cerebri.
Many doctors will explain this as having all of the symptoms of a brain tumor, without actually having a brain tumor. If left untreated aside from the daily crippling migraine-like headaches, it can lead to blindness. I would call my IIH/PTC both an obstacle and a challenge that I’ve had to learn to work around. On bad days I really cannot paint, post on social media like I need to, or teach. Thankfully there are some treatments that help alleviate some of the symptoms, and for the most part, I have been able to continue with my work and teaching.
The Artwerks – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
My business is called The Artwerks. I am the sole owner, artist, packaging/customer service/social media/marketing/HR/Accounting departments. This business has truly been a labor of love and has been made from the ground up! I started after graduation selling a few original paintings and photographs on a shop I made on Etsy. Over the past few years, my focus for The Artwerks has been to create more beautifully painted, colorful, fun designs on both my own line of finished goods as well as on fabric and paper goods for other companies to use for their own businesses.
I created my own website: www.theartwerks.com, on which you will find a collection of home decor items, accessories, and jewelry that are focused on bringing you bright colors and fun eclectic patterns. The Artwerks’ first and most popular product is our pillow covers- which you can just slip right over your boring old throw pillows to simply update your room in minutes! They are available in many sizes and fun patterns, and I even will take the time to customize colors as needed upon request.
I also have a collection of vibrant rugs, window curtains, wall tapestries, bedding, and original paintings so we can pretty much help you transform any room. I think you will find that my mix of handprinted florals, loud colors, and interesting patterns will help you to add some “wow” to your bedroom, office, dorm, or living room!
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Last year my work was featured in HGTV Magazine, which is most definitely one of my favorite publications. That was truly a surprise when I had friends on Instagram and Facebook tagging me about it!
I am so proud to see my designs beginning to emerge as being recognizable on a more national stage, and it makes me so excited to keep creating more! This year I was invited to include some of my floral zippered bags in the swag bags for The 2018 Oscars attendees, so that has also been a wonderful moment as well!
- Website: www.theartwerks.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/theartwerks
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/theartwerks
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/theartwerks
- Other: www.pinterest.com/theartwerks
House of Poplyn, Angie Burgett