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. Her work draws inspiration from sacred imagery, the divine feminine, abstract realism, the ethereal, African symbols, mythology, cosmology, Mother Nature, and her ancestral heritage. Through her art, she explores a wide range of themes, from spirituality to identity, and seeks to challenge conventional narratives.

Melissa's primary mediums are 22 karat gold leaf and oil, and she adds texture and depth to her pieces through sculpture and resin. She has a unique style that blends traditional African patterns and cultures with contemporary elements, often featuring circles, bees, and gold in her work—symbols that represent eternity, matriarchy, royalty, light, and empowerment.

Born into a mixed-race, religious family, Melissa developed a strong appreciation for the Divine. As a visual and kinesthetic learner, she quickly noticed the lack of representation in religious imagery—artwork that didn't reflect her or her siblings. This realization sparked her passion to create art that truly represents the diverse sons and daughters of a Creator. Her mission is to shift the narrative and create images that mirror the true spectrum of humanity.

Melissa aims to eradicate internalized racism & misogyny, enlighten and empower others, and expand the visibility of the African Diaspora's endless possibilities and perspectives. Through her exploration of themes within Black Romanticism and her efforts to redefine Eurocentric standards of beauty, Melissa's illustrations give voice to those who have been marginalized by society. Her art serves as a reminder that everyone deserves to be seen and celebrated, and she hopes to inspire self-love in all who view her work.

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!

My Process: Recreate & Reimagine