Melissa Rolfes is an illustrator, photographer, and gardener who lives and works in St. Louis, MO. She has a love of color and design that started when she was young. She was always applauded for her art skills and her first coloring contest won her a bike in grade school. She dabbled with drawing, collage and arts and crafts all throughout school, inspired by her parents. Her mom painted ceramics for years and then ventured to floral design. Her dad was a carpenter, musician and a constant doodler. Her parents were also avid gardeners and she grew up with a love of plants and the outdoors. Melissa has a B.S. in Biology and has worked in the fitness industry since college, but the love of design has been a constant. Over the years, she has taken classes in design, drawing, graphic art, interior design, architecture, photography and horticulture. She has been featured in two student, juried art shows and always gets compliments on her work. She and her husband have built two new houses and renovated a couple, opting to do the design and a lot of the labor themselves. Each house required new landscaping, so Melissa put her design skills to work creating each garden with color and texture. She has also volunteered her artistic skills to many fundraisers and activities for her church and kid’s schools, creating flyers, table tents, invitations, backdrops and signs. Having four kids in activities is what pushed Melissa back into drawing. As a way to pass the time during practices she started bringing a sketchbook and pens. It was meditative and the time flew by. Her drawings are free flowing, amorphic shapes that fold and blend into one another to create unique designs. The drawings reflect the movement of plant life on land as well as in the ocean. With a ton of positive feedback on her drawings from passerby at practices and many questions of, “Are those for a coloring book?”, she finally took the leap to get them published. Melissa continues to draw and keeps looking to her garden and photographs for inspiration. She believes strongly in the therapeutic power of creativity and hopes that her books can bring calm and inspiration to those who color her drawings.