We are so excited to introduce one of our newer artists to join Art Wow… Pearl & Clover! This Bedfordshire based artist creates unique designs that clash both colour and pattern to create bold and vibrant designs! The work created by Melinda, the founder and creative behind Pearl & Clover, combines traditional subject matter, such as typography and florals, to create bold and striking designs! Below is a Q+A with the designer herself to give you an insight into the woman behind Pearl & Clover…
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your name? Where are you based?
My Name is Melinda Verallo-Fleming and I am based in Bedfordshire. I am founder and Designer of my business, Pearl & Clover, which I started in 2019.
What does a typical day look like to you?
I work part time, 3 days a week. Those days can vary quite a bit – from designing new ranges and products, making up orders and posting them out. There is always business admin and finances to think about too. When I am designing, I am usually at my mac as I am digital print designer, so I start everything on my computer.
How would you describe your style of work?
My work is pattern filled! It often incorporates print mixing and bold colour. My best-selling print is a bright floral with added elements of leopard print. I also like to add metallic and neon to my work to really make it pop.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given in life?
Good question – I think it has to be ‘be yourself’. I think it applies to my creative work life too, as you have to find your handwriting and be true to it. Don’t worry about what other people are doing.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by many things. When possible, I love to visit grand gardens, art galleries, interesting buildings and even zoos! I think being inspired is a mind-set. I try to embrace it when I feel full of ideas. In reality there are also times, particularly recently with all the restrictions, when it’s hard to be inspired to create.
Is there a piece of artwork on Art Wow that you are most proud of? Why?
Tough question! I think it’s hard to choose as my designs each mean something different to me. Saying that, I will always be proud of my ‘Let That Shit Go’ range of products. I remember finishing the design and thinking, you’ve created something special.
If your artwork were music, what would it sound like?
Very danceable and a crowd pleaser. Something you have to get up and have a bop too! Perhaps Prince’s ‘Raspberry Beret’ or Whitney Houston’s ‘I Want to Dance With Somebody’.
What artist, past or present has inspired you?
I have always enjoyed Raoul Dufy’s work as well as many of the Dutch Masters.
Who are your biggest influences?
Before setting up my own business I was a print designer in the UK high street fashion industry for 10 years. I will always be influenced by my love of fashion print design. Some of my favourite designers for print and embellishment are Vivetta, Schiaparelli, Barabara Hulanicki and Celia Birtwell.
What was the last gift you gave someone?
It was my husband’s birthday recently. One of his gifts was a ‘make your own’ Lego photo frame!
How did you get started as an illustrator?
I knew I wanted to pursue a creative career. I took Art GCSE and I subsequently went on to take Art and Textiles in 6th form; that lead to an Art Foundation course and a Degree in Printed Textiles. My first foray into digital design was in school when I decided to explore Adobe Photoshop. I ended up teaching the other students a bit about it!
If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
Clouded Leopard! They are so beautiful – Google it, you won’t be disappointed!
How did you develop your distinct style? Was it an experimental process?
To be honest, I still feel I am developing it. It is sometimes hard to stick to one look. I love a mish mash of motifs and patterns.
What have been your biggest creative challenges to date?
When I finished maternity leave in 2019. I really doubted my ability to design; it was hard as I hadn’t really been creative for about a year. I was very nervous that the design world had moved on without me. I didn’t need to be worried. It all came flooding back and I quickly gained my confidence again.
In one word, describe how art makes you feel.