Melinda K Shores

Melinda K Shores

Visual Arts
Northwest Region
Fort Smith, AR
[email protected]

As an educator and artist, Melinda's goal is to spark inspiration with activities that have real-world applications. The world is becoming increasingly visual and visual media has reached every part of our lives. As a result, visual storytelling is experiencing an upward trend in popularity. Comics have come to encompass many different subjects and genres. There is increasing opportunity to incorporate these materials into educational settings. From advanced students to students with disabilities, ELL, and reluctant readers, comics are a great way to connect with students.

In her residency, Melinda wants to engage students' curiosity. By displaying comic strips for students to read, she immediately creates a connection with them. Then to switch it up she displays things like LEGO or IKEA instructions, illuminated manuscripts, Greek urns, and hieroglyphics, with the label, “sequential art.” The students start to ask the questions and provides explanations as to what “sequential” means and introduces them to the history of the very first “comics,” which date back to ancient times. Students have the opportunity to make their own comic booklet and can draw their own scenes based on a written narrative. This activity incorporates critical thinking skills, reading comprehension, writing, and collaboration in one fun activity.


Melinda is a graduate of Southside High School in Fort Smith and went on to earn her Bachelor of Science from the University of Central Arkansas. Having worked as a certified classroom teacher for Fort Smith Public Schools, she has first-hand classroom experience and is trained in teaching concepts, classroom management, technology integration, and inclusion. In her journey as a lifelong learner, Melinda has continued to learn and develop skills that she can share with others.

As a creative outlet and a way to develop my artistic abilities, I began making my own comics and posting them online in 2015. Since that time I have developed the skills and learned the processes involved in making a comic. I have had the privilege of using my knowledge as a way to get interest in community events such as comic conventions and fundraisers. I hope to bring together my academic skills and first-hand knowledge to inspire others.

Currently, Melinda is developing all-ages graphic novel projects targeting traditional print publishing. You can find her work at

AIE Program

Preferred Age Level: all ages
Geographic Availability: Northwest Arkansas, Fort Smith and surrounding regions
Time Availability: open
Special Needs: projector, paper, pencils, colored pencils, markers