Yay! It’s Friday Five time. Today I’m featuring the super talented Michelle Leslie.
Do you listen to music while designing? If you do, what is your favourite genre/band/song?
Sometimes if things get noisy in the studio, I listen music on my headphones to help me focus. Bat for Lashes and French pop from the 60s have been featuring on heavily of late.
How old were you when you realised that you wanted to be a designer?
I’ve always loved drawing and creating. I still have a book about a worm and a mouse that my mum helped my write and illustrate in crayon when I was 5 years old. Also, every envelope and greeting card our family sent was carefully decorated with my drawings and bubble type before it was given away.
When I was 15 I quite liked the idea of being a fashion designer. After a long week of work experience sewing buttons in a clothing factory, I realised it wasn’t nearly as glamorous as I imagined and decided graphic design might be more my thing, and I’ve loved it ever since.
Which artists have influenced you the most?
My inspiration is a real mixed bag. In my teens, I was a big fan of Jamie Hewlett. I used to spend hours scouring the internet for any image of Tank Girl I could find. I’m also heavily influenced by simple Japanese and Scandinavian illustration.
Artists and designers I really admire are Kevin Finn, Rinzen, Audrey Kawasaki, Jessica Hische and Marian Bantjes. Not to mention the lovely folk I get to hang out with every day in our shared studio at Bomba (Angela Mitchell, Leah Dent, Marcus Taylor, Nic Montagu and Minneth Nguyen). They are a constant source of inspiration.
Describe your perfect (non-work) day.
My perfect (non-work) day would definitely involve sleeping in, sunshine, gin & tonic and a leisurely lunch with my favourite people.
Out of all the pieces you’ve created, what’s your favourite?
That’s really hard! My sister’s wedding invitation (the image is below) is pretty special to me because of who it was for.
Her and her partner gave me free reign on the design and Duncan at Mitchell & Dent was kind enough to letter-press them for us. It was a lot of fun seeing the reactions of our friends and family and designing all the bits to go with them like thank you cards and the seating chart. I also hand-painted a giant yellow ampersand on their wall (the reception was in their backyard), made them a pretty piñata to smash and hand-folded over 100 origami love-hearts with fortunes inside for the place settings. It was a real labour of love.
Photos of their wedding are up at First Comes Love.
Photos of Michelle are by Nic Montagu.
Photo of the invitation is by Samm Blake.