Hey everyone, I would like to welcome you to the very first blog in the COVE X COLLAB project, which will see the brand work with individuals over the course of 2018, with the aim of releasing exclusive clothing throughout the year.
I’m delighted to introduce the first illustrator to commit to the initiative, as I welcome the massively talented Lize Meddings to CxC!
Lize is a Bristol based artist, and you might know her as the creator of the hugely popular ‘The Sad Ghost Club’, which specialises in zines, apparel and other various cute looking merch, giving much-needed awareness to mental health.
With a rapidly growing social media following, both with her freelance illustration work and the sad ghost project, Lize is fast becoming one of the most recognisable faces in the UK indie art scene.
I had the chance to send her some questions, which she kindly answered for me, to give you more insight into her work, passions and life!
So I guess the best place to start is your background. How did you get into the art scene?
I studied illustration and graduated in 2012 so I guess that was my introduction? I went to Plymouth College of Art and as I was studying I made friends with a lot of creatives in the area. Friends from my course were making comics, running events, putting on art fairs etc so it was a great way to get involved. And once I graduated I was like, ok, this is what I want to do now. So I just carried on attending events, making work and putting my art out into the world!
Is there a reason for being based in Bristol? In particular, is the art scene strong there?
Erm, not really hahah, I knew I wanted to move to a bigger city and Bristol seemed the logical step. Obviously its’ creativity lured me to it and it’s been really good for business actually. Definitely a good call. The Art scene here is great, I’m lucky enough to know a lot of fellow creatives who are always hosting events and fairs and workshops etc. It’s rife with creativity which I love!!
One thing that jumps out at me whenever I see your work, is the colour palette you mainly use. It makes for very exuberant visuals. Did it take you a lot of experimentation to settle for the choices you go for now?
Yeah I really enjoy experimenting with colours, I think it helps me paint the same things over and over without it seeming too boring hah! And I love painting the same things again and again. I definitely opted for pastel palettes when I was studying as I feel they’re quite easy to work with, so after that I was just trying to keep the feel of pastels without just using light blue and light pink for everything. So yes, a lot of experimentation.
What is your favourite colour if you had to pick one to work with?!
Oh definitely pink. I love pink. Especially if I can also use blue haha. Blue and pink forever.
You are very active in working with various other brands with collaborative efforts. Is it something you look to do as much as time permits?
Yeah like I said I’m lucky enough to know a lot of fellow creatives, so most collaborations have been with friends who want to do something cool! One of my best buds runs a screenprinting business so he’s always up for printing whatever ideas we come up with! If it’s fun and I can draw what I want, then I’m down hahah.
If you had to make a choice, who would you say is your main inspiration when it comes to work? (You can name more than one if there are!)
Oooh tough. I’m really inspired by paint-ladies I follow on Instagram (@helen_dardik, @carolynj are two of my faves) but it’s more for the work ethic than the work itself (but those ladies make beautiful work!) as I am very stubborn and try to just paint how I’d paint. Oh also I’m a super mega fan of Sonia Lazo, their work is killer and there are a lot of similarities between our styles so when I found them on the internet I was like, omg, it’s like me but not me! So we became Instagram friends and yeah, they’re a huge inspiration. Such a powerhouse.
The Sad Ghost Club is massive right now. It’s seen as a really strong community of helping people deal with tough situations in their lives, which is such a positive thing to be responsible for. Do you have any standout stories about anyone who has contacted to say you’ve helped them at a really hard time?
There are no stand-out stories, purely because we’ve had quite a few. And it’s always immensely heartwarming, we read out any nice emails we get in the studio and usually well up and have a lil moment. There’ve been quite a few people who’ve said they found SGC and then were inspired to go and make their own art and tell their stories, those ones are my favourite. We have all the nice emails saved and I can’t wait to read them all when I’m old and get all emotional and nostalgic. That’ll be a fun time hahah.
Do you have a playlist in the studio whilst you work? If so, any standout tunes? Or more to the point, any guilty pleasures?!
So I share the studio with 4 other people, and the one standout album that we all bonded over was Joanne by Lady Gaga. Especially after her documentary came out. If we’re having a stressful day we just whack on ‘million reasons’ and the studio turns into a karaoke booth and it’s magical. I hate ‘hey girl’ though.
What are your plans for 2018 in a work capacity? Any other exciting projects on the horizon?
Oooh, I’m not really a planner so currently, I have no plans, other than just keep it going hah! But business wise, we’re currently working on a sister-club called Sketchbook Club Online which will be a one-stop resource hub for people who wanted to get started with their own creative ventures. We’re compiling all sorts of info we’ve learnt, tips from contributors and more to help bridge the gap between beginners and professionals. So that’s exciting!
Finally, would you have any advice to any aspiring artist looking to make a name for themselves in the art scene today?
I guess the main things is, share your journey. The internet can help you find your community and your audience, don’t worry about waiting until you’re ‘good enough’ to start sharing your work. People love a story, so tell them yours.
Don’t wait until you have a dozen products to open that online shop, don’t wait to get the jobs you want to be doing, do them anyway. Start from nothing and continue.
So here’s the final design, which features a swanky looking tiger in one of Lize’s fave colours, pastel pink!
The end result was perfect, really capturing the pastel style Lize specialises in!
The T-shirts are on a limited run and are available to purchase through our shop website and also in store as of March 17th. They will also be available to purchase through Lize herself (links to her sites below).
If you would like to contact Lize, with regards to commissioned work, purchase any of her freelance stuff or to check her events schedule, you can do so with the following handy links!