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Who am I:
As a kid I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t making something out of something else. I loved to tinker with Legos, paints, model cars and clay. I often took music boxes apart to see what made them work. In my teens it was just me & mom. Hardship of life then taught me how to look at something and figure out how to create or design something first, but mostly because we couldn’t afford to buy it. You learned, in our house, how to make do with what you are given. If you had a cardboard box to play in, my mother would make sure that it not only had windows, but shutters and a doorbell. We would make curtains out of newspaper. After all it wasn’t about keeping up with the Jones it was about making your own mark. Originality, It’s all yours.
Today I am a full time stay at home mother and I am married to my best friend of 17 years. We have 3 great girls who each in their own way keep me on my toes and have deeply added to my inspiration. I hope to one-day design and craft a line of whimsical children’s furnishings that is both fun and practical for the eternal child in all of us. For now with young children, time is always a factor.

Profile Summary:
Artist Antioch, IL
Living Statue Antioch, IL
Costume Designer Antioch, IL
More About Me
Acrylic paints and a little of this and that on… fabric & wood, small-scale furniture, or a combination to form one of a kind decorative mixed media sculpture, or fantasy characters. (Um...you name it?!)
I have chosen to express my imagination in unlimited ways using the “canvasses” that come to me in all shapes and sizes and from vast resources. This is what keeps the uniqueness of my work so much fun in that it is always something different and new. If it is a custom piece I may let the piece “tell” me how it would like to be adorned. Intricate or simplistic with the subject matter being primarily contemporary, surreal, and at times passionately detailed.
Before starting a piece of sculpture, be it a painted shoe, a fabric caricature from a dream, an odd little chair or a simple painted wood box I like to involve what ever request, idea or emotion I am given at the time. sometimes a flaw or scratch will be the starting point of the whole theme. Bits of negative scraps of wood from some other crafter’s creation along with cast off wire and found objects carefully fastened together with wit and wacky make up my imagination creations. I can’t possibly limit the description of my work to just one style. Just like I would hate to say I have one favorite color. (Ok, iridescent is my favorite that should explain a lot!).
In the end:
My creations are meant to amuse, inspire, and to draw interest into that goofy little space in everyone’s heart and mind, and maybe into your home or office.
To those who say to themselves “I am not talented, I could never do that, I can’t draw, I can’t paint….” JUST DO IT. I have come to realize that the most rewarding emotional release next to a spiritual one or the gift of having children, is to create something from nothing and bring about a smile to someone else. Also once you finally try and get your feet wet, paint between your toes feels really cool.
Welcome to my head , and thank you for visiting!
Work Experience:
2005 - Designed character costume for comedian/ Ventriloquist Jeff Dunham featured on
DVD “Arguing With Myself” Character: “Sweet Daddy Dee” (released April 11, 2006)
2005 - “Pin Babes” for Oprah, Ellen, & Martha Stewart T.V. Promotional Baskets for Etsy.com
2005 - Antioch Fine Arts Gallery (look for my work)
2005 - Grass Lake Community Church nursery mural project
2000 - 2005 Capron Illinois Lutheran Church (quilts for Lutheran World Relief and Baptisms)
2003 - Boone County Arts Council, One Woman Show at the Baltic Mill (Former Member)
1998 - North Boone High School Mascot costume (Viking)
1997 - Plain Folk Gallery in Sharon, Wisconsin (Closed)
1997 - Art Independent Gallery in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin (Closed)
1996 - Created “Dancing Cow” costume for Sullivan’s Grocery Harvard Illinois
also a “cow truck” for the Milk Days Parade
1990 - Created Custom One Of A Kind Aprons for Florida cafe’s & restaurants
outdoor sign work: - Side by Side Bike Shop, Village Café and for The Lutheran Church in Capron, Illinois
Fair Fabrications in Belvidere, Illinois
2005 - Antioch Elementary’s Main Entrance sign

Awards & Contests:
2006 - Honorable Mention: September issue of Doll Crafter & Costume Magazine’s
“Party Time” Challenge “Winenonna”
2006 - Semi-Finalist: Land of Odds “Ugly Necklace” On-Line contest
*2004 - Princess: Harvard Milk Days Princess Contest: Crepe Paper Dress for Morgan Hoey
*2003 - Princess(es): Harvard Milk Days Princess Contest: Crepe Paper Dress for My Nieces Amanda & Megan
*2002 - 2nd runner-up: Harvard Milk Days Princess Contest: Crepe Paper Dress for My Niece Amanda
*2002 - Princess: Harvard Milk Days Princess Contest: Crepe Paper Dress for My Daughter Sydney
* a competition involving the creation of wearable outfits for boys (princes) and gowns for girls (princesses) made completely out of crepe paper. I can only take credit
Education:
Where I learned:
Mostly a self-taught artist, my background in formal artistic training is sketchy (no pun intended). I originate from Jacksonville, Florida and had studied Interior design and art off and on for 2 years between Florida and Illinois. I prefer credibility to be that from life skill. I started sewing at an early age and made my first leather Barbie vest and skirt when I was 12 from an old purse my mother gave me. I painted furniture because I never could find anything I liked. Most of my commercial inspiration comes from cartoons, the great Walt Disney, Jim Henson and his Muppets, and a wide variety of music. Famous artists such as Matisse, Picasso, Monet, Jackson Pollock, and even Andy Warhol give me the drive to be free in my expression without having to color inside the lines.
Organizations / Affilations:
1997 - Honorable Mention: Recycle Sculpture, “Recycle Rita” Mc Henry County Defenders Earth Day
Other :
2005 - Member of the Antioch Fine Art Foundation
2005 - Living Statue for AFAF Wine tasting & auction
2005 - Mc Henry County St. Pauli Girl (promotional Model)
2000 - Member of the Boone County Arts Council
1999 - 2003 Capron Elementary: stage manager for the annual Variety Shows
1996 - Guest voice(s) on Kevin Mathews radio show WLUP 97.9 Chicago
1983 - 1993 Fashion, Runway, Mannequin Model/ living statue
Melodie Ustich is located in Antioch, IL and has the following skills: Artist, Living Statue, Costume Designer
Art / Creative, Acting / Drama
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My Skills

Artist

Category: Art / Creative
Description
I can create from nothing. I designed and created recycled sculptures and wearable artworks...let me help you find your imagination!
Relevant Education / Credentials
Life skill, self taught... and previous event assignments.
Years Experience: 20

Living Statue

Category: Acting / Drama
Description
I am a living statue performer capable of freeze modeling for store windows and living decoration for garden & formal parties. I can custom create a character for your event including costume & make up.
Relevant Education / Credentials
Years Experience: 10

Costume Designer

Category: Art / Creative
Description
Who do you want to be? Let me help you design your creation!...I made the outfit for Jeff Dunham's "Sweet Daddy Dee" Character...
Relevant Education / Credentials
Jeff Dunham, Self Taught, Seamstress
Years Experience: 15