Whether embroidering for ethical clothing company Gloria Dulcie, designing wedding invitations for their nearest and dearest or helping PEDESTRIAN.TV look its bloody best, artist Marli Blanche finds inspiration everywhere.
“I’ll be inspired by a beautiful meal, walking around big trees, thoughtful menus, picnics on an orange floral mat by the bay, sparkly fashion, thick vintage typography, well-thought cinematography, endless Pinterest boards, dancing to disco and singing to jazz,” she says.
As part of Pedestrian Group’s design team, Marli balances her own creative instinct with briefs across sites like PEDESTRIAN.TV, Refinery29 and ViceAU.
We sat down and had a chat about balancing creativity with commercial and editorial work, and how there’s nothing like a deadline to cure creative blocks.
What is your preferred art medium?
I’ve never really stuck to one art medium. It took me five-and-a-half years to finish uni because I just wanted to try every minor I possibly could (I’m talking journalism, music, sculpture, marketing, animation, photography, acting, dancing, musical theatre, drawing, architecture, film, and writing).
Even after I graduated, I ended up going to Jazz school for six months just to give it a try, before finally falling into design school. I’ve got all the eggs, in all the art medium baskets.
What does creativity mean to you?
Creativity is creating something from nothing. Creativity is discovery.
What initially inspired you to pursue a creative medium?
I’d be really, really bad at anything else.
What does your creative process look like?
It changes with every brief. Sometimes I’ll see something around the city or on Instagram and try and see if I can learn how to do that certain technique. Other times an idea will come straight to me because I’m really inspired by the content. Other times I’ll be pacing back and forth in the lounge room like a madwoman trying to come up with an idea.
The other day I dreamt I was drawing something and I woke up and added to a project I was really stuck with and it got the design to where it needed to be. Once I have the idea, I’ll usually start playing around with colours and drawing, making a rough map of how it will look. Then I get some type in there and she’s good to go. Recently, I’ve been really pushing myself to play with type so I’ll start with that and then create minimal elements around to make the type pop. It really changes with every project!
What piece of work are you most proud of? Can you describe the story behind it?
Two of my good friends are getting married at this amazing heritage site in Tasmania and I designed their invite. All painted on photoshop complete with the venue, disco balls, champagne and little ducks. It took me days and I was so happy to be making something for someone who I adore and not for anything commercial. I was incredibly proud of the finished picture.
I also had the privilege to design the opening image for the launch of the We Are Many campaign for Getty Images and Refinery 29, an initiative to create stock photo libraries that will spotlight multiple underrepresented communities in Australia. A real pinch-me moment after graduating four months prior, then having my design all over the launch!
What are the essential tools you use to help your work come to life?
I use my Wacom for drawing on the computer, I would be lost without that little thing. My Galaxy Buds to get me in the zone whenever I need that extra juice to meet a deadline. I love how easy they are to link up when I’m creating on the go. I’ve recently bought a scanner for my home office which I’m really enjoying playing with. That’s one thing I miss with designing full-time, playing around with physical art. It’s that sense of “play” that I’m loving having back in the day-to-day.
What are some of the biggest challenges that come with creating?
Creative blocks. They are the absolute worst, sneaky little so and so’s who pop up in your brain and just completely stop you in your tracks.
Usually fixed by a fast-approaching deadline and chucking some random things on a page.
Also, tricky clients and making sure you’re creating something they want whilst still keeping your integrity. Sometimes you really have to be a mind reader.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start creating visual art?
Consume beautiful things. If it’s really something you want to do, immerse yourself in it. And I don’t mean research the crap out of it, I mean immerse yourself in doing it. Try everything, and I mean everything. If you find you don’t like one thing, find something else and then do that. Don’t waste your time with people who make you feel like you’re not meant to be there. If you have a passion for something then you’re meant to be there.
To read up on other artists and their stories, head on over to our Going Beyond hub.
Feeling inspired? Check out the vast range of devices in the Samsung Ecosystem for all your creative needs — so you can be you, your way.