Melissa D Johnston



dancing with myself
, mobile digital art, 2019


broken-free
, mobile digital art, 2019


at the end of a dream
, mobile digital art, 2019


keeping touch
, mobile digital art, 2019


reach
, mobile digital art, 2019


emerge
, mobile digital art, 2019


befriending the witch
, mobile digital art, 2019


memoir
, mobile digital art, 2019

Artist Statement

All of the images shown here are made with a mobile device, either an iPhone or an iPad Pro. I have been a digital artist for 10 years, although I have used primarily mobile devices for the last five years.

My foray into mobile art began with an illness. While confined to bed for hours a day, I took a few photographs from my sparsely populated iPhone roll and began to play with their editing possibilities. As my illness abated, my iPhone, and now my iPad as well, became my favorite tools for creating art.

Being ill for an extended period of time allowed me to go deeper into a theme I had already begun to explore with my digital art. My mobile images now probe the ability to heal in the wake of trauma, especially childhood trauma. Many have a dreamy quality that, for me, evokes simultaneously the realm of the unconscious and the realm of playful imagination. When joined with the process of creativity, they create a space for healing.

About the Artist

Melissa D Johnston grew up in Columbia, South Carolina. Encouraged to pursue art by an art teacher and a guidance counselor, she instead chose her other passion, words, studying as an undergraduate and postgraduate the subjects of literature, philosophy, and theology. Art beguiled her again in 2009, however, and eventually won out.

Wanting to create a unique birthday gift for her mother, Melissa D Johnston began exploring in July 2009 the making of digital collages using photography and image-editing software. Viewing these early collages as a part of the visual poetry (VisPo) tradition, she employed both words and images to form and disrupt meaning for the viewer and the reader. By 2014, her work was largely image(-only)-focused and her tools of creation became almost exclusively mobile devices; that is, her iPhone and iPad Pro. In addition, her themes increasingly addressed childhood trauma and the possibilities of healing.

Melissa D Johnston’s art has been exhibited in the United States and Canada. It also has been featured in Horizons magazine, The New Post-Literate, EmDash, and Eyedrum Periodically. ONLY Mobile Art magazine, which spotlights “the best mobile artists in the world,” awarded her its cover and published several of her images in the May/June/July 2019 issue.

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