Interview Melanie Janisse- Barlow, Artist/Writer, Windsor + Toronto, Canada

Where are you living?

I live between Windsor, Canada (just a few minutes away from Detroit) and Toronto Canada

How old are you?


What inspires you?

Beautiful artifacts. Difficult situations. Staring up at trees. The human form. A place loaded with psychology.

Tell me about what you do.

I am a painter and writer.

What is the structure of a typical day like for you?

I wake up very early. I make a strong pot of coffee, and while I wait, I do a short meditation. I do some long form writing to get warmed up. I spend the morning writing at home with my little dog. From here, I either head down to my favorite coffee place to write a little more, with the bustle of others nearby, or, I head down to my studio (situated in an old theatre) and start to paint. I spend the afternoon working on paintings, unless the writing is overtaking. I just launched a new book of poetry (Thicket, 2019, so my studio was happening a little less frequently. In the late afternoon, I head home for a break and a dog visit, then often head back out to dance class, yoga or to see friends.

What are some of your favorite sources of information?

The interweb. Sometimes I find the best stories sitting there needing to be mined. I love overhearing things. They can spark the best made up stories. Lately, I am working towards a new series of paintings based on an old bathhouse in Detroit where the Purple gang used to hang out. So, lately, I find information in the steam room.

How does social media influence your life?

It has been a very positive experience for me. I have made and kept friends all around the world. I have been able to share my studio practice with the world in a way that is fast and convenient. My studio is in a smaller city, where very few curators might travel, and so I have been very grateful for the internet and its ability to reach others.

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