Yeehaa folks! Today, you're our guest in FML Ranch. There's Mama in the kitchen makin' marmalade, old uncle Jessy in his rocking chair playin' the harmonica and droolin', and Ennis and Jack are lookin' after the sheep. And making out. We hope you're not afraid to get dirty 'cause it's time to take care of the animals, the horse's hoofs won't get cleaned by themselves, we need to remove the crap from the turkey's head, and who's goin' to blow-dry the pigs if we don't do it? Yes, taking care of animals and farms is very difficult. But it could be also funny. That's why our lovely artist is here today, everybody please welcome Melanie Matthews!
Melanie is 22 and lives in Melbourne, Australia. She's been drawing for a long time time, she always knew she wanted to be an artist of some kind. She drew and painted until high school, and then it became more of a side thing when she took up playing music. She learnt the double bass and the cello at school, played in all the school bands and orchestras, and formed a small jazz band with some of her friends. They played in various venues, pubs and private parties all around Melbourne and with their school they travelled the state and even went to New Zealand to play. But high school ended and then they all went their separate ways, and so Melanie started drawing and painting again. She likes, and still likes, music but during this years she realized it wasn’t what she was truly passionate about. She studied a few primaries things: Multimedia, Design and Fine Art, but she never really felt at home doing any of those. One day a teacher said to her that she should be doing Illustration. So, she's been studying Illustration for the last couple of years and she is now just about to finish.
As her initial goal was to finish her studies and then work towards writing and illustrating children’s books, she's pretty happy, for now. She has learned a lot about the industry in the last couple of months, going to publishers and showing her portfolio. She's currently drawing up some concept sketches for a great little story, plus, she thinks there isn’t a big market for the type of artwork she likes to do in the children’s book industry. They don’t like retro very much (side note: dummies!). So now she is looking at other avenues like advertising and editorial illustration to get her started.
But for now, she is studying full time, earning her Diploma of Arts: Illustration. With only 3 weeks of classes to go, she will be finishing up soon and beginning her fabulous, fun-filled journey to becoming a full time freelance illustrator and designer. Currently she is working on a few private commissions, some branding/logo projects, some concepts/roughs for a children’s book, and a bunch of school assignments.
Guess what? Melanie loooves drawing and loooves creating fun characters, she loves to be creative. She even has a sort of playful approach to making art: she enjoys experimenting with colours and textures and she likes trying different things. Her sketchbook is her playground (side note: that's so cool to be abble to say that). She also likes to write little fun things about characters; mostly animals because they are the most fun. One day she would absolutely loves to just make books full of her own stories and illustrations. She has one brewing at the moment about tigers and how they like to brush their teeth, and she's also slowly working on an animal alphabet book, they are mostly inspired by Roald Dahl and Graeme Base, two of her idols, but seriously, two of our idols.
Melanie is kind of a newbie concerning the blog stuff, her blog is about 8 or 9 months old. It’s a little archive of her personal art journey as well as being a place to share her news and works in progress. The Bookish Owl name came to her when she had to type something in the ‘blog name’ bit, and she was browsing through some of her DeviantArt comments. One user commented on an owl drawing that she did and said that it looked very bookish. ‘The Bookish Owl’. That’ll do, she thought. And that’s how the Bookish Owl came to be.
And now here's some more informations about and by Melanie that we can't seem to let go! "I like jazz and indie rock music, and I like to read and write silly poems about animals. I also really love food. The gods blessed me with a teeny weeny figure that allows me to wolf down cupcakes and hamburgers without getting much heavier. It’s just awesome. What else? Oh I play videogames, a lot! Probably too much. Lately I’ve been to busy for them though! DOH!"
Now here are the two lastquestions before we let Melanie goes studying how tigers brush their teeth again, even if we really liked her presence here: why did she choose this FML and why did she decided to send an illustration for FML?
"I liked it because it’s one of those moments that sounds as though it could be in a cartoon. It sounds pretty horrific, really – being kicked by a horse, I mean – but I found the story behind it hilarious. I’ve visited many horse trainers in my life (my family writes software for the horse racing industry) and this story just reminded me of all the awful things I’ve heard about people being injured by horses. It’s always horrible and NEVER something to be laughed at.
But I laughed at this one. (sorry!)
I wanted to try something different, and then I noticed an email in my inbox from a while ago that I’d completely missed! Oops! Anyway, I read through it and it sounded like a good opportunity to do just that. The site is also really great and I probably spend way too much time reading some of the stories, they make me laugh out loud and I can’t stop at just one!"
It's a great illustration Melanie, thank you very much!
Melanie's DA is here: http://peridott.deviantart.com/
That's it folks, time to say goodbye, we'll meet next saturday with as specials guests... zombies! Yami.
Remember, if you want to be next published artist send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org which starts with a hello and ends with a goodbye, including your name, age, and a link to your website/blog. If you don't have one, attach some of your drawings. But DON'T send your illustration right away! You need first to get in touch with our cowgirl Alice who will tell you what you have to do!