I'm Tshikamba, Artist, Illustrator, art director, & stylist
"Tshikamba" is pronounced
"Tshika" derives from my middle name Tshikampabo, which translates to mean "a gift" or "what I was given". It originates from the tribal language Tshiluba, in central Kasai, DRC (Congo). It's the name of my aunt, whose namesake I've been given.
Kamba is a name that's been passed down for generations from my father's side and is my given name. I thought it was fitting to have "Tshika" at the beginning of Tshikamba to include the women in my ancestral heritage.
Melissa Tshikampabo Kamba Boggs “Tshikamba”
Obtained a Bachelors of Fine Art from BYU
Melissa (Tshikamba) is an Illustrator and figurative artist currently based in Utah. A love of sacred imagery, the divine feminine, abstract realism, history, the ethereal, African symbols, mythology, cosmology, Mother Nature, and her ancestral heritage inspires her art. Her main mediums are 22 karat gold leaf and oil, and she brings texture and depth to her pieces with sculpture and resin. She combines traditional African patterns and cultures with the modern contemporary, often incorporating circles, bees, and gold into her work—representative of eternity, matriarchy, royalty, light, and empowerment.
Tshikamba was raised in a mixed race, religious family, which instilled in her a love for the Divine. As a visual and kinesthetic learner, she noticed early on there weren’t any images that looked like her, or her siblings. Many religions claim that we are all sons and daughters of a Creator, yet their artwork lacks truth and diversity. This fueled her mission and passion to help shift that narrative and create images that are a better reflection of our human family.
Above all, Tshikamba aims to eradicate internalized racism, enlighten and empower others, and expand and showcase the endless possibilities and perspectives from the African Diaspora. By exploring themes within Black Romanticism, and redefining Eurocentric standards of beauty, she uses her illustrations to promote the stories of those who have been pushed to the margins of society. She hopes to instill a message of self-love to all those who view her art.
Pre-painting process: Styling shoots
Before I begin a painting, I envision everything down to the small details. The compostion, landscape, atire, models, and even jewlery. I had the opportunity to begin styling shoots a few years ago through photography workshops. I get to make my paintings literally come to life. Like most modern artists, this is such a vital begining step in the painting process as I rely heavily on reference photos to paint from. Scroll down to Check out some past styled shoots!