How Did the Dancing Uniquorns Get Started?
The Dancing Uniquorns began - quite by accident (or, as I like to say, "Divine Inspiration") - in the summer of 2016. I had begun my Mellie's Car Art video series and was using my little Bee Paper Sketchbooks to explore making art that brought me JOY. I'm also an energy healer, so magic is definitely my jam.
A friend and fellow entrepreneur called ME the "Dancing Uniquorn" after seeing this dancing video, where I’m wearing my favorite Twilight Sparkle unicorn hat...
And "Uniquorn" of course is a combination of unique + unicorn. Because I don't do anything by the book - I create my own resonant path, and encourage my clients/students to "Claim [their unique] Magic," too!
Why Unicorns, Mellie?
I had always been obsessed with horses and unicorns as a kid. Rainbow Brite's rainbow horse, Starlite,was a favorite stuffed toy with velvety hooves and a sparkly star on her forehead. She-Ra's pegasus unicorn, Swift Wind, was another cherished prize. Even Barbie had her own horse - which, of course, I loved more than Barbie herself. And don't get me started on my collection of Breyer's horses, or all the horse-themed novels I read (and stories I wrote)!
Besides collecting and playing with horse and unicorn toys, I also loved to draw them. I remember getting my first "How to Draw Horses" book, and following each step to the letter. That, of course, was before I knew it was okay to have my own style. When I was paralyzed without a "how to" manual to help me "do it right."
Following My Intuition…
Fast forward to the summer of 2016 when my own style of unicorn art really emerged. I was abruptly laid off from my job that October, and the unicorn characters I'd begun that summer blossomed into a full-fledged oracle deck (the 5th I'd designed and published) in just ONE MONTH! Now THAT's what I call inspiration - and being on a magical roll!
In case you haven't read it, I did a blog post in 2017 describing in detail the evolution of my unicorn artwork, period. My unicorns have continued to evolve with several new unicorn series since then!
You can watch this original, informal video I created way back in October 2016, where I explain my then-revelations on following the flow. I show my original sketchbook pieces, as well as some of the artwork for what became my Oracle Deck. Where it all began!
#inktober UNIQUORN SERIES
Evolution such as my #inktober 2017 unicorn series, where I took inspiration from the names of different watercolors to create a new themed unicorn illustration each day through the month of October. I then created vector illustrations from my original handdrawn, handpainted pieces and made them available on joyful products and apparel in my RedBubble shop (they are SO MUCH FUN on mugs, by the way).
Then, I found the surface pattern design courses on Skillshare by the lovely Bonnie Christine, and was inspired to create my own unicorn pegasus surface pattern collection. I've made them available on products and apparel on Society6. Even though Society6 thoroughly rips off the artists (whereas RedBubble allows artists to set and receive decent commissions), Redbubble doesn't offer all-over-print shirts like these (which I've purchased and wear myself, of course!).
These patterns were part of a collection I created:
Uniquorns on PARADE!
In the summer of 2018, I became inspired by a sample paper swatch I received as an extra gift with some gorgeous, luscious earth mineral pigment watercolors I purchased from Kim Gish at Wildthorne. Playing with that paper sample, her watercolors, and my unicorns started a series of what become more than 70 individual pieces, many of which I mounted on gessoed cradled wooden panels. You can see all these mounted unicorn pieces in a line, under my larger unicorn canvases, in this video preview of my 2018 show at Bonfire Coffee here.
Here is the Artist's Statement I wrote for the Bonfire show... I’ll leave you with this for now:
ARTIST’S STATEMENT by MELLIE TEST:
Unicorns represent magic. They guide you to remember your own innocence and magic within by reigniting wonder and delight; the unicorns remind us to lighten up and not take ourselves so seriously. They bring back joy.
When we get consumed with fixing our problems, we forget to look up and notice how much still sparkles around us. The unicorns remind us that there IS still sparkle and joy, even in the darkest of times. And it lies within us; we are all powerful, creative beings at our cores.
When we allow the unicorns to guide us back to our innocence (the natural innocence we’ve often chosen or felt forced to abandon since childhood), we remember who we really are. We are available to and able to recognize new possibilities. Our lives open up into full bloom. And THAT is true magic.