Artist Quick Draw (September): Lei Melendres


Lei Melendres is an all-star. Let us tell you why. Aside from being one of the most popular doodle artists in the Philippines, he is also a stalwart supporter of the doodle movement. You see in his work (check out his Doodle Float inside the pages of Slate September 2014) how dedicated he is to the medium. They bleed of hardwork, patience, meticulousness, and just overflowing creativity – all these mixed in with a lot of fun and spontaneity. He has the impressive ability to translate into paper the creative synapses that happen in his brain, or in the brain of our generation for that matter. Read on to know more about the genius behind the doodles.


Captain Slate: Tell us about yourself!

Lei Melendres: I’m a full-time freelance illustrator / professional doodle artist (something I came up with to make describing my work easier to explain). I just turned 25 this October. I graduated a 2 year certificate course in Digital Arts and Design and took a second course in Multimedia Arts but decided not to finish ’cause I got so bored studying and got too excited in experiencing the so-called “real life”. I’ve been doing freelance for more than 5 years now since I started doing small projects during my college years. Most of my clients are foreign and I have very few local projects. I did several group exhibits and have been featured in a lot of websites and art related magazines. I have conducted several seminars and school talks locally. I am also currently the head of the biggest doodle group in the PH which is the Doodle Art Enthusiasts.


b the best 3 Lei M


Captain Slate: How did you get into art?
Lei Melendres: When I was still in preschool, my mom did sample math exams so we could study and prepare for our quizzes and exams. She would teach us addition and subtraction with the use of simple drawings of different objects to make it easier for us to understand how things are added and subtracted. I think I enjoyed her drawings a lot and it didn’t take too long for me to start drawing those objects on my own. Later on, I started drawing more complicated figures and so on.


Captain Slate: Has your art/style changed since you started?

Lei Melendres: My style has definitely changed a lot due to the fact that I started drawing early in my life. I have tried different styles from abstract to realistic drawings and have used different mediums like pen on paper, to painting and charcoal drawings etc. I always tell people that my style now is a mixture of everything I have learned ever since I started.


Lei M 02


Captain Slate: What is the process behind creating your works?

Lei Melendres: I have three ways of doing my drawings. To make it easier to explain, I named each type of process with A, B and C. Type C is where I start sketching every detail in the drawing first before I start inking it. I use this type usually for my commissioned works for clients who are keen in checking everything first before it gets finalized. Type B on the other hand is almost like type C but the sketches I make for the artwork doesn’t have any details on them since I only draw the shapes just to prepare the placement of every element before I start to ink them. Finally, there’s type A which is the direct on the spot doodling wherein I don’t really plan things and I just draw what pops in my head right then and there. This one is the original meaning of doodling and is also my favorite way to do my drawings.


Captain Slate: What are the 5 things that inspire you/your work right now?
Lei Melendres: I guess the first would be my craving for drawing new things all the time. I love to draw and I equally love the feeling of challenging myself to come up with new monsters every time a create a masterpiece.

Second inspiration for me is the young and talented artists who are very successful in their chosen career in art. I get inspired by the achievements of these artists and I always try my best to gain the same if not, something more with my art.

Third is knowing that I have inspired other artists to try doodling. I have seen a lot of new artworks where the artist uses a style and technique which is the same as the one I have been using for years now. They say that copying is a form of flattery and I like to think that I have in a way influenced these people into art.

Fourth would be money. I create art for a living and I can’t deny that from time to time, aside from doing it for fun and for my own satisfaction, I also do it to earn and gain more clients in the process.

Last would be my goal to make a dent before my time is up. I would love to somehow be remembered for my art someday when I can no longer make new ones.


Mad Clown2 Lei M


Captain Slate: What is your favorite work/project so far?
Lei Melendres: I don’t have a favorite piece or project in particular, since I’m teaching myself not to get too attached into any piece, just so I could continue to progress easily by making the latest artwork my favorite. After I am done with it, I move on and find a new favorite.


Captain Slate: Who’s your favorite creative person?
Lei Melendres: JP Quison, and I really think he’s a genius. I’ve worked in an ad agency before and have been in the corporate advertising world for quite some time and JP is one of the legends in that industry. I quit my job and went into the Philippine art world and I discovered that his works are still one of the best there is. In a way, he is living two lives in 2 different art forms at the same time and to excel greatly in both fields, he must really be a genius. Plus, I love his work so much.


Post Your Art 2 small Lei M


Captain Slate: Upcoming projects/shows/events
Lei Melendres: You can follow updates on everything on my Facebook page so don’t forget to “like” it. 😉


Profile Shot with doodle smallTo explore Lei’s portfolio and online presence, click on the links below:

Instagram: lei_melendres
Twitter: @LeiMelendres

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