Today we’re pleased to welcome back Merle of Merle Made Tales. She’ll join us at Brighton Open Market on Sunday 26th November and we can’t wait for your to discover her illustrations too…
Please introduce yourself and your brand….
Hi, my name is Merle Hunt. I’m an Illustrator and my company name is Merle Made Tales. I really liked the alliteration of Merle Made and then Tales because a lot of the inspiration for my work comes from literature, fairytales and folklore. I use those images to create greeting cards, gift wrap, stationary and prints.
How would you describe your style and your creations?
I’d describe my style as traditional – think of leather-bound books from the turn of the 20th Century when illustrations were hand glued to a page by one edge and protected by a sheet of tissue paper. Intricate – I have a triple 0 paint brush, maybe about three or four hairs, that I end up using a LOT! Magical – I always try to imbue my images with the sense of magic I get from the stories I’m inspired by….I’m a big believer in magic.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
There are moments when I’m sitting at my desk and I think, I am really happy right now! Mostly those moments include several things: Most importantly, a piece of work that is going well! But also, something good on on the radio – I’m loving the Fortunately podcast on Radio 4 at the moment – a hot cup of tea and a sleeping cat on my lap – has to be a sleeping cat and not a fidgety or lets-try-to-play-with-your-paintbrush cat! Those are the moments I get through the hard ones for.
What can we expect to find on your stall at The Fairy Tale Fair Christmas Special at Brighton Open Market on Sunday 26th November? And are you looking forward to taking part?
I’m really looking forward to it! There was such a buzzing atmosphere last year when I took part for the first time and it’s just the right time to start feeling properly christmassy. My stall will be filled with a rack of beautiful wrapping paper (for all those presents you’ll find at the fair!) and lots of vintage suitcases and baskets filled to the brim with magical cards, gift tags, bookmarks, notebooks and prints.
Do you have a best seller?
My golden Enchanted Woodland gift wrap is always popular. I also have a painting of the Northern Lights that I’ve made into a greeting card that has been a particularly good seller on my Etsy shop, so I’ll be interested to see how it does at the fair.
Do you have any plans or ambitions for the future?
I want to continue to expand my range of products and generally focus on growing my business over the next year. There are a few tentative plans for this starting in January so keep updated via my social media pages.
Do you have a motto or inspirational quote?
I love the quote by George Eliot: “It is never too late to be be what you might have been.” I’m reaching one of those milestone birthdays next year and keep panicking that I’m wasting my life, that I haven’t achieved anything, that I do things too slowly. I think I speak for a lot of people when I say I feel an overwhelming pressure to be achieving 100% every day. For me, the essence of what George Eliot is saying is, slow down.
Describe your Christmas in 3 words…
Cosy, love and food!
How can we find out more about you?
Please visit my website: www.merlemadetales.com. You’ll find links to my online shop there and all my social media pages. Plus, you can peruse my portfolio of work and read more about the inspiration behind what I do. Thanks for reading!