August 21, 2008

Thursday with Melina Martin

Today I am really pleased to welcome Melina Martin to The Design Alphabet. I have been a long-time admirer of Melina's work, which is found in all good design based gift stores here in NZ.

In Punakaiki, which is on the west coast of NZ's South Island, there is a small stand of native bush next to the river mouth. The last time I visited there, the bush was so thick with native birds - fantails, tui, kereru (and no doubt others) that the noise, not only of their twittering and singing but the sound of their wings was incredible, I actually had to duck and dodge them as they flew around my head.. I'll always remember it - and that's what Melina's work reminds me of, the beauty that is NZ, something that you cant find anywhere else.

Here's a little snippet into Melina's life..

Your name: Melina Martin

Your Location: Island Bay ,Wellington, NZ

Your Website / Store:

What is the name of your business? Melina Martin

What are the origins of your company name? Keeping it simple, and I can move between craft, art and fashion with using my own name -I am not tied to any particular area..

What do you create? I do illustrations for screen -prints that I use on tea-towels, women's tops, some men's tops, babies t-shirts and want to move into more homewares such as place mats and cushions.

What do you find inspiring about the location in which you live? Island bay and New Zealand in general is such a beautiful place, I am inspired by native trees, flowers and birds, the colours of the bush and beach in my general environment and even in my back yard!

What else inspires you? / Where do you get inspiration for your projects? I love clean graphic type art, I love the art nouveau movement for example -inspired by nature but stylised. I really like all types of prints, especially the early New Zealand screen printed tourism posters.

above: these two prints are HOT off the press -
they were only photographed yesterday so they are brand new to Melina's collection!

If you have a ‘day’ job, what is it that you do? This is my day job! no time for anything else! especially having two daughters also.What keeps you creatively motivated? Nature magazines -I am always thinking yes I should do that bird..... going on walks, demand from customers and my stockists constantly asking for more and different products!

How would you describe the NZ craft / design scene at the moment? Fantastic! there is alot of great work out there.

What advice would you give to someone starting a creative business? Make sure you have enough room to create and expand as the demand grows, get an accountant!

Who are some of your favorite indie designers/artists? Too many to mention, all the crafters that do Craft 2.0 for sure.

Where do you love to shop? (brick and mortar and online) I don't get time to shop, I am currently building a collection of retro kiwiana things off trademe though...

What is on your wish list? A big house and studio so I have room to have all the pretty things I'd like to own.

If you had the time, what new craft/medium would you like to learn or use? I'd like to do lino printing and design and make some furniture.

What's your definition of a perfect day? Do some printing, check my bank balance and it's really healthy! do some drawing, go for a walk on the beach, have a yummy lunch at a cafe with a friend, do some more work, hang out with my kids and partner, cook a great dinner, watch a inspiring movie, get a good nights sleep...
I am pretty much living my dream!

(images and text from Melina Martin)

I hope you find encouragement and inspiration from this interview and to know it can be possible to make your art / craft into a full time business, and live the dream too! - you can do it!!

Thanks so much Melina!

Have a lovely day everyone! see you tomorrow x

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