Jennifer Douglas is a literary publicist who believes in the right of equality for all authors. With a vision of a world where positivity is the norm and negativity is long forgotten Jennifer works alongside authors creating a marketing and publicity plan that meets the needs of the individual.

With years of experience in publicity, public relations and the marketing industry, which includes working with Allen and Unwin and Palmer Higgs Publishing, Jennifer has become a well sort after reviewer. To work with Jennifer is to know you are working with someone who will not hold back on being open and honest about your book and its marketing possibilities.

Having undertaken many courses in writing and poetry over the years Jennifer has a vast knowledge in the field of writing and reviewing, being able to provide an efficient, effective and professional service. As a qualified Early Childhood Educator and a home educating mum with over 16 years experience, she has a passion for quality children's books and educational resources.

Having spent 6 years as the founder and managing editor of two magazines, Good Gabble and Rattling Reviews, Jennifer has an eye for marketing and sales, knowing what the consumer is looking for and how to reach them. She works individually with each client meeting their needs and the needs of their product. She has many years experience in critiquing websites, placing herself in the shoes of the consumer who is browsing. Many clients return time and time again knowing they will be receiving an honest, open and non judgmental review or critique. Jennifer prides herself on providing a friendly, non threatening and personal service. Her clients are able to contact her personally throughout the whole review process.

For further information on the services Jennifer offers please visit her website www.jenniferdouglasliterarypublicist.com. This blog is a review base only.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Melissa Daw - Artist and Illustrator

* as published in Good Gabble Newzine December 2010

  Melissa Daw grew up in Perth Western Australia and from a young age had a love of art, spending a great deal of time drawing, painting and generally making things. With a lot of visits to exhibits and plays, due to her mothers appreciation for art, it was not surprising she made the decision to study art later in life.

After obtaining a Bachelor of Education with a major in Arts Melissa set off to travel Europe for a year, returning to Western Australia were she got a teaching job in the small farming and mining town of Ravensthorpe and later met her husband. Today Melissa is a mother of two children and works one day a week teaching at the local district high school. She is a member of the Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council, providing a variety of art experiences for the local community,and attends a local art group who have turned an old CWA building into a studio gallery for local artists.

  Melissa first got into illustrating through her friend Joel Hart, illustrating his first book Joseph and the Magical Moose.

“It was my dream to write and illustrate my own picture books....but Joel did it first,” says Melissa “I still have not gotten around to publishing my own.”

    Melissa is currently involved in the early planning stages of a mural for the local hospital which involves the local school children. She is also working on two commissioned pieces and a picture book. With all this under her belt she admits that it does seem like a lot but all is fine until someone gets sick or 'all the wheels fall of the routine wagon!'

  “I work mostly at night when my children are asleep, although sometimes they are in the studio with me,” Melissa stated when asked how she manages it all. “ My son often makes slot car race tracks around the various easels and tables whilst my daughter also likes to paint.”

   Coming from a fibre textiles background construction is something that Melissa loves to do.

“My kids and I love to build with boxes and we enjoy collecting found objects and natural materials to just 'make stuff',” she says. “Now the kids are getting older they are able to manipulate the materials to create some really interesting things....it gets hung from trees or the patio or is just given a special place to sit.”

So what inspires Melissa?

“I am inspired by life events that happen around me. I find it easier to paint things that I have a connection with somehow, hence it is usually my children.

  I like to tell stories but will often not be explicit about it, I prefer to keep a bit of mystery, just a mix of events or dreams or ideas. Sometimes there is no meaning at all, I just liked that particular combination of images or colours. I just really enjoy the painting process, making the colours and shapes come together. I tend to use acrylics mostly, I love their brightness but also enjoy to play around with watercolours.

  The use of colours and the technique I have developed is all due to my lifestyle. I just can't spend hours at a time working at it so it is just a bit of time here and there. I would waste a lot of paint if I mixed up colours and then had to stop when the kids interrupted me, now I often paint straight out of the pot and mix colours in layers on the canvas so I can stop at any time to put the slot car back on the track or pull apart some tricky lego pieces.

  I also love just drawing, pencil is probably my favourite medium. You can get such a soft shading and fine detail.

The great thing about art is that you can learn all the time. I enjoy going to different workshops and meeting other people, getting new ideas.”

 In terms of her art Melissa is quick to point out that she appreciates many forms.

  “My favourite painter at the moment would have to be Tamara De Lempicka, I love art deco, and she has influenced my themes and style lately. I also have a deep love of fibre textiles and adore the work of Nalda Searles. I am sad that customs such as knitting, sewing, quilting, crotcheting and weaving are no longer generally practiced........guess what my kids have to learn!”

  Although the expression of art has been in Melissa's life for many years she feels she is just really starting out and is learning to be confident about what she does.

“I spent a while there just trying to do what other artists were doing and then I realised I am allowed to break other people's rules and make my own. For me it is just simply good fun and I am happy when I am doing it.”

article: Jennifer Deaves