Melinda Josie: Three Cats in a Heap

Released Tuesday, May 15, 2012

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Three Cats in a Heap, by Melinda Josie.
15% of the sale of this print goes to 826 National.

Melinda Josie is a Toronto-based artist and illustrator. Utilizing traditional mediums, Josie explores themes of folklore and fantasy in the realms of everyday reality.  Growing up in rural Canada, Josie's work recreates the natural surroundings that shaped her formative years. She is currently working freelance illustrating children's books, editorial work, creating textile designs, and making fine art for gallery shows and commissions.
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About the print:
Three Cats in a Heap was created as a commission. I'd been asked to illustrate the three cats belonging to the client's friend.  Most of the image reference I'd been given showed the cats piled atop one another, so I tried to find an interesting composition to pile them on top of each other while still leaving each one recognizable.

This print is available in multiple sizes. It was digitally signed by the artist. The 8x10 and 11x14 prints are numbered by The Working Proof. Learn more here.


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What has inspired you recently?
I'm always inspired by trips out in to the country. I grew up in rural Ontario, and it's a comforting place to go back to. I often bring a camera with me out on walks and take reference photos. I use a lot of natural imagery in my work as a result. I also draw a lot from folklore, especially traditional children's tales and illustrated books.

Why did you choose to pair with 826 National with your print?
I've only recently become acquainted with their organization; I first discovered it while on a trip to San Francisco by entering the 826 Valencia Pirate Supply Shop. There is a writing workshop for children held in the back of the store where children can work on their own creative writing projects under the guidance of some very talented writers and teachers. The organization nurtures the creativity that is so much easier to tap in younger writers. The work that we were able to see while we were in the shop was pretty remarkable for a group of students between the ages of 6-18. I wish that there had been a similar organization for me growing up. It would have helped me a lot with future projects, especially the children's book(s) I hope to write one day.

How have you seen art transform the world around you?
Absolutely. Every day. It brightens our home; as well as our streets and galleries. It's a very powerful medium.

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If you could pick one artist to mentor you, who would it be?
I would probably have Albrecht Dürer mentor me. He had such a strong grasp on recreating realistic fur and feathers in creatures through watercolour, my preferred medium. Some particular favorites are Young Hare, Little Owl, Muzzle of a Bull, and Wing of a Roller.

Who are some artists you think people should know?
Some of my absolute favorites are:
Shary Boyle
Naomi Yasui
Christopher Silas Neal
Team Macho
Tatsuro Kiuchi
Heather Goodchild
Howie Tsui
Julie Moon
Megan Whitmarsh

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