Mélanie Johnsson


Stories from behind the scenes...

Painting with Earthborn


For as long as I can remember, I’ve always liked to paint walls and furniture. As a kid, I remember asking my mum if I could paint one of my bedroom wall purple and my door turquoise (I used to love this combination, who knows why!). I remember how happy it made me to turn half of the bedroom into a burst of colour and how proud I felt to have done it myself.


I’ve always loved drawing, but painting on a bigger scale used to make me SO happy. I truly think it multiplies the therapeutic effect…Bigger sometimes is better!


Let’s leave the 2000’s behind and go forward to 2019…to my first week in my new art studio in Margate. I will be writing a journal entry about the whole studio very soon, but for now, I want to focus on all the painting that happened in my first two weeks on being in the studio. As soon as I moved in the space I knew I’d be going slightly crazy with paint. I wanted to do a mural on one of the walls, I wanted to paint furniture, I wanted to go crazy with a beautiful colour palette! I had just collaborated with Earthborn Paints (they produce eco-friendly, breathable and beautiful paints) on a little upcycling project (to be revealed soon!) and knew I could get in touch with them again to discuss ideas for my studio.

After thinking about it a bit more, I decided against doing a mural (too risky and might get bored of it) and instead went crazy with the toilets. My idea was to cover the door and the inside of the toilets with some squiggly patterns in a few different shades from their Eggshell No.17 collection. The lovely folks at Earthborn were really excited about the idea and immediately sent me some of their paints. I had decided on four colours: A light green called Sunday Stroll, a darker green called Secret Room, a blue called Dorothy and a happy yellow called Humpty Dumpty. I wanted my new studio to feel very fresh, a sort of art studio/workshop/surf shack! And of course, I knew I’d be getting a lot of plants, so it made sense to have green as a main colour!

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Once I got the paints, I started painting the toilets door straight away. I thought I might do some Photoshop mockups first, to make sure I nailed the right composition…But I ended up completely freestyling it! I just wanted to have fun and see where my hand would take this. I am very happy with the result, and the paints were SO nice to use! I rarely paint directly in colours (I usually always start with some black ink on paper and then colourise my drawings digitally) but this project is making me want to start painting in colours directly…It is so freeing! So I painted the whole door, but I knew I wouldn’t stop at that. The inside of the toilets in the studio were very bland and very depressing. I wanted to make the space feel super joyful and I knew painting everything inside in those same colourful squiggles will do the trick! Now, I’m hoping people and clients visiting me in the studio will appreciate the slight psychedelic mood in there!

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Once I finished painting the toilets, I had a lot of paint left so I thought I could do a little bit of upcycling here and there…I had recently visited a second-hand shop in Margate and got my hands on a nice console table and a little table with wheels that I wanted to use as a drinks trolley. They both got a makeover! One is now green and the other is yellow, which makes me super happy. I also ended up painting all my Ikea stools (You know, the very simple, cheap, wooden ones that are super practical because you can stack them up! They will come in handy when I start hosting workshops in the studio…). Oh, and of course, I painted all my terracotta plant pots. I love how everything fits together in this beautiful green/blue/yellow colour palette. It's a little bit jungle, a little bit seaside, a little bit art studio. Exactly what I was going for! Last thing I painted with some of the light green I had left are my pegboards from Block Design…Guys, I’m sorry I didn’t keep them the original colour, but I love my greens and this works perfectly for me!

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Little disclaimer: This wasn’t a sponsored post. I didn’t get compensated for writing all this. Earthborn were gracious enough to send me paint for free to decorate my studio in exchange for me to talk about my experience! So that’s what I just did…Talked about a product I love! I hope you enjoyed. I highly recommend you using Earthborn paints for your home and your upcycling projects…