Kate's Friends: Melinda!
Where I live, there are finally signs that spring is here to stay! This time of year always gets me in the mood to come out of hibernation and visit friends. Today, I am visiting my sweet and talented friend, Melinda Josie.
Melinda is an artist and illustrator and I always love peeking in to see what she’s working on. Her work mesmerizes me, her subjects are so thoughtfully portrayed, I find I am drawn to all the detail she puts into her pieces. You have to seek her work out for yourself!
She invited me into her home and studio. We played dress up and sipped tea. Kind of the perfect spring weekday morning!
What is something amazing you've found recently that excites you?
I found a company up in M'chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island that is run by an indigenous woman, who makes the most beautiful watercolours by hand, using Canadian materials, such as tree sap and Manitoulin honey as binders. They come in the most incredible, vibrant colours! I was so excited when I found out about BEAM paints, and it feels really nice to support a business run by an indigenous woman.
What would your perfect day in Toronto look like?
It would probably be a spring or summer day, warm enough to go for a nice long walk. I’d probably head somewhere in my neighbourhood for a coffee, and continue to walk down Dundas to Kensington Market or Chinatown to grab a snack or just to look around. I’ve got some friends who work around that area, so I’d probably grab lunch with them, then would continue down to the lake to sit for a bit or put my feet in the water if it’s warm enough. To end the day, I’d grab some groceries and produce along Roncesvalles Ave on my walk home, then make a nice dinner or BBQ and sit out on our rooftop patio.
Do you have a great book/tv show/movie you'd recommend?
I’ve been trying to read more (actual) books lately, (I listen to a lot of audiobooks while I work). I’ve got a few sitting on my bedside currently; including a couple by local authors Sheila Heti, (Motherhood), Claudia Day, (Heartbreaker), and Heidi Sopinka, (The Dictionary of Animal Languages). I’m also sort of obsessed with the Paul Thomas Anderson movie ‘Phantom Thread’. The soundtrack is so haunting, and the visuals in that movie are magical.
What are you grateful for today?
I’m grateful for my health and for the wonderful, supportive creative community around me.
How do you express yourself with colour?
I love a good bit of colour, especially a nice bright vermillion red. It can do a lot to boost your mood! I tend toward black and grey in the winter months, but having one little accent of colour can go a long way to making me fee less blah.
When life gets busy, what do you do to find your centre again?
I always try to make a bit of time for myself. I’ll probably still try to do something creative just to reset myself; maybe it’s baking or knitting. Or just going for a good walk to clear my head a bit. It’s good to give yourself even just a little bit of personal time, regardless of how busy you are. It can help you continue to be more productive when you do get back to work again.
Do you have any projects - personal or professional - you are looking forward to in the near future?
I would love to do some personal work again. It’s been a while since I did a show of my artwork in a gallery, and I have some ideas for work I’d like to develop. I’ve also been thinking about writing and illustrating a children’s book, especially now that I have two young nieces. It’s been nearly 10 years since I illustrated my last one, and I’m feeling a bit of a pull to do another.
What does "wear your joy" mean to you?
To me, I think that to ‘wear your joy’ is to wear something that makes you feel positive and confident in your own skin. Sometimes, wearing something comfortable and colourful can go a long way in making you feel great. Kate’s designs are the perfect example of this— they’re light, comfortable, and the colours are lovely. The fact that her business is a local, female-run, fair-trade business makes me feel great about supporting her, too.
Thanks for the fun hangs Melinda!!
Interview photographed by Celine Kim