What’s Your Story? is a monthly series in which we find and talk to interesting people in our local community, whether they run a business, have an interesting job or do something else that we think is worthy of wider attention.
Mesh Studio is an art and design brand and studio based in Brighton and run by Marcelina Amelia, who uses various different mediums to create and sell artwork. We caught up with Marcelina at her studio in Hove to find out more about her and the art of running an independent studio and brand.
HOW DID MESH STUDIO BEGIN LIFE?
Mesh studio came from my DIY approach. Rather than waiting for a dream commission to come knocking on my door I decided to do it myself. I needed an outlet for all of my ideas, as I have a lot of them but little time to see them through.
One day it just clicked in my head – “I need to start my own art brand”. This way I can publish my own magazines, collaborate with other people and basically bring to life all of the things I wish existed. I think I sometimes had a hard time describing myself or what I do as the way I work is very non-linear. Before I start a project I usually write a lot, I photograph, research, mood board, mock-up tiny models etc. and then decide which medium to use.
So it all started over a year ago, I was toying with the idea and then suddenly I just decided to call it a MESH STUDIO as this is how my brain works. I combine all those different pieces of information coming from different mediums, meeting them in the middle to make a final pattern/piece.
It is still very early days but I’m very excited about the endless possibilities it could bring!
IS ALL THE ARTWORK PRODUCED BY YOURSELF?
Almost. It is all designed by me but I have collaborated with a brand HEIHO on a range of flags and cosmetic bags that they have produced. And very recently I have invited my friend Kamila (silKKjewellery) to work on a jewellery line together and I’m very excited by the results!
It will launch online soon at www.mesh-studio.co.uk. But most things are handmade by me, I have someone helping with t-shirts, but I print all of my limited edition screen-prints on paper myself.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE JOB/WORK?
I don’t want to sound cliché, but creating is like air to me. I just feel so happy that I can finally do it full time! I love making, and I love this feeling of excitement and freedom, I feel like I am in a state of endless possibilities.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE THEMES AND INSPIRATIONS IN YOUR ARTWORK?
My first line of t-shirts was heavily inspired by women’s empowerment. I seek inspiration everywhere; from my childhood memories to polish folklore to Catholic iconography. But mainly my inspirations come from my feelings. For me, feelings are difficult to convey in words.
My latest series are very much about wellness and self-acceptance. Mental health is an important subject for me too. But it is never too serious as I like the juxtaposition and contrast. For example, this is the summary of the story behind my latest screen-print ‘Sunbathing’: “I was sitting at the beach with my partner in crime, aka Wild Beaver, when we came up with this idea. Letting our bodies soak in the sun, we thought of the Broad City episode about seasonal affective disorder and it all clicked together. I’m still considering buying a ‘Sad Lamp’, all the while hoping this print will help me cure my seasonal depression.”
DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVOURITE MEDIUMS/FORMATS?
Drawing is always a favourite for me, but I do also love screenprinting, it’s quite magical.
WHAT MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO WHILE YOU WORK?
I love listening to podcasts, ‘Art for your ears’ by Jealous Curator is my favourite. I did have a phase of listening to podcasts about minimalism. I like audiobooks too, my recent reads include: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and Your Inner Critic is a Big Jerk by Danielle Krysa.
I really like it here, it is calmer than London but has a lot of going on too. Also, it seems like people are about 80% happier here. I have a sponge personality so I do like to be surrounded by positivity and open-mindedness. I do love London but after 7 years of living there I felt like a tuna in a can.
WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS FOR MESH STUDIO?
Hopefully, it will grow and I will be able to do more and more! I’m hoping to expand, meaning more products, more collaborations, more events, more possibilities. My dream would be to have a studio/gallery space where all the magic would happen and people could come in/join.