last year on a visit home from london I got to meet my cousin’s partner brenna. I adored her straight away and soon found out that she was an artist with a cute little etsy store selling eco-friendly, australian nature inspired watercolour artwork. I chatted with brenna about how she first got into watercolour, her inspiration behind her designs, and what makes megyeri sustainable.
when did you start watercolour painting and what drew you to it?
I’ve been drawing since I was very young but I first got into watercolours in high school and from then on I’ve favoured painting with them. I love the flowy nature of it and how the colours blend together so effortlessly. there’s nothing rigid about the way watercolours look.
what is the inspiration behind your designs?
I’ve always enjoyed being out in nature however in times of great stress in my university life I turned to gardening as a way of relaxing and it just made my love for plants so much more. I find plants to be so soothing and peaceful. it makes you forget all your worries and pressures from today’s society, and those feelings arise when I paint them too. there is endless inspiration when you look into nature.
what’s your favourite australian native flora or fauna?
that’s a tough question but I think my favourite is eucalyptus trees. once I started looking into them I found out there are so many different types, all with varying sized flowers and gumnuts. I’m lucky enough to live in an area with at least five varieties, some of them don’t even look real at all. you’d swear it’s fake but that’s nature for you, truly amazing.
what makes megyeri eco friendly?
from studying fashion in university and interning in that industry I was exposed to just how large and endless the waste issue is and when starting my own business my top priority was not to contribute to that. with that in mind megyeri strives to consider the environment at every stage, from whom my suppliers are and their ethics, to how it’s made and how it’s packaged. for example I use awagami bamboo paper. the company is family owned and takes massive steps to reduce waste. through the water intensive process of making paper they recycle all water used, which is amazing. I want to reduce waste throughout the whole lifecycle of my products, so even the little things like recycling paper scrap into new paper. my packaging is made from 100% post consumer material but I don’t feel like I can stop there. I want to keep growing as more innovative ways of running a business sustainably are found, to further reduce my impact on the environment and to show that it’s possible to run a transparent, eco-friendly business.
what’s next in store for megyeri – is there anything new you’re working on or excited about?
I’m really excited about creating more products that people can use in everyday life. at the moment I’m working on a range of bookmarks, gift cards and wrapping paper to match. I love a bit of hand-printing with lino so hopefully that’ll be in there too so keep an eye out!
what is your favourite tip or piece of advice for greener living?
I think the biggest step I’ve taken towards living a more sustainable life is becoming a vegan by not taking anything from other beings and reducing the need to destroy their homes to feed people. it is a lovely feeling. I know that’s not for everyone so another tip I try to live by is buying clothing secondhand, whether that’s from an op shop, clothing-swap markets or on one of the great apps that allow you to sell your pre-loved clothing, it’s a great way to find those one-off awesome pieces you’ll wear for years to come.