May 18, 2009

Illohaven : Jump like you mean it

I've never felt such satisfaction as I do when I see my features published in a magazine. It's an affirmation that's hard to describe. Writing is so personal and strange and public but I love it so so much. I don't think I'll ever stop. The other day I was going through my old high school books one last time before finally throwing them out (hoarding days are so over) and I noticed a few short stories and english essays. Sitting back I re-read my words, trying to remember if I had the pull way back at 14. I think due in part to my sheer craziness, the fact that my Pop wanted me to be a pianist and my slightly confused careers adviser, I had no idea what I was supposed to do. None. Thank goodness the pen found me again five years ago.

Last year I discovered the unbelievable joy of illustrating. I asked the art director of Real Living mag (where I worked for three years until a few weeks ago) if I could have a crack at an illo for the mag. I had never done one before, only painted and sketched, but I did two for them (completely in photoshop) that were both published. Happy days I tell you! I haven't done much since, but now that I'm freelancing I have more time to paint and draw and illo, as well as write features and everything else I love. It's paddle pop perfection.

I big-time heart Melanie's illos. I was so excited after I read her answers, I love reading about other people making their passions their jobs. Here she is in her own words...

The highlight of my career was the end of one and the beginning of another... I had a job that looked so good on paper but was so bad for the soul. After returning from my honeymoon while on a lunch break it was all so clear – I needed to quit immediately. Luckily, my husband was so excited to live vicariously through my quitting that he said, "just do it!' and since we planned to start a family asap we figured it would show us what it would be like with only one of us working... so I jumped ship! Later that night we both realized how crazy and scary of a move that was and how I needed to figure out something to add to the income pretty quickly. I wanted to support myself by being creative and even try breaking into the world of illustration and textile design but I needed to figure out how to make money in the interim. Having worked as a jewelry designer for a national brand (previous soul killer) combined with my degree in graphic design I decided to blend the best parts of them together – and voila – super extravagant wedding invitations! And thus, by the seat of my pants – Love Your Invite was born: Plus – extra bonus – along with running the invite business I now had time for crafting and illustration like what you can find in my Etsy shop:

My favourite subjects are whimsical ideas with lots of fine and delicate details...
I love to relax with great documentaries, snuggling with my husband and dog, gardening and oddly enough – trapshooting! (I've been doing it since I was 12 – it's a family thing.)

Top, left to right: You fly me like a kite and Forgotten
Above: Modern Cameo Print, Red Rose


  1. Beautiful work and answers Mel! what's with the amazing amount of soul killer jobs out there?!

    What a lovely blog Kris! I love that Gofugyourself os on your blog role!! I LOVE those girls!!!

  2. Thanks Skylark, that's so sweet of you.
    Gofug gives me the best laugh, every time.