Melody Often has worked with individuals and organizations to create art demonstrations and activities for communities of all sizes, ages, and backgrounds. This has ranged from exhibitions, mural creation and direction, caricature, face painting, instruction in storytelling, painting, or cartooning, poetry readings, musical collaboration, improvisational acting and dance, intuitive divination, meditation, and speaking. In each instance Melody worked closely with the organizer to create an experience that was appropriate for the group and provided a positive atmosphere, unearthing treasures along the way.
Melody Often is an interdisciplinary artist based out of upstate New York. She writes, draws, and colors comics and has worked for IDW, Image, and Dark Horse. She is best known for her adventure comic, Trinadot, about the equilibrium of genetic memory. Her first graphic novel, In the Hands of Boys, garnered a Xeric grant and was written by her mother, Janet Tangirala, about the Bosnian conflict in the 1990s.
As an organizer she has been responsible for creating two issues of the Baltimore Time Travel Anthology, bringing together a diverse swath of local artists to express their individual takes on the prominent sci-fi theme. The book releases were held at the beloved comic book store, Atomic Books. Notable anthologies she has contributed to and illustrated for include Amazing Forest, 1001 Knights, and Corpus.
Her paintings are widely exhibited and collected. She has been commissioned for murals by such institutions as the Maryland Science Center and the Baltimore Office of the Promotion of the Arts.
“Melody and I emailed back and forth, I was able to ask her questions and she was so pleasant to work with. Her rate was reasonable. Melody arrived right on time and proceeded to do awesome portraits of seven eight-year old girls. The way she connected with each girl was amazing as were the portraits. She was a delightful addition to the party and I highly recommend her. Both for her personal style and her work as an artist. She deserves more than five stars!!” -Linda Macaluso via Gigsalad, November 2018, Caricatures
“Melody prepared excellent sketches and renderings ahead of schedule, and adhered to all of the guidelines put out by the City. In addition, when another artist backed out of the project mid-way through, Melody absorbed that artists portion of the work, and doubled the number of mini-murals she was creating. It is not any artist who can perform and produce high quality artwork in public view, let alone during a very hot, very populated street festival in the middle of July. Melody did so without issue, spending extra hours to make sure each site was prepared, mural completed to the top quality, and then sealed for protection. Throughout the weekend, the beauty and quality of her work attracted the attention of on-lookers and fans who would sometimes decide to stop and chat with her for hours. Melody conversed with these folks in a friendly manner and never once complained about the process or circumstances. Beyond her friendly disposition, the style and quality of her artwork is generally inviting and attractive to the general public.” -Ryan Patterson, Public Art Administrator, Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, 2015 Artscape Festival, Storm Drain Murals
“A fresh, gorgeous and unique voice that stands out in the testosterone-flooded field of American comics. … combin[ing] the best of Eastern and Western traditions of sequential storytelling.” -Jose Villarubia, Colorist & Professor, Commenting on In the Hands of Boys, Illustrated Comic
“[Her] artwork is a joy to look at… alternating between both rich and subdued colors and an attractive visual style. Shadows are used sparingly, and only seem to exist to emphasize emotion… the pinnacle of the collection.” -Kevin Murray, Review on Popimage of “The Coupling” in Young Bottoms in Love, Illustrated Comic
“[Her] artwork is reminiscent of manga, European artists, and the expressionism one finds in great animation.” -Filip Sablik, Review in Previews of In the Hands of Boys, Illustrated Comic