I've been following Melinda on Instagram for a while and have just fell in love with her illustrations and lettering projects. Melinda was kind enough to let me interview her and feature some of her work.
WHAT IS YOUR WHY
I started Stella + Ink (formerly By Melinda Cooper) just as a creative outlet. My husband was working away a lot at the time and I wanted something to do in the evenings when my kids went to sleep. What started off as me drawing and learning how to use Illustrator has now progressed into so much more!
In addition to graphic design and lettering projects, I want to keep on creating different things and push myself outside of my comfort zone. Releasing my ebook, Bright Sparks, was absolutely terrifying as it was so much of 'me' that I was putting out there. The thing is though, that's where the magic happens: outside of your comfort zone. Something I've been saying a lot lately is 'fear has killed more dreams than failure ever has' and I think once you stop letting fear control you, you open yourself up to a world of possibility.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
I always get so awkward talking about myself - probably because I'm actually a big socially awkward dork! I've got two kids and a husband who I'm pretty fond of and we're hoping to add a puppy to our brood in the near future. At the moment, Stella + Ink is my part time job and being a mum is my full-time job, so my spare time is pretty limited but when I'm not drawing or making a mess, I love to bake and crochet and debate politics with anyone who will listen.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
My trusty Macbook is probably my most used tool, however, almost all of my work starts off on paper. I love mixing digital art with paint and photography, and my process usually starts with a sketch or brush lettering which I then edit in Illustrator or Photoshop.
I think there's this idea that you need certain brands or tools to create, but you can really work with anything if you have an open mind - some of my lettering has been done with an old eyeliner brush and $2 kids paint!
CREATIONS & INSPIRATIONS
A lot of my inspiration comes from having my head in the clouds and being a general daydreamer. I've always been quite imaginative (which is part of the reason I want to write a novel) and particularly love anything related to space or make believe. I think some of my favourite creations so far are my Bottle of Encouragement and Suitcase Full of Memories illustrations which are featured in my ebook. They're so simple but quite quirky and fun.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR STELLA + INK
Future plans... I'm more of a dreamer than a planner and never quite sure what ideas my crazy head is going to come up with next! But at the moment I'm planning a new ebook, a small range of prints and cards (maybe even a journal or two) and finally getting stuck into writing that novel.
I'm also working with a few amazing women on different products which I'm so excited about. Being a creative can sometimes be lonely and the best feeling is when your vision aligns with someone else's and you can create something together.
*All images in this post are property of Melinda Cooper of Stella + Ink
Melinda, thank you for sharing a behind the scenes peek at Stella + Ink!