Mel Macklin is a kitsch-smitten, fairytale-fancying, pop-femme picture-maker from Melbourne, Australia.
Have you always been creative and artistic?
Always. It was my Auntie's fault. She told me one day that I was getting rather good at keeping in the lines of my colouring book and that I'd be a great artist someday.
I also remember very early on understanding that photographs could make good copies of real stuff, but in drawings anything was possible- the Greek gods and fabulous beasts I was obsessed with were real in my head and suddenly, on paper too! I never lost that sensation of being transported somewhere else, of suspending belief... It's like an addiction for me: the more impossible things I make, the more I want to make!
How would you describe the style of your work?
I've always felt closest to Pop Surrealism. I get asked a lot if my characters are self-portraits... They're not directly, but in the same way that Cindy Sherman explores her alter egos in her photography, my girls are all a little piece of me. I call them my 'pop femmes', because it most accurately describes the visual soup they float in. They are adventurous, mischievous, well-dressed, confident, mostly good-intentioned Lolitas, though they do have a weakness for things unabashedly kitsch and gaudy. Oh, and they always have fabulous hair, though I'm pretty sure most of them cut their own bangs with blunt kitchen scissors.
What’s in your pencil case and what’s your favorite tool?
As a digital painter, I mostly use a Wacom graphics tablet, with a slim-barrel stylus in Photoshop CS6. I have weathered and spit-shone and worn them both to fit me like a second skin!
Who is your favorite superhero?
Sailor Moon gets my vote with her impossible tresses, love of doughnuts and penchant for afternoon naps. Close second is Jake from 'Adventure Time'. I wouldn't mind me some extendable arms... Or bacon pancakes! ;-)
If you could have one super power what would it be?
Oh boy, would I love to freeze time like that fellow from 'Cashback'. I'm not so interested in drawing naked ladies at the supermarket, but it'd be cool to fit a twelve-hour working day and a nap into a single afternoon!
Where do you look for inspiration?
I always find this question so hard to definitively answer... I literally find my art fuel everywhere!
Like a lot of creative peeps, my brain is hard wired like a visual sponge: I look at stuff everyday, all the time, constantly filing away, collecting... That shade of blue, the gap in her teeth, the turn of an ankle... I feather my nest with snippets like these, carefully select a handful, toss them into an imaginary blender and Frankenstein something new!
Who are your favorite artists or comic book authors?
I have so many... Rébecca Dautremer and Femke Hiemstra are my biggest artspirations. On my list of impossible things, I would love to get lost in either of their illustrated universes, or have a cup of tea with one of their fabulous beasties!
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