Melanie is a jeweller and visual artist living in the picturesque town of Glass House Mountains on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Much of her work is inspired by the vibrant colours she sees outside her studio window as well as the celebration of colour, festivals and seasons she experienced during the six years she spent living in Japan.
Melanie graduated Queensland College of Art, Griffith University and began her professional life as a photographer. As part of her degree though, she was encouraged to explore and create with other mediums which she continues to do to this day. She furthered her studies outside of the university in silversmithing.
Her current work uses a lot of handformed sterling silver, resin, watercolour and acrylic paints, textiles and ink. She will quickly admit to having a bit of artistic ADHD but wouldn’t have it any other way.
Etsy Store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/melanieaugustinart
How long have you been creating your art?
For as long as I can remember. I was always creative as a kid but just thought it would be a hobby when I grew up, I assumed I would go into a maths-science career. It was my grade 8 art teacher that really encouraged me to think differently and consider art or design to be my future.
How did you get started?
I went straight from high school to study an art’s degree at university. While I was in the photography department I also did subjects in sculpture, graphic design, printmaking, life drawing and others. I loved the idea of not having to be tied to one medium only. I picked up my first photography clients, a local circus theatre group, before I graduated so started freelancing straight away. I have had a number of years off from being a professional creator in my years, mostly to work as a teacher, but paid or not, it’s always a big part of my life.
What is your greatest inspiration?
Colour, colour is my happy place. It’s funny as when I was a professional photographer, I worked mostly in black and white. This was in the pre-digital days, so you only had the choice of what film type you loaded into your camera. It was when I moved to Japan that I started seeing colour differently and fell in love with it. I love how the Japanese use colour combinations that we wouldn’t think would work together and yet they look amazing.
What is the greatest challenge to owning and operating your own business?
The myth of a work-life balance. I have to say that I love what I do that it’s easy to get lost in it. At the same time I have an amazing young daughter that I would love to devote all of my time to, so there are days I feel really torn between the two.
What is the best thing about owning your own creative business?
Without a doubt it would be getting to do what I love each and every day, have it help support my family and to share my passions with others.