Featured Artist: Mel Stringer

FK chats to Mel Stringer, one super talented artist who’s is our new flyer artist for our Brisbane markets in July!

Tell us a little bit about what you do, and what we can expect to discover?
I first and foremost draw to document and journal my life. I use drawing as a way to deal with my life and things that happen to me, no matter how mundane sometimes. All the selected work I do for other people just comes as a bonus because I only draw for things I feel good about.

How would you describe your style?
I would like to think of it as delicate and intricate but is able to carry a heavy meaning.

What is your background and what lead you to where you are today?
I come from a supportive and creative family. My Dad and sister both enjoy drawing and music. My Mum admits she can’t draw, but she’s always been really supportive. I left home at 18, travelling from Darwin to Brisbane to study Visual Art.

What inspires your work? and where do you head for regular inspiration?
Lots of things inspire me. Things like making my way through the city on a bus and just wandering through department stores, book stores, taking note of all the different faces and fashion around me. Of course Tumblr, Flickr images. All the people I follow are constantly providing me with new images I’ve never seen before. My boyfriend Benjamin Constantine and his artwork. I have really begun to enjoy drinking dried fruit / dried berry tea, I love cooking. Photography inspires me. Sometimes if I’m out of ideas for a comic, I go out and see if something interesting happens to me in my everyday so I can draw about it. I love old TV shows and old films.

As well as being an artist, you also dabble in craft. What materials and mediums do you enjoy working with and exploring? And what other areas would you like to explore or expand into?
I’ve dabbled in needle felting, clay, cold porcelain, paper craft design, sewing, brooch making. Usually if I get the inspiration to create something 3D, I have to do it RIGHT away otherwise the feeling leaves me and doesn’t return for a good few weeks. I would love to get into film making but while I wait to save up for my movie camera, I would really like to get more into designing an abundance of printable paper craft projects and printable letter sets / scrap booking embellishment sets. I hate the majority of mass-produced, ugly bullshit that craft stores sell for scrap booking. I’d like to give people the chance to use some nice things that aren’t just designed to take your money.

What do you love most about what you do, and what keeps you motivated?
I love that it’s something that is always changing. I also love that I don’t have to censor myself and can say exactly what I want and what I feel. I’m not sure what keeps me motivated. Maybe knowing that someone might connect with a certain piece keeps hope in my heart.

What do you love most about living in Brisbane?
I went through a patch of being a bit mad at it. But I’ve made peace with things about this city and now I’m fond of it again. I love it’s winters that aren’t too sharp and the fact that it’s easy to get around on buses and trains. The people aren’t too miserable or too bogan. It’s a nice mix of cultures and I’m not terrified of getting lost. And although everybody knows everybody, I don’t mind. You’re not forced to be friends with someone to have your work find success.

What aspirations do you have for the future and what would be your dream project?
I often dream of the perfect studio space. Ideally, I daydream about a high rise city apartment with room for 2 and a puppy. A greenhouse on the roof, only accessed by stairs. I would want that greenhouse to be converted into my studio. Pull-down curtains to block light out if desired, an air con to adjust the temperature if it gets too hot, a big screen TV for all my favourite shows, a giant drawing desk, a giant packing and sorting orders desk, shelves galore… To design and create that would be amazing. I would also like to write and draw a book that is nice to hold, read and have on your shelf. A real hard-cover gem.



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