Melissa Lee Johnson

In the mood for some light reading?


Melissa Lee Johnson is a fine artist, illustrator, and graphic designer, and occasional tattoo artist living & working in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She graduated with a BFA in Integrated Studio Arts and a Minor in Illustration from The Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design in May 2016, and was a finalist for a Mary Nohl Fellowship in 2017. Melissa is currently an illustrator and graphic designer at the Shepherd Express, an alternative Milwaukee newspaper, and WaterStreet Creative, an ad agency and sister company to the Shepherd.

Fun facts: Her two Chihuahuas, Bambi and Sparkle, are her pride and joy. She’s a Virgo through-and-through, but you better watch out because her moon is in Aries. She loves to dance to Talking Heads and thinks everyone should see Stop Making Sense at least once. Pickled beets, coffee (with coconut milk), and podcasts fuel her. Also red wine.

Selected Clients: Macmillan Publishing, Parents Magazine, Hacienda Beer Co., Milwaukee Film, Shepherd Express, Milwaukee County Parks, Company Brewing, and Memra Language Services.




If you want to keep up with me, sauceboss_666 is definitely the best place.


Curriculum Vitae



2016 // BFA Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Integrated Studio Arts Major, Illustration Minor

Collaborative Exhibitions

2017 // I'm Still Not Over It The Yellow Wallpaper Gallery, Milwaukee, WI

2016 // 4 grrls: pt ii The Lunchbox gallery, After School Special, Milwaukee WI  

Group exhibitions

2017 // Drawn Out Portrait Society Gallery, Milwaukee, WI

2017 // FemFest Art Exhibition 2017 Groovy Dog Gallery, Milwaukee, WI

2016 // Heads or Tails Portrait Society Gallery, Milwaukee, WI

2016 // 00000 GH00$T $HOW After School Special, Milwaukee, WI

2016 // Juried Senior Exhibition MIAD, Milwaukee, WI

2016 // R.I.P.E. (A Wake) HOAX Gallery, Milwaukee, WI

2016 // Swim Team Presents: FOMO The Nut Factory, Milwaukee WI

2015 // The Outsiders Racine Arts Council ArtSpace Gallery, Racine WI

2015 // Creative Fusion MIAD, Milwaukee WI

2015 // Monster Drawing Rally Present Works, Milwaukee WI

2015 // Swim Team Presents: The Gold Show The Netherlands Gallery, Milwaukee, WI


2016 // Mary L. Nohl Fellowship Finalist


Artist Lectures

2017 // MIAD Professional Symposium MIAD, Milwaukee WI

2017 // NSP Alumni Series MIAD, Milwaukee WI

2017 // Drawn Out, Portrait Society Gallery, Milwaukee WI


2015 // Copywrite Volume 5 ThirdWord, Milwaukee, WI

2014 // No Coast Summer (Zine by Stephanie Lane Gage) Milwaukee, WI

2013 // Copywrite Volume 1 ThirdWord, Milwaukee, WI


2018 // Meet Melissa- 2018 MFF Campaign Artist, Milwaukee Film, August 2018

2018 // Check out the wonderful campaign art for the 2018 Milwaukee Film FestivalMilwaukee Record, August 2018

2017 // Milwaukee Artists 'Drawn' to Portrait Society Exhibit, Shepherd Express, May 2017

2017 // A World Created With A Pencil, Urban Milwaukee, April 2017

2016 // The Performance and The Stage The Milwaukee Art Shore, July 2016

2016 // Pink is the Color of Our Insides by Kayle Karbowski, Temporary Art Review, January 2016

2016 // FemFest 2016: Meet Melissa, Artist and Poster Creator People with Panache, January 2016