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Meet the Maker; Slipped Ink, Nolasean and Melissa Donne

Meet the Maker

Find out more about three of our stallholders that create artwork and prints…

Market stall setup

This week we spoke to Slipped Ink, Nolasean and Melissa Donne Studio, three of our artwork-making stallholders. They each create beautiful prints for the home, so you can bring something unique to your living space.

We asked them about their love of art and found out about their inspirations and why they love markets.

Read our Q&A below to find out more:

Pedddle: You each create beautiful artwork – what inspires you?

Slipped Ink: Genuinely, it’s just the sheer amazing strength and fragility of the female form – I just find it fascinating that we are these masses of flesh and softness, and yet we pack everything into it: our vulnerability, our struggles with the self, trauma, joy, sensuality and sexuality, our lifelong learning – it’s all in there and shapes how we move, how we use it, and how see ourselves and each other. It’s just the most gorgeous of creatures!

Nolasean: Music surprisingly is a big influence when I work. I feel it sets a rhythm and mood for you. Art and music are very much entwined this way.

My other inspirations are my art books, such as collage history books and DADA collages mixed with popart. I love getting inspired by others’ work.

Melissa Donne Studio: I am greatly influenced by nature and botanical illustration, as well as colour in all its forms. It inspires me daily and directs much of my creative practice.

I love to create bold and clashing colour combinations that make a statement and create artworks that will brighten up the home!

Pedddle: What’s new for your business and what have you been working on lately?

Slipped Ink: I currently sell original artworks only (I’m working on getting prints of the artworks – my business head knows that this is something I need to do, but my heart-head also tells me that there’s no going back once an original is sold!).

My latest collection received a lot of really lovely and engaged commentary: Metal & Dust was a long journey for me – I am not the most patient of artists, I create and either keep or bin – and rarely redraft! I’m a little ruthless in the process, but for this collection I planned out and wrote up the whole concept before even picking up a paint brush.

This collection taught me patience most of all, because there was a lot of ‘layer and leave’ elements to it and delicate moments which could go horribly wrong if I did not be still and soak into it for a while. It’s a collection full of texture and nuances that I hope people love.

I wanted to create a really visceral experience for someone looking at them on their walls. There are A4 originals, A3 originals and three canvas pieces that come with their own poetic interpretation which I am especially proud of, but I need to figure out the packaging and posting of them safely before I can release the canvases onto my site.

Nolasean: ‘Sundance’ is one of my best selling prints at the moment, and I only have 50 left! I only release limited edition runs to keep the collection fresh with new work, so I’m currently working on a full monochrome set of 23×23 prints.

Melissa Donne Studio: I am currently in the process of new product development, and recently have been working on Risograph prints – a series of three inspired by abstract floral designs.

I have also just released a collection of fun stickers, designed to adorn laptops and notebooks etc.

Finally, I am in the process of producing a collection of Fine Art Prints, which are printed on beautiful textured archival paper and feature floral
illustrations.

Pedddle: Where did you first become interested in the skills it takes to produce your products, and how did you learn them? 

Slipped Ink: I first started drawing almost three years ago now, as part of recovering from having a mastectomy and dealing with the trauma of that and the loss of my mother – not wanting to get all depressing here but it’s genuinely where it started.

Focusing in on the female body and learning how to let my eye guide my hand was all part of the healing process for me, and relearning my own body; the innate sensuality it has, regardless of what it looked like. 

I learn by trial and error – I watch and freeze clips of contemporary dancers and try to copy their movements on paper, trying to remember the feel of when things come out right and the feel of when it doesn’t, and trying to figure out the difference. 

I’m not much of a student when it comes to creativity – I go in blind, I tend to just go at it and see what I can self-teach through the experience of just trying things out.  

Nolasean: University was where I first got into what I’m doing now. I use collage to tackle most projects, and it as a starting point, as its more about following your intuition and mood as you search through your clippings.

Melissa Donne Studio: I have a background in Art and Design but am entirely new to digital illustration. After my A-levels I embarked on a BTEC in general Art and Design and became interested in Fashion and Textiles, so followed a degree in Fashion Design, followed by a number of years in academia in completely non-creative subjects.

However, I was drawn back to making following the birth of my son, and I’m now illustrating full-time which is the dream!

Lots of hard work and practice have got me to where I am and I’m constantly pushing myself to learn new skills and hone my craft.

Pedddle: What first made you consider selling your products at markets? 

Slipped Ink: Going to them! I love markets, the whole feel and experience of it. And definitely my friends inspired me – they encouraged me to do it, to put myself out there and not just be on social media. 

People really want things that are made with authenticity, and they want to have an interaction or a connection with who they are buying from. The markets 100% do that for both the seller and buyer. Not everyone would look at my artwork online and go “sure let’s have a naked woman on the wall”, but when they actually see them and flick through them in their own hands, and through their own gaze, it sparks more intrigue for them and kind of takes the taboo out of it. You can’t get that purely from looking online at them.

Nolasean: My wonderfully supportive husband encouraged me to get into market selling. He’s encouraged and supported me from the beginning, and often helps me research too. We thought it would be a good way to widen my audience and meet new people – and it’s great!

Melissa Donne Studio: Before becoming a maker I used to visit a lot of markets as a customer, and always felt it was something I wanted to do myself.

I sometimes chatted to makers asking how they had got involved, but I hadn’t really started pursuing my dream of creating products myself. When I did start making, I knew that selling at markets was on my wishlist.

I applied for a number of markets before being accepted for my first fair at Christmas last year and I followed it with a few others before unfortunately lockdown commenced. But I will definitely return to markets one day.

Pedddle: We love markets too (funnily enough)! What do you love most about selling at markets? 

Slipped Ink: Oh gosh, the connectivity between seller and buyer (that can absolutely change a decision on a piece), is so important. There’s something genuinely lovely about that interaction.

The other stallholders really make markets for me – honestly, I have had the most wonderful supportive warmth from everyone at markets and everyone is so willing to help each other out give each other insights and tips and keep each other buoyant on the colder and quieter days. It’s really a great community to be part of.

Nolasean: Definitely the stall buddies! Businesses supporting each other is so lovely to see, as well as women supporting women. I love meeting customers face to face too. And I love spending all of my profits on everyone else’s stuff ha!

Melissa Donne Studio: Definitely – the buzz you get from interacting with customers and the whole market atmosphere is fantastic. I love the bustling
crowds and really appreciate customers who take a real interest in my work. It’s a heady feeling knowing someone is buying something you have created yourself and that they want to put it on their wall!

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