ABOUT

I am an illustrator and art director. I have been professionally concepting and creating illustrations, storyboards, and other graphics for more than six years. I live in Minneapolis, MN with my tabby cat, Caspian. When I'm not in the studio drawing, painting, screen printing, or carving on woodblocks, you can find me reading comics, playing board games (and Overwatch!), or globetrotting.

While working for the National Institutes of Health, I created graphics for publications, in-house marketing materials and research — including this animation that was shown to baby monkeys to study their behavioral responses. I enjoy working with scientists because their enthusiasm is infectious.

I created storyboard art at Hybrid Medical Animation for more than three years. I worked with clients to bring their vision from sketches to final illustrations and animations. My other tasks included project research, pre-production management, texture painting, and compositing in After Effects.

For two years, I led a team of six art directors at Fantasy Flight Games. I oversaw department scheduling, maintained provided budgets, served as a liaison within and outside the company, and reviewed the visual merits of products before publication. Alongside my managerial duties, I directed freelancers in the development of art for several covers and other AAA products. I especially enjoyed concepting game component art, such as this hiker meeple for Discover: Lands Unknown.

Publications & other links:

* Elizabeth A. Simpson, Ylenia Nicolini, Melissa Shetler, Stephen J. Suomi, Pier F. Ferrari & Annika Paukner. "Experience-independent sex differences in newborn macaques: Females are more social than males." Scientific Reports 6 (2016)

* Christophe Vanpouille, Anush Arakelyan, Leonid Margolis "Microbicides: still a long road to success." Trends in Microbiology Volume 20, Issue 8 (2012)

* Edward Abraham, MD; Alan League, MD; Farid Amirouche, PhD; Nikhil Kulkarni, MS Eng. "A Clove-Hitch Suture Method for Small-Caliber Tendon Ends." J Bone Joint Surg Am (2012)

Featured Artist for Scientific American SciArt Blitz, 2015

Finalist in James Gurney's Interactive Sketchbook competition, 2015
* Panel speaker at the University of Wisconsin-Stout Art + Design Week, February 2018


If you are a student or interested in a career in concept, storyboard, and game art or medical illustration, I am happy to answer any of your questions.

To see more of my art and learn more about me, visit my Instagram || Twitter || LinkedIn  

Thanks for visiting my store and don't be a stranger! You can send a message from the contact form on this website or email me at melissaleesisk@gmail.com.