After recently getting married in Perth, Australia, Megan Davies of Megan Isabella chats exclusively to B R A W about her inspirations for her creative design work, how Instagram helped evolve a collaboration and how she styled and designed her own wedding.
Can you tell us about the inspiration and journey behind Megan Isabella?
Megan Isabella has evolved a lot over the past decade. It started out as a creative experiment in my early 20s while I was studying where I would try different illustration styles and learned how to marry my artistic talents with the technical side of graphic design. I kept my signature linework and graphic style of drawing, but my art eventually evolved to be more botanical themed, which I now enjoy a lot more. I’m now 30 and feel the brand has really ‘grown up’. I have a strong illustration style, a better sense of what I represent and after 7 years of doing corporate graphic design jobs- I have become a confident designer.
What is your go-to source of inspiration?
As much as I like Designspiration, Pinterest or Instagram can be a bit of a distraction. As I grow older I’m trying to spend less time looking at the work of other people because I’d rather focus on developing my own style and creating something that’s got some elements of originality. These days, I draw my inspiration from the client’s story- I listen to what they care about and use that understanding to drive my design decisions.
What creatives are you most inspired by?
I am most inspired by the ones who are not just talented but who have a strong and recognisable style, are authentic in the way they relate to people and talk openly and honestly about their journey as a creative. Those are qualities that I am striving for in my profession.
Can you tell us a bit about how your beautiful collaboration with Australian label Ivy and Matilda came about?
Instagram is a great platform for developing relationships with other creatives because you can look at their work and aesthetic and can pretty quickly get a sense of whether or not you are aligned with each other. I saw the robes on there one day and just thought my floral designs would look amazing on her products. I reached out by email with some examples of what I can do and we took it from there. I approach someone if I can see real potential to collaborate. We did 3 designs in 2 colourways each, one for a bride and one for her bridesmaids and the partnership worked out so well because the designs were done exclusively for her, making the silk fabric impossible to find anywhere else in the market.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part is quote possibly the beginning of a project when we are brainstorming and building a moodboard. I love working with clients to create something totally new and unique. Starting with a ‘blank page’ is too overwhelming so having a project brief and some constraints actually really helps me. As I start to get to know who you are and what you imagine for yourself the more I start to have all these ideas and can begin to piece together a visual story.
You recently got married, what was your inspiration for your styling?
Well I wanted it to feel really ‘us’. My husband and I both wear a lot of navy blue and burgundy (we joke that we look like “Kath and Kel” from the Aussie TV Series Kath & Kim because we often accidentally wear matching colours) so that formed the basis for the colour palette. I was also obsessing over the dutch masters floral still-life paintings at the time, so I decided I would choose an opulent, moody theme so that I could do some of my floral illustrations inspired by those. I designed the invitations and stationery and everything stemmed from there- even my florist used it to make her decisions on what flowers to buy. Having an overarching theme made it easy to make decisions on the details.
Do you have any tips for brides-to-be?
One thing we wish we’d had is someone to walk around with us while we were off getting the couples photography done. There was no-one to hold my big heavy bouquet and we were both dying for a drink! So I’d say make sure there’s someone who can be your assistant for that part and bring you a cold beer or glass of bubbly!
Another thing I’d say is pretty crucial is to have an on-the-day coordinator. I can’t stress enough the importance of having someone who is your designated go-to person when all of the vendors, family members and friends start asking a thousand questions. It will put your mind (and let’s be honest- your parent’s minds) at ease.
Finally, once the day actually arrives, just let go. Sit down in that chair to get your hair & makeup done, let everyone pamper you and relax. By the time the day has arrived, you’ve done all you can so put up a big imaginary bubble around you and let any negativity bounce right off. This is your day and it goes so fast so just soak it all in! If anything goes wrong, just turn your head away, shrug your shoulders and have another drink! On this day my friend, ignorance truly is bliss!
What does the future hold for Megan Isabella?
Well now that I’m married I’ve gone full time freelance, so I’ll hopefully be doing a lot more bespoke graphic design and I’ll definitely want to keep developing my botanical-themed artwork as well. Hopefully in the not too distant future we will also start a family, so I’m pretty excited for that too. Watch this space!
Photography: A B Graffix
Model: Hannah Muggers
Hair & MUA: Natalia Michail