40 Under 40: Melissa Tshikamba Boggs

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MELISSA TSHIKAMBA BOGGS

Tshikamba Fine Art & Illustration | Artist + Owner | AGE 27

Melissa Tshikamba Boggs’ career is a work of art — and a work of heart. She received a bachelor’s of fine arts in illustration from BYU, and she has been drawing a legacy of light and depth ever since. She’s had her work displayed in the Adobe Center celebrating Juneteenth, Springville Museum of Art, Covey Center for the Arts, J. Kirk Richards Gallery, Anthony’s Fine Art, and Deseret Book. She finished a piece for McArthur Krishna’s book “A Girl’s Guide to Heavenly Mother.” Melissa’s work has been published in magazines and on several book covers — and she just completed her own children’s book. Additionally, Melissa was featured in PBS’ “Roots, Race and Culture,” on ABC Utah, and as a featured artist on BYU TV’s “Artful.”

PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT Completing my first children’s book after two years of work to finish it, and being one of the first Black women to have divine Black art images in Deseret Book. HARDEST MOMENT Taking the leap and deciding to be an artist full time rather than working for someone. LEADERSHIP STYLE As someone who, for the most part, works independently, I ultimately give people my full trust and just enough direction so they are confident in their abilities. MAIN MOTIVATION To illustrate literally means to “bring to light.” Being a visual and kinesthetic learner, I noticed early on there weren’t any images that looked like myself or siblings — especially in media, school, religious and divine imagery. As a result, it was difficult for me to always connect to various art forms as the “norm” and standards of beauty. My experiences, combined with others, fuels my mission and passion to help shift that narrative and create diverse images that are better reflective of our diverse, complex and unique human family — cultivating self-love and empowerment and education. I hope to instill a message of self-acceptance — bringing to light these issues as well as light and love to those who see my work. ULTIMATE CAREER DREAM To own my own art gallery and give other artists of color a safe and welcoming space to display their art. Also to normalize diverse art and change the narrative of what we perceive and value as divine and beautiful.

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