Artist of the Month - June

Artist of the Month - June

Welcome to another edition of our "Artist of the Month" blog post! We are so excited to be featuring the amazing artists who continually blow us away with their incredible artwork. From oil paintings to pencil observations and everything in between, our featured artists will make sure to inspire you with their unique and creative style. Whether you're an art collector, a fellow artist, or just love the beauty of art, you're sure to find something to admire and be inspired by in this blog series. 

This month, we are thrilled to introduce you to the incredibly talented Cornwall-based illustrator and designer, Melanie Chadwick! We have been in touch with Melanie and asked some questions to find out more about her and her craft...

Q. Where have you found inspiration lately?
A. Whenever I go outside and sketch I always find inspiration. I live on the Lizard Peninsula and regularly explore and walk the coastal paths. Whether it's the dramatic cliffs, wildflowers, wild seas or fishing boats, old chapels and thatched cottages drawing from what's in front of me gives me so much inspiration.

Q. Is there a piece of art or a project that you are particularly excited about right now?
A. I'm starting to create artwork for my 2024 calendar and this year I would like to include some wildflowers for one of the summer months. Over the last couple of weeks I've been making note of the many different wildflowers that are growing around me and I find there is so much beauty to be found in what could easily be overlooked. Drawing them gives me a lot of joy!

Q. What kinds of tools or references do you like to use when creating artwork?
A. When I'm creating art for my calendar then my sketchbooks are where I turn for references. I also use a range of mediums that are water-based- neocolor IIs, inktense pencils, watercolours, ecoline and tombow pens, luminance pencils.

Q. What artists or artworks (from your life or art history) do you admire or consider influential to your work and why? 
A. I wouldn't say I have an artist that I look to or think about when I've creating artwork, I'm more often thinking about the subject and how do I respond to what I see and pushing the materials/mediums to capture it. 

Q. What advice do you have for other new or aspiring artists? 
A. When you're starting out things can seem quite overwhelming and unattainable. But remember everyone has to start somewhere. So start simple and small, each day make time for art, and hone your craft, whether that's learning how to use your materials or understanding colour palettes. Once you start getting more competent with your art, understand how to run a business. It's so important to know how to invoice, have contracts, keep accounts, market, have a portfolio, reach out to clients/galleries/shops etc, and present yourself and your work. Again this may seem overwhelming so each day break down your tasks, and have goals for each month, 6 months, and 12 months. Set goals for yourself and your business and you will then start to move towards them. 
Q. Professionally, what has been your biggest achievement so far?
A. Looking back over my life as an artist and illustrator there are definitely many moments I am thankful for. Jobs that stick out for me are illustrating Cornish Seasalt's pinch pots, creating maps for a range of clients, and the experience of creating a course for Domestika which led to me producing my own course on sketching outside on location.

Q. What is your first memory of creating art?
A. When I was four years old, at nursery I remember making a dragon out of egg boxes for St David's day.
Q. How do you spend your time when you’re not creating artwork?
A. There is a lot of admin work that goes into running an art business so those tasks may vary from answering emails, writing articles for my newsletter, sharing and scanning my sketchbooks, teaching workshops, ordering products, filming and editing videos, podcasts for courses and my Youtube channel. In my spare time, I walk the coast paths with my husband, worship at a Christian fellowship on Sunday afternoons, and meet up with friends to sketch.
Q. What work do you most enjoy doing?
A. Sketching in my sketchbook, drawing from life.

Q. What is your dream project?
A. I don't really have a dream project but if someone wanted to commission a sketch-based book on 'Wildflowers of the Lizard Peninsula' I wouldn't say no!

Melanie recently took part in Cornwall Open Studios from the 27th May to Sunday 4th June. Below are a few pictures from the event, featuring some of Melanie's wonderful work on sale, printed by us! 

It's been a pleasure getting to know more about Melanie and learning her tips and tricks. You can find out more about Melanie and shop her wonderful artwork on her website and Instagram

Stay tuned for next month's Artist of the Month in July!

Other Links:

Melanie Chadwick Sketching & Illustration - online courses & resources 

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