Welcome to our ink stained blog. For us this is a journey and in documenting the creation of our illustrated novella The Waves, the Waves we hope to encourage you to join us. Expect behind the scenes insights, progress reports, tips, musings on creativity and occasional cries for help.
We are twin sisters Abra and Merle Hunt (the Hunt sisters if you will), writer and illustrator respectively, twenty-somethings with a love of colour, pattern and design, making things beautiful, drawing on everything, floral dresses, throwing tea parties and watching TCM on rainy days. We live at home with our cooking legend mother, recent felting master with a penchant for baking brownies late at night and our three cats, the triple T’s: Tiny grandpappy Tom, loveable scruff ball, Taz, aka the crazy cat, our teleporting ninja, and Tigerlily, cartoon cutie with an I’ll eat anything attitude.
The idea for this project came about as a result of our separate struggles to make inroads into the creative industry. It is amazing really, how long it took two fairly intelligent individuals to realise we should combine our not incompatible skills and embark upon this voyage for Vivienne (and that’s not us being random by the way; Vivienne is actually the name of our main character). We want to create something that is beautiful, magical, uniquely our own and by blogging about it we hope not only to keep ourselves motivated, especially on the rainy days when TCM beckons, but also to connect with people who can help and cajole us into achieving our ends and maybe inspire those who are also struggling to fulfil their own creative projects.
I like to say I’m a writer when in reality I work in a local farm shop and if you need to know the difference between an Evita, Juliet and Lord Lambourne I’m your gal but it’s hardly the pinnacle of my creative ambitions. At present my writing practice is frequently haphazard, either scribbled hurriedly during my lunch hour in a notebook with my old, leaky Rotring pen or at home on my sister’s laptop, my desk alternately the arm of the sofa, kitchen table, cat.
When the idea for this project came about if was after a succession of rejections from university hit my inbox and after sobbing on the sofa and cuddling Tigerlily (probably the best cure for depression EVER, even when her face did say I better be getting food as a reward for this!) the resulting emergence of a little perspective and acceptance of the situation yielded the first glimpse of this new venture.
I am passionate about bringing beauty into everything that I do, to create, turn the ordinary into infinite seconds of splendour and an instant of understanding. As a child I invented an entire world, along with my sister, populated with characters we wrote about and drew with fastidious detail. I was initially inspired by writers such as Anne MaCaffrey, Ursula Le Guin, J. R. R Tolkein and the thorough grounding in fairytales I received from my Steiner education. Later the multi-layered characters of Charles Dickens, the plot prowess of Daphne Du Maurier, creativity of Marcus Zusack and Dylan Thomas and originality of Mervyn Peak proved spurs to drive my imagination forwards. My style is lyrical. I am interested in exploring concepts of time and juxtaposing acts of the extraordinary with the everyday and making the mundane magical. I just need to be creative. Simply. And change the world of course but I think the whole creativity thing is just a tad more achievable, for now. Enjoy.
I am an illustrator at the very beginning of setting up myself and my work. I graduated from University with a degree in illustration in 2012 although I have yet to obtain a paid illustration commission. Fact. But this isn’t meant to be a pity party (although I’m the afternoon tea type if anyone does feel like throwing me one) I simply want to be honest with you. As such, the reality of my working practice is a well loved corner of my dad’s living room and an old kitchen table, a ribbons worth of bunting and a hilly landscape of art materials. I work primarily with traditional media: pencils (some well-used stubs of HB’s and B2’s and one treasured mechanical), watercolours, collage, ink and a dip-pen and printmaking. The images I create are most often inspired by stories, my Steiner education, photographs, old paintings, people, the golden age of illustration and beauty. My inspiration, and the media I choose to use, gives my work a strong narrative quality and also, perhaps, something a little dreamlike. My images are very emotive and there is a nostalgic element to them and a slight melancholy which gives it depth. My aim is always to evoke a mood and an atmosphere that the viewer can immerse themselves within; to touch upon their internal world. In that respect my artwork goes hand-in-glove with Abra’s writing which shares the same qualities and this opportunity to collaborate is long over-due. I hope you relish the ensuing creative chaos.