ABOUT THE CREATIVITY CANVAS


Melissa is a self taught artist with qualifications as a mother craft nurse, early childhood educator and transpersonal arts therapist.  She has worked in the early childhood field for over 2 decades in various roles from mother and baby units to long day care management as an acting director, 2IC, educational leader and senior educator.  This has provided Melissa with extensive experience educating, supporting and guiding children and families from refugee, culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, those with additional needs and those facing life challenges and trauma, loss or grief.  At age 21 during her early childhood training Melissa suffered two mini strokes and 2 massive pulmonary emoblism’s and was  diagnosed with Lupus Antiphospholipid Syndrome. Living with this condition for the past 25 years has gifted Melissa with a greater sense of empathy for the life challenges a chronic illness and disability can bring to an individual and their family. 

 Melissa has utilized art therapy in early childhood education for over 9 years with a particular focus on sandplay therapy.  Her art therapy experience also includes working with the Art Therapy Studio at the Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre where she completed her art therapy training and later worked as a volunteer with patients, their families and members of staff.  Client profiles included those with ABI (Acquired Brain Injury), neurological issues and brain disorders, both organic and acquired. Patient issues included:

  • Trauma/Shock - physical, emotional and psychological
  • Grief/loss - physical abilities, mobility, identity and relationships and social networks
  • Depression
  • Isolation
  • Pain management
  • Powerlessness, helplessness, dependency
  • Sexuality issues
  • Anxiety for future life; bridging past, present and future
  • Physiological symptoms
  • Self esteem
  • Anger
  • Social stigma/expectations
  • Diminished sense of self
  • Financial concerns
  • Body image

Melissa takes a process orientated focus to her artwork and workshops; however she believes that the final product is just as important, allowing for reflection that leads to stronger understanding of the process and deeper personal growth.  She works in all art mediums and enjoys exploring all styles of art with a particular fondness for digital photography, inks and mixed media.  She is an active member of many art groups, and over the years her work has been featured both here and overseas in various health and well-being blogs, on record covers and in art therapy publications.  She is also the artist behind the Cup Theory, developed by psychologist and early childhood consultant Sandi Phoenix.

Melissa currently works at One World for Children in Geelong as the Arts Program Coordinator and NDIS approved arts therapist. 

Melissa would like to doppelganger herself at least 4 times in order to find more time for everything she would like to do.  She is currently completing her Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and resides in the leafy suburb of Greensborough in Melbourne, Australia with her 2 dogs Basil, a 15yo King Charles Cavalier and Charlie an 11yo Puggalier.

ARTIST STATEMENT

I use art to explore that which words cannot often convey; the shadows buried deep within and the light that shines in us all.

Overcoming the fear of being judged, criticized and not being seen as good enough is something many people feel when it comes to creating and sharing artwork.  Through challenging these fears and connecting with others, a whole new world of creativity, inspiration and friendships can be opened up for all.  I love creating and sharing art that is spiritual, intuitive, emotional, whimsical, fun and enjoyable.  I am passionate about guiding and supporting early childhood educators to reflect on, explore, develop and extend their creative arts pedagogy in fun and enjoyable ways that will improve their art practices with children.

For all art commissions and workshops for children, educators, or families please contact Melissa.
© Copyright 2017 The Creativity Canvas

 All art work within this site is owned by the artist and may not be copied, reproduced or altered in any way.