My name is Michelle Fleur and I’m an artist/illustrator based in Fremantle on the south west coast of Australia. I am currently obsessed with sea life, particularly whales, and I enjoy creating work that speaks to the beauty and fragility of our oceans. My medium of choice is watercolor and I spend a great portion of my life painting the incredible creatures that reside in the sea! My hands have been making things ever since I can remember but my sea-life painting obsession only began about 18 months ago. My greatest wish is that my work promotes a respect for our planet and its inhabitants, and I enjoy collaborating with conservation groups, including not for profits and research organizations.
Q: Describe your work in three words.
Whimsical. Watercolor. Whales.
Q: What gets you excited to wake up each day?
I’m always eager to see what I can create on any given day. I also love the anticipation of what I might see or discover on my daily walks. Today I saw dolphins in the river!
Q: How do you stay inspired?
Inspiration is not difficult for me to come by – in fact I probably suffer from too much inspiration! It can be difficult for me to filter my ideas down to one thing. But, as cliché as it sounds, I am constantly inspired by the creatures of this beautiful planet we call home.Life is endlessly interesting!
Q: What has been the most challenging aspect of your work and how do approach it?
I have always struggled with self-promotion, and I can feel really awkward about it at times. I tackle this challenge head on and try to share as much of my process as I can on social media. I’m sincerely more concerned about sharing my work and the message behind it than ‘selling’ my work, but even an artist has to eat!
Q: What is the highest potential of your work and how do you see it contributing to the world?
I’d like for my work to inspire a passion for the natural world, specifically in regard to the sea and marine life. I am passionate about ocean conservation and it is my greatest desire that my work should encourage others to think about the way their lifestyle might impact our oceans. I am less concerned with the artistic merit of my work than I am the potential for it to elicit change in the world.
Q: How does consciousness play a role in your business?
I really consider myself more of an artist than a business person and in this regard consciousness plays a role. I recognize that I can use my skills to advocate on behalf of the environment/natural world. More specifically, I can, and do, offer my skills to organizations and research groups with a focus on conservation. For example, most recently I collaborated with the World Cetacean Alliance on some designs for merchandise to be sold for fundraising.
Q: If you could offer advice to yourself one year ago regarding your entrepreneurial journey, what would it be?
Trust the fluidity of my own routine. I really thrive creatively when I stick to a routine but I also work best when I have space to take long, languorous strolls and give myself permission to daydream. I believe in an organic process guided by loose discipline. Haha! I’m not sure this advice will work for everyone!
Q: What’s coming up for you?
The start of 2017 has been wonderfully busy in regards to family life and travel and varied other commitments, but I am now heading into a quieter period and I will be spending the next few months generating lots of new work!