Melissa Brant was born to be an artist. For as long as she can remember, she has been obsessed with art in many forms. “Art is like breathing to me. I even remember drawing cartoons when I was really small,” she says. “I was just always into different types of artistic expression.” 
 
But like so many people with passions rooted in creativity, Brant worried about how to build a career out of art and sought out a more traditional job after high school. “But art called me back,” she says, with a laugh. “Art always calls me back.”    She began doing face and body painting in her community but she wanted to offer these services (and more!) 
 
in a permanent way. So, a year and a half ago, she opened her studio, She’s High on Vibes.
She’s High on Vibes is based around intuitive art. It’s not about structure, but about energy and movement — people can dance, paint on different materials, use a range of tools to try new things. “It’s really about getting in touch with your inner child, and intuition is everything,” says Brant. “Intuitive thoughts can help people to explore, and take them to places and opportunities they never thought possible.” She considers the work people do at her studio to be a sort of art therapy, as it’s a safe space to express themselves.
 
Brant also continues to create her own artwork, in addition to running the studio. As an Indigenous artist, she is passionate about taking part in projects that support Indigenous culture. In May, she worked with another local artist in Belleville to create a mural at a local school that celebrated the Thanksgiving Address (a spiritual acknowledgement that is important to many First Nations). She’s also currently working on an art garden in the community around the same tradition. “It’s really important to me to connect with others where I live,” she says. “My work and the studio are the ways I can give back.”
 

Who or what was your biggest influence growing up?

My nan was my biggest  influence. She is no longer here with us, but I will never forget her confidence, intelligent,  beauty, passion, wit and love.
 

What is your favourite hobby?

Dancing with my hula hoop! 
 

What’s your favourite food?

My partner’s spaghetti.
 

Who or what keeps you motivated?

My family. My partner, my children, my mom, my brother. They encourage me to do what I love so I can show up as my best self for them and my community. 
 

What’s your favourite season?

Summer. Mid-to-end of  summer, leading into fall, is perfection. 
 

How do you de-stress?

I move my body. Dance. Exercise. Walk. Jump. Wiggle. Shake. I just allow that energy to move and flow in order to let it go. 
 

What are you  looking forward to right now?

My digital and face paint art will be displayed on the packaging of a new Indigenous business called Kebaonish. It’s launching really soon. I’m also excited to be working on a boys’ outdoor wellness circle and podcast, coming mid-year 2024.  

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