1. WHO ARE YOU, AND WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
I’m Melissa, an illustrator and maker from the South Coast of England, UK
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2. WHAT IS YOUR STYLE AND AESTHETIC?
I am heavily drawn to colour and pattern and my work is bright and playful, with bold
botanical forms and typically, vibrant colour palettes.
3. TELL US ABOUT YOUR ARTISTIC PROCESS?
I begin my work by looking for inspiration all around me - in the environment for example maybe a brightly coloured building or striking combinations of pattern and texture, as well as being influenced by abstract art and traditional botanical illustration. I usually sketch out a few ideas and choose a colour palette then start working digitally using my iPad and Procreate before finishing off drawings in Photoshop. I have recently also started experimenting with Risography which allows me to work with really beautiful colours and textures.
4. WHAT GETS YOU INSPIRED WHEN YOU NEED IT?
When I’m low on inspiration my go-to is stepping outside and surrounding myself with nature. I identify myself as a contemporary botanical artist so it makes sense to go straight to the source material. I love plants and bright flowers and spending a bit of time sketching and illustrating them really aids my creative process.
5. WHAT’S ON YOUR CURRENT PLAYLIST?
At the moment I am really loving a lot of female singer/songwriters includingAngel Olsen, Sharon Van Etten and Jay Som. I also have Grimes’ Miss Anthropocene on repeat and Thom Yorke’s Anima.
6. WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE CREATIVES OR BRANDS RIGHT NOW?
There are so many inspiring brands which I source mainly on Instagram as I feel it’s the best way to see their work and creative processes. I really love Lucy Sherston’s (@lucysherston) original collages, digital and risograph prints, as well as Harriet Cheal’s (@harrietchealceramics) small batch ceramics and Katherine Plumb’s (@kjplumb) screenprints.
7. WHAT’S SOMETHING UNEXPECTED ABOUT YOU?
I don’t have a background in illustration. I studied Fashion at University but then moved into Academia gaining a PostGraduate degree in Film Theory and working in an academic Library for a number of years. I returned to a creative path after I had my son and it fitted in so well with childcare. I haven’t looked back.
8. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PIECE IN YOUR SLOWWAVY SHOP RIGHT NOW?
I love my still life composition with patterned fruit bowl and terrazzo vase. The colours clash but work really well together and the bright blue background is so vibrant, plus who doesn’t love a bit of terrazzo?
9. WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE COVETED ITEMS CURRENTLY ON SLOWWAVY?
I’m in love with Megan Macwhirter’s ceramic earrings - they are so bright and fun. Also Emily Marlin’s terrazzo coasters and Lohn Candles - their packaging is a dream.
10. WHAT IS YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA?
I mainly use Instagram (@melissadonnestudio) as I find it is the best platform for connecting with other creatives and artists. There is some serious inspiration on there right now and so many artists I love to follow and connect with - the maker community on there is so supportive and inspiring.
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