Megan Bonnici is the talented visual artist behind Studio Bonnici. We interviewed Megan to find out about how she started her brand, what she is inspired by, and what she’s currently working on. With a wide repertoire in handmade crafts, expect to see Megan’s gift tags, textile jewellery, greeting cards, cardvelopes, art cards, and mini original art pieces at Colour Box Studio’s Spring Pop Up Shop running until the 4th of November. Find more details about the Pop Up Shop here.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
My name is Megan Bonnici and I’m a Melbourne-based Artist, Designer and Art Teacher. I work across many Visual Art disciplines including drawing, painting, printing, mixed media, and yet one of my main fields of specialisation is textile design (particularly knitting, crochet, and machine embroidery). I have a hubby and two young adult kids, and I work as a casual relief teacher at 3 local Secondary Colleges.
How did you start your creative business/arts practice and why?
I began exhibiting and selling my work as Studio Bonnici (after finishing my degree in Textile Design at RMIT in 1988) through the Victorian Arts and Crafts Society’s gallery store on Hardware Street in Melbourne’s CBD. Although I have always created cards and gifts for people and to sell, it was after leaving full-time teaching four years ago that I began to get more focussed on my Arts practice. I began marketing and networking through council contacts and social media and opened an online store through Etsy. The reason for my creative arts practice is therapy and sanity!
Where did you grow up and has it influenced what you create?
I grew up in Werribee and still live in the Wyndham area. I travelled a lot overseas, interstate, and in the Warrnambool area with my family in my early years. Although all this travelling has some influence, it is mostly my Mum teaching me how to knit, crochet, sew, and design that gave me a love for Textiles. Being a Mum, I made lots of kids clothes, and as I wasn’t working, I had time to make presents for family and friends. Presently, a major influence on what I create is a desire to use all the resources I have in my studio that take up so much precious space!
What is your current project?
Preparing giftware items for the Pop Up Shop has been my current focus, but now I can begin the next task of painting the blank canvases in our garage which I have wanted to do for many months. I am also holding some workshops in Creative Card Design and Handmade Giftwrap at the Pacific Werribee Shopping Centre (in front of BigW) on November 26 and 27. These are going to be great fun, and you can pre-book through Eventbrite or come on the day.
Who or what is your inspiration?
With a passion for Textile Design, it is not surprising that I am heavily influenced by artists and designers whose work celebrates pattern, colour and surface decoration (such as Gustave Klimt, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, William Morris, Toulouse-Lautrecc, Kaffe Fassett, John Olsen, Margaret Preston, Emily Pwerle, and Sue Anderson just to name a few). However, my main influence is the natural environment. The colours, patterns, textures, shapes, stories and contrasts in nature never cease to amaze me.
Where do you feel most creative?
I feel most creative when I am absorbed in my work, such as painting, drawing or printing in my studio, knitting on the couch, or participating in collaborative street art projects. I am very interested in getting into street art and feel very creative working with stencils, tape and spray cans!
What can visitors expect to see from you in the Colour Box Studio Spring Pop Up Shop?
I have on offer cute gift tags for just $1 all the way through to textile jewellery, such as ‘Fabric Mayhem’ cuffs and necklaces for $30. There are many different types of greeting cards for sale, such as my ‘Cardvelopes’ for only $4 and Art Cards which feature original Lino prints for $6. I am also selling some mini original art pieces for $20. These look great framed and are terrific value.
Where can we see more of your work?
Etsy Store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/StudioBonnici
I tend to put different things on these various sites. If you’re interested in textiles, I have a book available through Blurb or Amazon called ‘Yarn Crazy’ which you can also download as an ebook for a couple of dollars if you have an iPad. More info can be found on my website 🙂
Find handmade goods from Studio Bonnici and other local makers at Colour Box Studio’s Spring Pop Up Shop located at VU at Metrowest in the heart of Footscray.
Where: VU at MetroWest, 138 Nicholson Street, Footscray, VIC 3011
Open: Tuesday-Friday 9.30-5pm, Saturday 10-4pm
Dates: 7 October – 4 November 2016
Getting there: 5mins walk from Footscray Train Station and Tram Stop, limited on street free parking, paid parking available at Footscray Kmart.
Find out more information here.