Evening Lockettes! Tonight is the VERY FIRST Friday Feature on our new site! Eeek! How are you settling in? Have you found our Shop yet, and our awesome new business resources? We’re not stopping there, oh no, there will be LOTS more coming gradually now, but for the short term we were just too excited not to launch!
So, for our First Friday we just HAD to bring you a special treat. A Feature Artist so Fantabulous and Fantastical her words would sing off the page just like her gorgeous illustrations dance out of her imagination. Who? You ask? Well, snuggle up, because we’ve got you a Fairytale of a Feature with the one and only Marnie Makes!
You’re our firsy Friday Feature on our new site – do you have any other ‘First to do something’ moments you can share with us?
hmmmmm, I don’t think I was the first to do anything in particular , unless you count painting in a rainbow tutu ? Does that count ? Let’s say yes! I was the first person to paint in a rainbow tutu. There. Do I get a badge . Or a rosette ?
What is it that makes you most happy?
Oooooh lots of things ! I’m generally a very happy person . Obviously I’m not happy ALL the time , how annoying would that be? *cough*, but really things that make me happy on a daily basis are my work , the fact that I am actually making a living out of something that naturally falls out of the end of my fingers and isn’t like work AT ALL really makes me very happy . But also: Blue skies, sunshine, birdsong, rainbows, someone making you laugh until you cry, fresh air, chocolate, walking …the list goes on …just things I guess?
Do you have any other non-arty hobbies you can tell us about?
Yes, I am extremely active and yoga is my absolute love , it just helps me so much , it’s mainly fitness yoga , so being upside down features a lot , I love being upside down, it’s my favourite. And I love boxing too , and running ..and anything that releases loads of endorphins. All the Happy really.
Tell us about yourself, what you were like as a girl growing up?
Well , I was very creative , I loved drawing and art , but also drama, loved being on stage , I also liked climbing trees and larking about , but mainly it was all about the art …I would draw and write stories anywhere , any bit of paper I could , and once , when I was about 7 or 8 , when there was no paper available and I was suddenly feeling inspired , I carved, CARVED, with a dart , a DART, a little Alice in wonderland with eight toadstools, into my bedroom wall , with the sentence “ Alice has 8 toadstools. And then I covered it up with the dartboard I had taken off the wall in order to do it . I don’t remember how it was discovered , but it was , and I got into a whole heap of trouble for that , and there was no way I could deny it , it looked like my drawings! So , that’s what I was like growing up …oh dear .
What is a day in the life of Marnie typically like?
Up at 6, kids off the school, maybe go to the gym , maybe not if I am going in the evening, then it’s 6 music on , and then work work work until the kids come home , and start again after tea. That makes it sound so boring , but because I am always working on a few different things at a time , no one day is exactly the same and that makes it always something worth getting up for.
What’s been the highlight of your year so far?
Oh well now that’s easy ! Having my character Doodle Girl published in her first book in May this year and it subsequently being read out on Cbeebies Bedtime Stories in August. To say I am proud of this is a massive understatement . I ‘m still amazed. OOH and when I ran the Art Ninja workshops for CBBC live eventin Birmingham back in July , loved that so much , I used to run art workshops for years back in London , and I miss working with the kiddos .
How would you best describe your working methods, medias and influences?
Okay , so my sketchbook is my best friend , I literally have hundreds of them full of all the stuff in my head, and designs for doodle hearts , and designs for illustrations. With the doodle hearts , they’re first designed (from all the info I’m given) in my sketchbook , then redrawn onto canvas and then painted . So , in that instance I use pencil and then paint (mainly emulsion) and a very VERY tiny paintbrush . But with the commissioned illustrated pieces , they start as a rough sketch based on what the client has asked for (sometimes a detailed brief , sometimes just a few words) then when it’s approved , it’s blown up on my printer and then transferred on to my lovely a2 lightbox so I can line it all out in lovely ink pen, and then I add colour and whatnot …I can work digitally but I don’t love that , so tend to not. Give me a pencil and a paintbrush any day.
Who is your biggest fan?
I genuinely have absolutely no idea !
Do you fangirl anyone? Or have a funny/embarrassing moment because you were star struck?
Well, I don’t know to be honest . I do adore Oliver Jeffers, I love his art as well as his illustration work , and I think if I met him I would be a gibbering wreck. And Sia , my gosh I do absolutely adore her.
Do you have a weakness?
Erm , meringue! Massive , as-big-as-your-head meringues from Selfridges cake dept. I cannot say no. And then I have two and I am a sugar-crazed nightmare for the rest of the day.
If you could be any animal what would you be and why?
A Lima ! I love how they leap/spring with their arms in the air when they want to get anywhere in a hurry ..I wish I could go shopping like that .
You have created so many new beautiful ranges with your designs, what’s your latest item and what’s been your most successful item to date?
Well , my most recent item was my 2017 calendar , featuring 12 of my designs, that’s been an extremely successful item, but my most successful item to date has been my book,Doodle Girl and the Monkey Mystery, and also my colouring short story book, Colour Me Happy. I do also have continuous illustrations which are still popular after 2/3 years , one of those being Rainbow Girl .
What advice would you have given yourself looking back in hindsight?
Work at your own pace , not someone else’s . There is NO rush.
Can you give us a glimpse into the future for Marnie Makes and what’s in store?
So , a second Doodle Girl book in late 2017 , and hopefully another Doodle girl related project slightly earlier. We’re working on lots of things for her , we want her to be GIGANTIC ! I also want to bring out an Marnie makes alphabet range , a second colouring story book, and at present I have 5 different story book ideas on the go . As well as carrying on with commissioned pieces for lovely people , and my own illustrations and ooh !a lovely collaboration with a certain Panda (very excited about that) , so yeah , just a bit to be getting along with ! Its going to be a very busy 2017!
It certainly sounds like it IS going to be a busy 2017 for Marnie! And, we are planning lots here at Lady Lock too! But for now, a big HUGE thank you to Marnie Makes for letting us in to her world and sharing some of her inspirations, advice and plans with us. It’s been lovely 🙂
You can find Marnie online at: