Melbourne creative: The Illustrated

August 3, 2017

One day when I was scrolling through Instagram, a post caught me eye. It was a chic illustration with a watercolour effect. I quickly clicked through to see who created it and discovered more beauties. Modern representations of life that appeared to be both flawless and yet done with ease. This was the beginning of my love affair with the work of Melbourne creative - Mel Stefanovski (The Illustrated). You'll recognise that Mel is the lady behind the illustrations shared on Motherhood Melbourne website and social media. She has a distinct style and professional manner that makes her the perfect creative to work with. I'm often asked about this 'mystery lady', so it delights me to share a little behind-the-scenes action with Mel from The Illustrated. 

HOOD MAMA SPECIAL - Join the hood to grab your FREE digital print "Mama Bird"created by The Illustrated.  Available for August. 

Introducing - Mel Stefanovski (The Illustrated)



I started drawing about a year ago.  I was in desperate need for a creative outlet.  At that time, my main creative fix - a small business making fashion accessories, was packed up in boxes as my mum was critically ill and I became her full-time carer.  I had just completed watching the entire series of Zoe Hong’s fashion illustration tutorials on YouTube, and I felt empowered to start drawing. While I have always been ‘creating’ in some way, shape or form, it was the first time I had properly illustrated since VCE visual arts.  The paper trail from this re-awakened passion of mine had exploded throughout the house, so I needed some way to catalogue my work.  I started a digital portfolio on Instagram, and that’s how The Illustrated was born.  


Signature style 

I would describe my style as ‘intentionally effortless’.  In its raw form, my illustrations are quick and messy and the painting is very relaxed. However, I take a different approach with my client work.  I feel a lot more pressure to ‘get it right’ so I spend more time refining the sketch and rendering the final piece.  The outcome for both client and self-indulgent work is consistent though - a bold black silhouette, sketchy details, and a water colour finish.  While I’m not aiming for perfection, I do like to retain a sense of realism in my work.  Some fashion illustrators exaggerate proportions - long legs, big eyes, pouty lips.  I like to keep it authentic.  I like to draw what I see. 


Creative environment 

Nothing beats painting at home, in my kitchen, barefoot, with a cup of tea. 


It’s really not very glamorous. There’s no architecturally-designed studio decked out with the latest and greatest art supplies.  It’s just me, painting in my kitchen with my daughter’s water colour palette.  Nothing fancy at all.



My top three brag moments are: 
1. My first sale; 
2. My first client; and 
3. Being a published artist


All accomplished within the first few months of starting out.  It’s been a bit of a whirlwind.


Spare time activities 

Go to the beach - this is, by far, my most favourite family outing.  Even in winter.  Shoes off, freezing water, building sand castles, collecting shells, and chasing seagulls.  Pure happiness.  I’m also a massive book worm and I usually have two or three books on the go at any given time.  I’ve just finished The Light Between Two Oceans by M.L Stedman.  I bawled my eyes out.  It was so darn good.  

Other skills

I’m also a graphic designer, so clients often take advantage of my digital skills too.  Rather than engaging a separate agency or freelancer, clients appreciate the cost effectiveness and convenience of keeping the brief with one creative contact.


Low-down on the minimalist print you've created for Hood Mama

“Mama Bird”.  Motherhood is all about comfort.  Nothing feels better than lived-in denim and a slouchy tee.  This is everyday, effortless, mama style.  Just add a hug in a cup for life’s simplest of pleasures.  


Join the hood to grab this free print in August.


Illustration and graphic design service. 


Creator: Mel Stefanovski


Favourite café: : Weekdays at The Primary, Berwick. Weekends at Coco Mill, Berwick


Coffee order: Chai Tea

Join the hood to receive the HOOD MAMA SPECIAL.   



Are you a Melbourne mover & shaker? Does your biz make mother's lives easier, better and brighter? We'd love to showcase your dreams and help Melbourne mums on their quest to shop small and support locals. Have a look at our Celebrate Melbourne page for more info. 



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