Manhattan Book Review
Becoming, by the award-winning artist, teacher, and TEDx speaker Kelly Mellos, is a gift to others to help them discover their creative potential in their lives. The creative potential that was planted in us at birth continues to have a larger impact on us as we age. Throughout Becoming, Mellos showcases forty-seven of her original oil paintings and explains their origin and significance and how they can help us to strive to become better versions of ourselves.
Her paintings and commentary take us on a journey, a story of an unknown character who learns how we must learn to shed the weight of the pre-conceived thoughts of our appearance and actions by others, thus allowing creative ideas and energy to freely run through us to shape us into the person we are meant to be by our own standards. By living life with blinders on, we are missing all of the beauty and opportunities around us because we are running down a straight road instead of walking and checking out the side roads along the way. When we are our own unique selves, we are making beautiful art in our lives, but when we are able to work with others, the colors and orchestra will be that much brighter and louder.
Learning to be different can be hard, but it might be the one thing that someone needs in their life to realize there is beauty in being different and decide to make a change for the better. Being the best version of yourself through your chosen art form will take self-discipline, good intent, being comfortable with vulnerability, authenticity, and steadfastness.
Being full of many good pieces of advice, this book is both entertaining and thought-provoking. The words of wisdom from Mellos can be applied to anyone’s life, which makes it all the best advice since it can help nearly anyone who wishes to abide by it. The story in the back of the book of how these images came to her was interesting and kind of surreal; perhaps she was chosen to be another guide for someone through their life to make the most of it, thus helping many others in the process. I can see this book being featured in multiple venues, or at the very least a thought-provoking read at the coffee table. I would recommend Becoming to anyone struggling through the monotony of life, wanting to add more color and adventure.
San Francisco Book Review
Star Rating: 5 / 5
Kelly Mellos has put together a collection of lovely original oil paintings that show her personal quest toward inspiration, with each image drawn from a creative visualization. Each image is paired with a few words describing the inspiration behind it and some advice for others to achieve a life of creativity and appreciate what life has to offer. Every word makes it clear that Mellos believes in a life of empowerment, and she strives to use this collection of lovely works to help others open their minds to other creative paths. Becoming is broken into four parts consisting of awakening, underworld, rising, and new world with each to explore various themes about life, death, and beginnings.
Mellos has a writing style that's lyrical and poetic which gives off the feeling as if you're reading a story in quick quips. The first part is called “Awakening” and features images which represent the cycle of death and birth with the repeated image of dandelions and all images complementing each other in style. Some of the snippets of advice are reminiscent of words of wisdom which would be heard in an inspirational self-help guide. Advice offered includes tuning into your inner voice, self-discipline, and trusting in the small steps in life. Following that is “Underworld” which features the recurring image of a butterfly and poignant image of a well which represents a guide to an underworld and the offer to venture into depths you can't see from the surface. This section is quick with only a few pieces of artwork, but each is stunning with advice speaking volumes about faith and transformation.
The third part “Rising” has stunning images of nature which feature the continued theme of girls outside in the wind with activities such as flying kites. Each of the paintings is presented with the feeling of autumn with darker colors and hues used in the background. The advice includes taking chances on opportunities, honoring mystery in life, and finding beauty through the tears, like a rainbow after a storm. The last part is “New World”, with only a few images featuring balloons which were seen early on in part one, and skipping stones images paired with advice, serving as a conclusion to the collection. Mellos uses this last part to remind people that the universe is inside of you and knowing there is no end only a beginning. Nature is key in every image Mellos brings to life with lovely images ranging from people to scenery, and animals.
The art style Mellos uses consists of mostly darker hues and shades with colors ranging in blues, grays, yellows, and browns. The focal images have an old-fashioned aesthetic, with people sporting sun hats and older style clothing. The paintings focusing on people often have them without faces which pairs well with the style Mellos has throughout each painting. Some favorite paintings will, no doubt, include the style images of a well, a rooster, and one of a rainbow with a waterfall. The art itself is of simple moments, but each has a metaphor that can be derived through appreciation and understanding of each painting. Becoming is a stunning collection which is a must for all art lovers and creativity seekers.