Meet our Creator of the Week, Melissa Hernandez, also known as Cherry, a Las Vegas-based digital artist specializing in art with a focus on pinup portraits, cartoons, and traditional tattoo styles. Her captivating work is influenced by her passion for rockabilly and pinup culture. Beyond creating, Cherry designs show flyers for the local music scene and skate community, specifically Fresa’s Skate Shop. Besides her artistry, she’s also a talented musician and a badass competitive rollerskater.
Her art reflects her daily attire, adding a unique and lively flair to Las Vegas’s art community. Support this incredible creator!
Thank you for being our Creator of the Week! Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Hey everyone! My name is Melissa Hernandez aka Cherry. I’m a local artist in Las Vegas. My art is mostly digital, specializing in pinup portraits, cartoon and traditional tattoo style. I do a lot of show flyers for the local music scene and skate community.
Tell us about your background and the road that led you to pursuing your chosen art medium.
I grew up drawing and doodling on all my school work. Cartoon and comic illustrations have always been what I gravitate to. I started doing digital art about 9 years ago and have been doing custom pinup and cartoon portraits ever since. I’m a big rockabilly/pinup enthusiast and that also shows in my art style. In the last few years I’ve started to do custom flyers for bands and our local roller derby team.
How does art impact your life, and what role does it play in shaping your personal expression and identity?
Art is a huge part of me, I do something art related every day even if it’s just a quick sketch at my day job or doing something fun with my eyeliner. My art goes into my wardrobe and how I dress every day, I always need a little spooky/rockabilly flair in each outfit.
What role do you believe local artists play in shaping the cultural identity and vibrancy of our community?
Our local artists are what make the community so beautiful! Just walking around downtown you can see the murals, the local clothing brands, all experience the amazing music! You can feel everyone’s passion and love for what they do, everyone is at a different level but they’re out there doing their thing. I love that about Las Vegas!
How does our local community influence or inspire your artistic process? How would you like to see Las Vegas evolve artistically?
The majority of my artwork is currently flyers to promote skate events, roller derby games and music shows. Being around everyone and seeing the different style in their outfits or their skating definitely translates into my illustrations! I don’t take my art too seriously, I always put a little silliness into my characters and have fun.
One thing that I hope the Las Vegas community keeps up with is creating safe spaces for our young artists and musicians! I have seen a lot of growth with music and art venues that include our under 21 crowd. It’s so important that we help the youth express themselves too!
How do you stay motivated and inspired? Are there any rituals or practices that help you maintain creativity, mental health, and overcome creative blocks?
I have a really short attention span and my memory is not the greatest. I’ll be in the middle of doing something and get a badass idea for a design or drawing and I have to immediately put it in my notes to come back to later! When I’m working on one of my commissions I do my best to have a calm space to work in without any distractions. Creative blocks are something I am very familiar with. When I come upon one I make myself take a break from drawing so I don’t get burnt out and lose my enthusiasm for it. Then I’ll revisit it when my creativity is back.
Can you share a memorable or defining moment in your career so far? What made it special or significant to you?
Something I am extremely proud of is being the graphic artist for Fresa’s Skate Shop! I’ve done multiple t shirt illustrations and co-created the Fresa tattoo flash design with my husband who is also an artist. We painted the design on the wall inside the shop with the help of our friends, it is a HUGE wall! I’m very proud of that mural, every time I see it in photographs it still makes me smile.
Tell us about a collaboration that has contributed to your artistic journey and growth.
A collaboration that will always mean the world to me is working on the logo for local rockabilly/surf band The Hideaway. I had not done a collab with another artist before and it was definitely new to me, working with someone else’s idea, not something I created alone. But it turned into not only an awesome design, I ended up marrying my collaborator, Jorge! Since then we’ve done so much art together, tattoo and t shirt designs, a mini ramp, the shop mural and we now play in a band together! I’m very excited to be involved in the music scene not just for art but as a musician!
Looking ahead, are there any upcoming projects or events that you’re looking forward to and how can our community support you?
The next event I’m helping with is a Dia de Los Muertos paint and sip class at Fresa’s Skate Shop on October 27th! It’s going to be so much fun. And on December 2nd I’ll be playing with my band, Las Nalgonas at the Red Dwarf. We’ll be opening for another local band, The Implosions! Everyone can help support by promoting and visiting your local small businesses and music venues!
What is your interpretation of a Raw Femme?
I think a Raw Femme is being unapologetically yourself in what you create. A Raw Femme is showing up places that intimidate you and are male dominated, but you show up and kick ass anyways!
Follow Cherry on Instagram and support her incredible work!
Photo by Vegas Shooter. All rights reserved.