Supporting and promoting local talent from the Mornington Peninsula and Bayside is what MP Made | Scene | Eat is all about, so I’m thrilled to introduce our inaugural feature creative! For our first interview I ventured north to find Bayside artist, Deb McNaughton.
I first discovered Deb and her work back in my market days as I set up across from her stall at one of the Mermaid Sorority markets in 2016. A frequent attendee at markets across the Mornington Peninsula, you can’t miss her vibrant and dynamic artwork. You’d be hard pressed to find a piece of Deb’s art that doesn’t bring joy. But for me, the best part of Deb’s work, is that you don’t just have to display it on your wall. Wear it on your legs, carry the bag, hang it from your ears, rest your coffee on it or pop it on your couch – the range is seemingly endless.
A versatile artist, she’s not afraid to share the love, facilitating workshops where she imparts some artistic pearls of wisdom. Deb’s a force to be reckoned with and showing no signs of slowing down in 2018, with a schedule of workshops planned, the launch of her newsletter ‘Behind the Brush’ and some more products set for release.
In our recent interview, we learned about her beginnings, about finding inspo at the beach + some sound advice for budding artists.
LC : Are you a Mornington Peninsula or Bayside native?
DM : I was born in Moorabbin, raised in Aspendale Gardens and now live with my husband and kids in Aspendale.
LC : How did your journey as a creative begin?
DM : I have always been creative but never considered it as a career until it happened. As a child, I loved drawing cartoons and colouring and as I grew so did my interests. I have tried cake decorating, card making, felt books, sewing, surface pattern and lettering and I will continue to try new things as I continue my creative journey into the future.
LC : Which creative field are you in and what medium do you use?
DM : Visual Arts. I predominantly use acrylic paints and inks but I have also dabbled in watercolour and resin.
LC : Where do you find inspiration for your work?
DM : Everywhere! Since becoming an artist, I look at things differently. I am always noticing pretty colour combinations or interesting patterns in clothing, interiors and my natural surroundings. I spend a lot of time at the beach so you will notice a lot of my work is sea inspired.
LC : What are the biggest challenges you face as a creative person?
DM : My biggest challenge is finding enough time to bring all my ideas to life. I have so many things I want to trial and explore and with only 2 days a week in the studio, my list just keeps growing.
LC : What role do you think the Arts play in our community?
DM : A huge role. Probably more than we even realize. The Peninsula has so many great venues and events on offer to showcase the local talent. From art and craft markets to concerts and street festivals to exhibitions and performances. There is something for everybody.
LC : Do you have any advice for kids wanting to pursue a creative career?
DM : A life without risk is a life half lived. With the help from free social media platforms and the world at your fingertips, what have you got to lose? Believe in yourself and explore your dreams.
LC : Who are your favourite Mornington Peninsula creatives?
DM : I am a big fan of Fi from The Commonfolk Collective, her range of candles are so divine, and Brooke from Bijou the label.
LC : Tell us your favourite place to eat or grab a coffee on the Mornington Peninsula or Bayside.
DM : My current favourite TWO places to eat are Two Farm Girls in Aspendale and Bang Bang in Mordialloc.
LC : A Sunday on the peninsula is best spent…
DM : On the beach with family and ice cream. We have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and there is no place I’d rather be on a lazy sunny Sunday.
LC : Exciting things to come in 2018?
DM : Keep your eyes peeled for some super cool picnic rugs. I am staying pretty tight lipped on this one but stay tuned….
LC : Finally, where can we find you and your work?
DM : My home studio is in Aspendale. You can visit via appointment or book yourself in to one of my acrylic workshops via my website. At the moment my core business is commission work but once my kids start school, I plan to venture out into the world of retail and exhibitions.