You know how some people have a talent for putting things together in the most organic and effortless way? Melissa is one of those women. A soulful friend, artist, energy worker and herbalist, what unifies her many talents is the deeply emotive thoughtfulness she brings to all she does. You can see it in everything from her professional offerings to her home and personal style – they all feel fully grounded in her essence, offering a gentleness and comfortableness that makes you feel instantly at ease.
Earlier this year Melissa welcomed me into her home to capture details of her life + home in the hills of Topanga. Her words, below.
At my core, I am … an artist + creator, guide, intuitive healer, + visionary.
For a living I… see, interpret + share beauty.
You have a gift for creating spaces full of soul. How would you describe your home’s style or method of decorating?
Thank you! My nest is definitely a combination of family pieces, vintage, and travel finds. But I tend to get overwhelmed with too much clutter and even too much color, so I’ve paired it all down to my absolute prized possessions or collections. I adore all whites, creams, and earth tones :: they are so incredibly calming for me, but I do mix them in with color, but in it’s most faded + worn form. And I have an obsession vintage rugs…I love rugs and how they ground and warm up the space.
On a good day you can find me…painting, creating, dancing, photographing, cooking, making tonics + healing food for my friends, guiding women with breath medicine, singing, snuggling with my love + Yula.
How does your external environment play a role in your internal creative process? When my nest is clean, I can create. And when it’s not, I am totally dysfunctional on pretty much every level.
My current obsessions are… daily herbal infusions (nettle, comfrey, schizandra, hibiscus, linden, jasmine, rose to name a few in constant rotation), medicine crafting, my Spirit Soak Deep Earth + Skin Food blends for my ritual baths every night, living in the canyon, painting, photographing my beautiful + inspiring friends, being inspired by and collaborating with the ones I love.
In my past life I sense I was… a green witch.
My must-haves for getting work done include…my morning routine of meditation + breath work, a super healing tonic, tons of water, movement, music, space shifters like copal + frankinscence :: my daily herbal infusions :: this sets me up for optimal production + flow.
When I get stuck I…blast music, dance, sing, take a shot of tequila.
I am inspired by…. color, white space, earth, petals, leaves, my mother, sunsets, sunrises, clouds, birds, water, desert, forest, mountains.
I stay motivated by…being in nature as much as possible. She is an endless source of inspiration, love, + energy.
My closet is full of…. My closest is 90% vintage, and then filled in with pieces from my grandmother, along with my mother’s old purses. A few of my favorite designers are Isabel Marant, old Helmut Lang, old Alexander Wang, Annie Costello Brown for jewelry, and I’ve been loving what the Doen women have been creating.
I nuture myself by…staying in the present power + healing of my rituals :: morning rituals to set the tone for the day, Spirit Soaks, breath medicine, massages, homemade facials, connecting with my tribe.
My best ideas come to me…in my dreams.
Themes I keep coming back to are…celestial + cosmic :: love :: divine feminine power :: waves :: sky :: tonal colors :: metals :: motion
In my next life I’d like to…be completely free from severe illness.
The best piece of creative advice I’ve been given is…create for yourself, no one else, and if they don’t get it or you, they were not meant to.
My creative process…starts in my head, gets tossed around for quite some time, months, perhaps even years, before ever coming out of my body and birthing on to canvas or paper or in a design. Once it is finally flowing out of me however, it is in full blast until it feels complete.
My work motto is…really simple, just pure LOVE :: it encapsulates absolutely everything right now for me.
The most frustrating part of my process is…when I have the idea in my head but am unable to find the compatable materials to bring it to life.
The most satisfying part of my process is…the fluidity of being totally entranced by a piece of art that I’m birthing.
Coming up next for me is…continuing to hold space + guide women in their breath medicine journeys, diving deeper into my herbalism apprenticeship, collaborating on photography projects, a joint art show with my dear sister Julia Corbett, and introducing the first product in my line Parke Rituals :: Spirit Soak, ritual herbal bath infusions.
Connect with Melissa:
IG :: @m.parkestudio
WEBSITE :: www.mparkestudio.com
photos by one part gypsy