Stacey Maree has swapped the beachy havens of the Sunshine Coast for the leafy paradise of suburban Melbourne, and the art community is reaping all of the benefits.
Published exclusively for The Urban Scrapbook
I’ve been creating since before I can remember, so art has always been a big part of my life and something I’ve always done.
If Stacey Maree’s art could be described as magically playful, vibrant, whimsical and inspiring, then you could very well say exactly the same thing about the artist herself. Embedded throughout her works are the personal characteristics of their creator, who so readily exudes the charm of her work.
Stacey is infectiously passionate about her work, propelled by all of the beautiful metaphors of nature. “Nothing in nature blooms all year, so don’t expect yourself to,” she says. I had the pleasure of delving into her creative style, understanding the driving forces behind her work and exploring the ways she uses her art to inspire and enact change.
Here’s what she had to say (the following has been slightly edited for readability):
First question, how do you like to start your mornings?
I like to start my mornings with a warm cup of tea in the bay window of my studio, overlooking my large cactus garden, as I plan out my to do list for the day.
Amazing, how long have you been at your current studio?
I’ve been in my current studio for the past 3 years, located in a leafy green suburb of Melbourne, Victoria. I’m originally from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, born and raised.
What is it about Melbourne that brought you here?
The trees! I absolutely love how green Melbourne is! All the beautiful big oak trees and massive parks always remind me of my travels through Europe. I love all the Victorian buildings and facades, so much character! I’m also lucky enough to live in this city that has a massive art scene and alleyways of graffiti, there’s something for everyone’s art preference!
You’re celebrated as a self-taught artist. What were you doing before delving into the art world?
I’ve been creating since before I can remember, so art has always been a big part of my life and something I’ve always done. It wasn’t until I got selected for showcases and exhibitions that I decided to consider it as a serious career. I decided to take the leap into juggling a small creative business, selling and exhibiting my work, as well as working as a graphic designer.
I’ve always felt a strong connection to nature and hope its beauty is reflected in my work.
Who and what are your biggest creative inspirations?
Nature is my biggest source of inspiration and is a common thread throughout my entire body of work. My work focusses on the delicate form of flora and fauna. I’ve always felt a strong connection to nature and hope its beauty is reflected in my work.
With a heavy theme on flora and fauna, how important is environmental sustainability in your work?
Very important! Which is why I use recyclable and reused materials in my packaging. I also donated a percentage of profits from my bee prints to bee conservation. And for every other print sold, I plant one tree per print through a reforestation organisation that works around the world. I chose their Amazon rainforest project in wake of the recent fires.
Such admirable work Amazing.
What are some of your favourite pieces that you’ve created and why?
Thank you! Caring for the environment is super close to my heart.
One of my favourite pieces would have to be “Wildwood“. I absolutely love owls and mushrooms! It was my first large coloured pencil piece and the very first piece to the “Forest of Mushrooms” series.
Another favourite would be my newest piece, “Nurture of Nature“, which depicts an overgrown watering can, surrounded by daisies and bees. The concept behind the pieces has a lot of environmental and ecological messaging, in a hope to provoke change.
Speaking of change, how do you want people to feel when they see your work?
I hope that people see the beauty of the natural world through my work and a sense of connection to nature. In a hope that they want to care for and protect the environment.
…nothing in nature blooms all year so don’t expect yourself to.
What advice would you give to emerging artists out there who are keen to follow in your inspirational footsteps?
I would say do what you love! If you’re passionate about it then do it! Things take time and a lot of hard work, be patient with yourself and enjoy the journey. After all, nothing in nature blooms all year so don’t expect yourself to.
I love it.
What are some of your next big planned steps in your creative career?
I’ve just finished a big three day Expo at the Royal Exhibition Building for Finders Keepers. I’m planning on having some more exhibitions soon and have just launched my new stationary range, Wildflower Collection. The range includes handmade gift cards, gift tags, notebooks, and wrapping paper.
Keep an eye out for Stacey Maree’s upcoming Melbourne exhibitions by following her on Instagram @staceymaree_art.
Images and artwork courtesy of Stacey Maree and Xero