Madeleine Stamer is an illustrator, exhibiting artist, visual arts teacher, mum to two, and the woman behind Little Circus projects and collaborations. Another woman multi tasking to the max! I’m delighted to feature Madeleine’s creative space and journey on this week’s installment of Space to Create.
Madeleine’s wonderful art is fun, bold and bright and her style is distinctive and immediately recognisable and like many creative souls she says that there was never a moment that she decided to become an artist, it was just her destiny.
Where do you live?
My family and I live a hop, skip and a jump from St Kilda, Melbourne Australia. We are the south side posse!
We’ve recently renovated our little edwardian brick terrace, it’s a happy little home and we love it! We completed the reno on the sniff of an oil rag but I am proud of my husbands ingenious efforts but not so proud of my incessant delegating skills. Our dining room also doubles up as my studio but I heard a whisper that I may score a custom built studio outside if I play my cards right.
Where do you create?
I paint most of my work on our dining room table. It’s a large 100 year old victorian table full of character. It was handed down to me by my parents. It was in pristine condition before I claimed it but it now has paint stains, black ink spills, Stanley knife cuts and a few random kid scribbles on it. My 4 year old daughter Ada often keeps me company by setting up a little drawing booth at the end of the table while I’m working.
We have a lovely double sash window in the dining room that unfortunately overlooks our neighbours side wall, the view is a little less than ordinary. They have a large window that overlooks our window. Their window is covered in aluminum foil which beckons me to think they are up to something unlawful but my husband is convinced that they are breeding turtles?! Go figure!
When do you create? Is it a full time job?
I don’t work conventional hours because of freelance work, processing of orders and creating new art plus domestic parenting duties. I’m also an art teacher but I’m currently on long service leave for the duration of 2013. Basically I work weird and wonderful hours. It’s all about juggling work and family and somehow as if by magic, my husband Karl and I manage to keep our heads above water.
What path led you to this creative place?
It was in the blood from the get go. It was never decided upon that I would be an artist, I always knew it was my destiny, truth be told there was no other option.
I’ve always supported my studio work with part time employment which led me to an art technician position in an independent girls school in Melbourne’s inner east. At the time I loved working with the staff and realized how beneficial it was to build upon my product knowledge and bounce off other creative minds. With encouragement from the wonderful staff and students I eventually completed a bachelor of teaching.
I am passionate about creating art with young children and working within a team setting. I think it’s really rewarding, challenging and humbling for artists to be part of a team or collaborative process. It allows you to offer your creative skills and heightens your ability to listen and learn from others across all age groups. It’s good training for the soul.
What’s your elevator pitch? How do you describe what you do?
I am a former ceramicist that turned to illustration who embraces folky old school techniques in a modern world.
How would you describe yourself in six words?
Fiercely loyal, honest, juvenile, warm, fuzzy.
Where do you find inspiration and motivation?
The extraordinary in the ordinary.
What are the essential items in your workspace?
My brushes, good quality paper, black ink, water colours and gouache.
What advice do you have for aspiring creatives?
Be original and resilient, collaborate, share, expect long tricky hours and work hard, stay true.
Do you have a dream that you’d love to fulfill?
One day I’ll fulfill my dream and travel to Mexico in particular San Miguel de Allende. I want to soak up the culture, the beautiful landmarks, the architecture, the food, the folk art and meet and work with the artisans. It’s been a beautiful yearning for a long time.
Thanks Madeleine for inviting us to virtually join you around your lovely big old table. You can see more of Madeleine’s work and connect with her here:
If you’d like to catch up on something you’ve missed in this series you can find all the Space to Create posts here.