Mel Baxter – AKA Moonshine Madness – works from a wood cabin perched among the trees and surrounded by the splendid flora and fauna of Queensland, Australia. Nature and the land are what inspire her most, and they’re on full display in the rich, intricately drawn illustrations that are Mel’s forté. Flowers, feathers, fruit – nothing gives a project a natural vibe quite like Mel’s captivatingly line work and gloriously warm colour palette.
Mel’s enthusiastic and dedicated approach shines through in how she interacts with clients. She collaborates closely with art directors, keeping them up to date on their projects while working quickly, accurately and on-brief. As well as the great outdoors, Mel is inspired by botanical illustrations, old calendars and Australian tea towels from the 1960s and 70s.
She studied Visual Arts at Queensland University of Technology before becoming a full-time freelance illustrator.
Mel has spent the last decade honing her etched-style line art and unique colour palette. She roughs out her images on paper, making plenty of notes along the way. Then she refines the piece by drawing intricate lines on her iPad Pro, working from carefully chosen references. She uses her own signature selection of around 30 colours.
Mel isn’t sure where the phrase ‘retro Australiana’ came from but it seems to have stuck and it accurately describes her style.
Mel's clients include Grown and Gathered, Burger Urge, Fat Yak Beer, Birds of Condor, Netherworld, Seeker Lover Keeper, University of Queensland and Ivy & Wood.