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Art About Overcoming Obstacles (20 total)

Rain Stain

Los Angeles based artist Mel Kadel creates complicated characters you can easily identify with. Influenced by Shel Silverstein and Maurice Sendak, Kadel creates drawings that also have a wonderfully whimsical nature about them. Going through her body of work, you'll notice that her characters are always struggling with something. In her words, her art is about, “getting through tough times, and conquering daily obstacles. It's a mental battle each of us has to endure.” It's interesting to note that only in later works did Kadel start including groups of people, to show how we can rise above our troubles by sharing our experiences. As she says, “For a long time I drew these very singular images, where there was just one character in a drawing that was facing a challenge. I still do that, but lately I've been more attracted to groups of people. There is something more positive to me about depicting a struggle or a scenario, when there is that support system to play off of.”

Trip Sit

Back to Brick


Spacing Awake

Daily Exercise

Pack and Run

Life Jacket

Paving Way

Scary Water


Tears for Years

Hold Yourself Up


Rock Block

Honey Pool



Secret Sea

Parasol I was lucky enough to catch up with Kadel to ask her a few questions. First, how would she describe her art? She says, “My work is mostly pen and ink wash drawings on coffee stained paper. I would describe it as intimate and narrative.” What inspired her to become an artist? She explains, “I became really focussed on art when I started high school. My art teacher was really influential and instilled a lot of confidence in me. It's hard to explain why I went down that path, but making art was just something I always gravitated towards. I felt challenged by it, but when something turned out good, I felt a lot of pride in it and wanted to continue to have that feeling happen over and over.” And finally, what are some things she's learned as an artist? “Art, like most things, have trends. So, one thing I've learned is to ignore those trends as much a possible. Art is a very slow growing and personal process, so it's important to be honest with what you're making….so it can evolve along with you,” she said. Mel Kadel

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