A creative from birth, Maisie Johnson from Moree, New South Wales has always loved creating for as long as she can remember. Always a maker, transforming boxes, fabrics or anything she could get her hands on. Now, Maisie who is just 24 years old is the talented artist behind her brand, Mai by Maisie Johnson (@mai.bymaisiejohnson) where Maisie's focus is on weaving and painting. Maisie has a growing number of followers
What was life like growing up in country New South Wales with a creative urge?
I am the baby of the family, I have an older brother and sister and we grew up here together in Moree NSW before heading away to Brisbane for boarding school and further studies. I have loved creating for as long as I can remember - I was always a maker - transforming boxes, fabrics or anything I could get my hands on, drawing up my dream home plans and spending rainy days looking through all of Mums interior magazines. I feel very lucky as my family have always supported and encouraged my creativity from a very young age.
What is your style of art? And has it changed from when you started?My style has definitely changed + grown over the years. I believe as artists you are forever changing and developing your own individual practise. Taking in all that is going on in the world - different trends, colours, styles etc. However my love for colour and the exploration of this has stayed a constant.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I love drawing inspiration from the natural environment, other creatives, makers, fashion and homeware brands. I mostly love working with colours & exploring the way they can influence people's feelings and emotions. I am also very inspired by the many creative women I have come across in my life. I have had 2 beautiful art teachers in particular that have continued to inspire me over the years. The first being Amanda Humphries (local) when I was in my younger years - I remember doing art classes with Amanda at the Moree Art Gallery and having such a strong feeling of wanting to do this for the rest of my life. My art teacher at Stuartholme (Brisbane), Georgina Hooper always encouraged me to trust and pursue my own individual creative style. Even after leaving school Georgina is still a huge part of my life and continues to encourage and mentor me through my art practise. My mum, Helen is another huge inspiration for me. Everyday she lives a creative life, finding beauty in everything amidst all the day to day craziness. The simple things - the way she cooks and presents foods, wraps gifts, picks and displays flowers from her garden and the way she always makes home feel like a sanctuary. I truly believe this is where I get my love for creativity and art from - I have been surrounded with it all my life.
Can you tell us about the creation process?My painting process begins with very loose mark making to provide different forms and shapes to the work with, layer and evolve. I love working with unexpected colour combinations and have more recently been adding gold leafing and stitching into my works to add another dimension.
My weaving process begins with sourcing a collection of fibres - wools, recycled sari silks, roving etc. Bringing these varied textiles together is one of my favourite parts of creating my woven works.
In both my painting and weaving practise I always have my music playing + a cup of green tea or coffee in hand, setting the tone for my space. I never really like to have a strict plan in place for my works - I love to let each piece come together there and then. Watching them evolve is magic. I find creating super calming, rhythmic and therapeutic and I hope that this feeling is portrayed with each piece.
Has your artwork taken you somewhere you never dreamt of or didn't foresee?I have always dreamt that I would live a creative life. So I feel very blessed with the amount of support and positive feedback I have received over the years with my art. I have definitely had lots of ‘pinch me’ moments over the years ! I am super excited to continue on this path and can’t wait to see where it leads.
Where to from here?
The goal is to one day be a full time creative - that would be my total dream come true.. Fingers crossed !!
You can browse all available original artworks by Maisie Johnson here and follow her journey over on Maisie's instagram page @mai.maisiejohnson