Mélanie Johnsson


Stories from behind the scenes...

Illustration Workshops


Hosting illustration workshops has always been a dream of mine. There is something magical about bringing people together to make something with their hands: paint, draw, create and unleash their creativity. Creating a workshop from scratch isn't easy, but I'm glad that, in spite of the hiccups, I succeeded in putting a fun one together!

I feel so grateful to the ten ladies that attended my first official workshop. We had a blast and it's now made me want to host more workshops, and improve them each time. My idea is to host workshops that are fun, engaging and pressure-free. I intend to create a space where people can feel comfortable expressing themselves without overthinking it too much. I want them to paint, draw, create with their hands and enjoy the process.

Drawing makes me feel great. It helps to forget about all the stressful things life throws at us and takes me somewhere else, where I can feel free, happy and relaxed. I'm hoping my workshops will make everyone else feel this way for at least two hours (and hopefully, for longer, when they're back home!).

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I believe EVERYONE is inherently creative.

I hosted my first workshop on January 12th at the Create Place, a lovely venue in Bethnal Green. I was both really excited and a tiny bit anxious. A lot of preparation went into making the workshop come true, but, not surprisingly, the two hours flew by! I enjoyed every minute of the experience.  Everyone seemed happy to be here, getting their hands dirty on a Friday evening whilst enjoying some ChariTea and Propercorn pop-corn.

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So, are you wondering what we got up to for two hours?

The idea behind this specific workshop was to illustrate a tote bag with a focus on colour and composition. The lovely ladies that attended the event had to choose from an array of illustrations, trace and mix and match them to create their own artwork. I loved seeing the gals gain confidence as they were creating their own composition choosing from fishes, birds, quotes, squiggles and more... I gave tips on how to make a pattern work on the tote bag surface or how to choose the right colours to paint with and create a beautiful balance.

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I will definitely be hosting more workshops like this one, and I already have more ideas to create different experiences, always around unleashing your creativity and feeling empowered to do your own thing. And of course, there will always be lots of colours, lots of doodles and lots of laughs, because all I really care about is for everyone to have a great time!

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Thank you to Micah Doye for the wonderful pictures of the events.


Follow me on Instagram at @melanie.johnsson

to know more about future workshops!