New! My Feature on the My Giant Strawberry Blog

Just posted today a Sketchbook Conversation with Anne Butera on her website My Giant Strawberry. Take a look and let me know what you think in the comments below...thanks for reading!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Sketchbook Conversations -- a Chat with Melissa Hyatt

Today's Sketchbook Conversation is with Melissa Hyatt. Here's Melissa's story:

I use a sketchbook to capture my ideas, work out compositions and to just play. I am a watercolor artist and surface pattern designer. Many times my simple black line drawings become new designs as in my sea coral and fishy sketches. I love to draw with a Faber Castell Pitt pen for my design work but I also love to sketch in pencil as well.
sketchbook, pen drawing, sketches, Melissa Hyatt, Sketchbook Conversations
watercolor, coral, sea life, Melissa Hyatt, Sketchbook Conversations
In preparing for this blog post I rediscovered several sketches in my sketchbooks that I want to go back and paint, it was like finding buried treasure!
sketchbook, Melissa Hyatt, Sketchbook Conversations
Using a Sketchbook helps me to feel organized as I know where to find my ideas, sketches, notes and color studies too. I also think it helps me to develop my drawing skills, I love to do daily drawing challenges on Instagram, last December I participated in a Advent Calendar drawing challenge. I kept all my sketches and ideas in the same book so i knew where to find them. I hadn’t painted any Christmas designs in at least 10 years so it was a great way for me to work on new imagery. The Robin sketch and painting was one of the pieces that I did for that challenge.
Melissa Hyatt, sketchbook, robin, advent challenge, sketchbook conversations
I sketched these circles while in South Carolina, 
Melissa Hyatt, Sketchbook, circles, Sketchbook Conversations
then painted the design”Grace”, 
Melissa Hyatt, Grace, Sketchbook Conversations
which was the inspiration for the design that I hand painted on my studio floor last spring.
Melissa Hyatt, Studio, hand painted floor, Sketchbook Conversations
I always bring my sketchbook when I travel , you never know when inspiration will find you! My advice is to keep on sketching no matter where you are on your creative journey…
Melissa Hyatt, sketchbooks, Sketchbook Conversations

Thank you, Melissa, for sharing your story and your sketchbooks with us!

Dear reader, you can learn more about Melissa and get in touch:

*Photos in this post © Melissa Hyatt. Used with permission

Hitting the road to share my art in June

Melissa Hyatt art showing Melissa Hyatt

It occurred to me the other day, while I was in my studio painting, that June has shaped up to be a month of me taking my art on the road. One of the main objectives I had upon creating my brand and business was that I want to make the world a more beautiful place by sharing my artwork. It seems that is actually happening.

In 2 days I have a Meet the Artist event at The Pottery Barn store in Southampton Long Island. You may ask "What is that all about?" so I am going to tell you!  I was invited by the Managers of the Pottery Barn Store there to come in and paint (I predominately paint in watercolors), show my artwork, meet customers and offer my products for sale. I am so grateful and excited to have this opportunity. Last month I did a similar Community event at The Pottery Barn Outlet in Riverhead, Long Island,where I worked previously as a Visual Designer. Before I even did the first show I got a call from the Southampton Manager to do a show with them as well.

Of course I said yes! After I pinched myself and thought is this for real? I love the Pottery barn brand and my work is perfect compliment to their brand so it's a great fit. And the staff at both stores has been fantastic to partner with. As I have been busy preparing this week for the show I have reflected on how far I have come in a year.

Last June I didn't even have a website, I had just hired The Wonder Jam to create my branding and website. I had no prints, no notecards, no fabric designed and printed, no pillows, no shop, no Instagram, none of it. Now I all of those things and more. I have momentum. I have an online community of artists to share ideas with. I have taken classes with Make it in Design and Lilla Rogers. I have done webinars, consults with Agents and Designers, made a lot of mistakes but I am learning and growing everyday. It's great.

Now I get to share my work this weekend at Pottery Barn and then on June 25th I am doing a show with my Sister (in law) Mary at the Simsbury 1820 House in Connecticut. Which is a homecoming for me as I grew up in Blooomfield Ct. We will exhibiting our art together for the first time for a month. It's going to be great as well we will be celebrating my Dad's 91st birthday!

I am so honored and thrilled to be able to have these events to share my work. It continues to motivate and inspire me to keep on painting and doing what I love.

Hope to see you out there on the road sometime....

giclee print of "the Crab"

Meet the Artist, who me the artist?

Is this for real? Am I really doing a show at Pottery Barn? Featuring my Artwork? I've done a few group shows, I have a website, and I love what I do but that's about it.Pinch me! I said this earlier this week and I'll say it again! In February I was approached by the Director of the Pottery Barn Outlet (in Riverhead, NY) to be their first Local Artist to come into the store for an afternoon, to show my work, paint and sell my products. I didn't have to think too long about it and my answer was a resounding YES!!! I met with the Managers and we decided a Saturday before Mother's Day would be best. I will be setting up my paints and brushes and supplies in the store. I will be surrounded by my artwork , my prints, my cards and my pillow designs. I will be painting as time allows, answering questions and having fun! I decided to create some new Limited Edition Prints for customers that visit that day to purchase and it's been so fun to do it. They are a smaller size for me 8 x 10, my prints are usually 13x19 or 17x22. This size will work great with some of the frames in the store and I can't wait to display them in their frames. About 3 years ago I applied for a job at Pottery Barn. I have always loved their brand and products. I had just separated from my husband and I needed a change. I really had fun working there, the people were great and the job was challenging. I was first trained as a cashier (hadn't rang on a cash register since college :-)), I also stocked the shelves, did inventory, display work and tons of customer service on the sales floor. I really loved doing the Visual Displays in the store and really liked working with Todd and Amanda the managers of the department. Pretty soon they realized my design skills and I began to do more and more work in that department. It was natural for me with my previous design and Interior experience. But as my Freelance business grew it became difficult for me to juggle the schedule and so i had to leave my job there. But never did I think years down the road they would call me and ask me to partner with them for this event. I am so honored and excited! I will post again with pictures and feedback after May 7th event.Melissa Hyatt_Dogwoof floralMelissa Hyatt event

New Challenges for this Designer

I have been trying to push myself everyday. Sketch something new, paint, update my website, research trends, go to yoga, paint some more, design and oversee a home renovation for an Interior Design client, enter daily challenges and contests with my Art. This week I submitted 4 pieces for the Minted Art Print Challenge for Pottery barn Kids and Teen. I've been following these challenges for months and never had the guts to enter , I did it and I am proud of myself. Yeah me!! check out the minted site.

Independent Artists were challenged by Minted.com to design Art Prints for Pottery Barn Kids and Teen. Minted.com will choose editors picks and sell the winners on their site. The pieces with a lot of votes will rise to the top once the judging begins so the more votes the better!! As well Pottery Barn will award their top picks with gift cards and cash and a chance to be featured in their stores and catalogs. It would be a major accomplishment for this Artist! (You also receive royalties on the sales, good thing because my son Matt's going to college next year!)

Now waiting for results.....if you want to vote on my pieces please do so by 2/29/16 just click the box to the right to go right to my Designer Profile on Minted.com.


Thanks in advance for your votes and your support!




Here are 3 of my entries.....

Big Blue crab

Palm tree

Botanical Dream Big