Melissa Gay

Melissa Gay is an award-winning illustrator of books and tabletop roleplaying games. Her client list includes Baen Books, Llewellyn Worldwide, Hay House, Apex Press, and many, many game companies. Her Imaginative Realist work has been featured in ImagineFX Magazine, io9,, and several of the Infected By Art anthologies. She is co-founder of the Bird Whisperer Project, a member of the Changeling Artist Collective, and is on the moderating team of the art business group One Fantastic Week. The Association of Science-Fiction and Fantasy Artists has twice honored her work with the Chesley Award. The Light Grey Art Lab awarded her one of its coveted artist residencies in Iceland during the summer of 2019, where she gave a presentation on art, awe, and the concept of sacred space.

A former scientific illustrator, she is constantly seeking the perfect balance between precise detail and hazy obscurity to better engage the imagination of the viewer. Recurring themes in her work are flying things that should not fly (whales, sheep, etc.), faraway visions into deep space as if seen in a dream, and moments of surreal otherworldliness in a terrestrial setting. She creates her art as an act of love, but also as an act of defiance against depression. Her art is an invitation into her worlds and a wish for the viewer to soar, to find their own magic, regardless of circumstances. She has made several videos for the Fantastic Fridays segment of the One Fantastic Week YouTube channel which encourage artists of all kind to know themselves, to be kind to themselves, and to stretch the boundaries of their own creativity.

Apart from drawing and painting, she is never happier than when in the woods hunting for secret waterfalls, climbing on rocks, or staring into the night sky. She can whistle a passable screech owl call.

Find her at, on Facebook, MelissaGay on Patreon, @melissagay23 on Twitter, and @melissagayart on Instagram.