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Joe Thompson

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My philosophy in art is to just try it! My first real recollection of creating art was a bird of prey that I did when I was 5, I would have created art before my bird, but this, I think, was a defining point where I realised that art was a form of magic! And I still do, I find you enter into a state during painting where you forget yourself.

After leaving school I completed a diploma in graphic arts. In the ensuing years I continued on my journey of artistic discovery whilst working in the ever changing world of graphic art and advertising. I experimented with any medium I could lay my hands on, and had Art lessons. I also studied Life drawing, sculpture and plein Air painting whenever I could.

My role at Mont Marte is to develop Lesson plans that people can view in a movie format on their computers, each lesson we film has a lesson plan in a PDF format that can be downloaded and printed out. I also travel around the country demonstrating Mont Marte’s wonderful products to live audiences.

I feel honoured to be able to pass on a few of the lessons I have acquired along the way for Mont Marte, I hope also to pass on my enthusiasm and love for art and help convey that anyone can do artwork that will give them a great feeling of satisfaction.

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Lily Avalon

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Although most people say a career in art is not a wise choice, I pursued my passion in the creative industries. I studied 3D, 2D and stop motion animation, traditional painting techniques and worked as a makeup, special effects and conceptual artist. I now utilise my range of skills creating videos and artwork for Mont Marte.

Mont Marte has given me a greater understanding of business and so many wonderful opportunities. Through my work at Mont Marte I hope to encourage people to have a go at painting and experiment with different media. With Mont Marte products it's surprisingly affordable and greatly enjoyable.

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Michael Connolly

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Michael is an Aboriginal from Charleville, south west Queensland and a descendant of the Kullilla tribe from the Thargomindah/Eulo region [on his father's side] and from the Muruwari People from Goodooga/Brewarrina region of north-west New South Wales [on his mother's side] who can trace their traditional trade and diplomatic links with Central Desert as well as South Australian and Northern New South Wales' Aboriginal Communities. Together with this rich indigenous background and unique style of interpretation of his cultural heritage. Michael is able to represent a unique perspective in the visual and performing arts. This is evident in his artwork, craftsmanship, didgeridoo playing and storytelling as a result of blending his own contemporary or urban indigenous style with the traditional style of the Kullilla Peoples under his business name of Dreamtime Kullilla-Art.

Now living in Queensland's southeast Queensland, Michael is able to use his love of the abundant native fauna and flora of the coastal waters and landmarks, together with the rich local aboriginal heritage of this region and encompass this in his works of art. Added to this is his personal history and passion for sharing his love of the aboriginal culture and an art form that dates back centuries, a tradition that Michael is proud to be able to bring to the modern era.

Michael has been blessed with the gift of art that has been passed on to him by the spirits of his ancestors. Michael's works of art are his interpretation of the lovely dreaming stories he grew up with. He is able to combine modern art materials and techniques with traditional patterns, styles and subject matter.

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Kristie Owen

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I love colour! to me colour presents a magical quality that can change moods in the blink of an eye and is powerful in its ability to portray emotion. I find it to be a great form of expression, and one I use most habitually in my work.

My passion for art initially stems from an obsession with drawing horses when I was very young. From there I became increasingly more facinated in art which lead me to study a Diploma of Visual Arts (Fine Arts) for a while.

I have to thank my best friend, Jessi, who introduced me to the wonderful world of Mont Marte! I was able to experiement with so many fantastic products due to the affordability, even throughout the finiacial hardships associated with being a student! After recently relocating to Brisbane I am thrilled to now be given an amazing opportunity to create artwork for Mont Marte.

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David Hooper

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I feel very fortunate to be a member of the Mont Marte team. I have for many years relied on Mont Marte's range of quality and affordable products to enable me to freely explore my creative potential and to produce numerous works in many styles and mediums.

Growing up in a family of artists, drawing and creativity was second nature for me. I was always inspired by the superior work to which I was exposed, I tried hard to procduce quality art.

I have spent many years studying a variety of art genres through different art schools and art colleges. Ulimately becoming a proficient painter and exhibiting in many group and solo shows.

I feel that imagination is one of the most powerful forces of nature and that the journey of discovery available to us as artists can be joyous, challenging, insightful and even spiritual. I feel very lucky to have been given the oportunity to use my imagination to explore a little of the infinite conceptual, psychological and visual potential available to us.

I love to experiment with various mediums, working them together and teasing out novel effects. I enjoy public art and bringing creativity to the viewer and I enjoy the collaboration with and the facilitation and art projects.

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Amelie Batchelor

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Amelia has been a practicing visual artist for more than 20 years and now owns and runs a small Art House Gallery in the Northern NSW Region. Her passion for visual arts and community arts has led her on a journey of discovery, meeting new people, experiencing different cultures and appreciating the world's diverse art collection. She is constantly inspired by the people, the lands, the animals and the ocean, feeling that it is all a wonderful insightful, research program to help her creative currency expand and prosper.

Amelia's interests are in music inspired expression, shapes and colour of light, bazaar collections, patterns and textures in nature, and the revival of old or unusual things. She is a multi-platform artist with skills based in the mediums of paint, paper, recycling and nature based sculpture, photography and community art projects.

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Dr Manny

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Manuel Petavrakis aka Dr Manny is a family doctor who is passionate about drawing and painting.

He and his wife Meg run the Art Shed Brisbane. He has produced a life drawing instructional DVD called Just Draw!. A number of his paintings hang in regional galleries.

He is committed to inspiring creativity in others.

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Monica Broadley

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I am a full-time student studying Fine Art and Animation at Griffith University. I enjoy working for Mont Marte - I create images and designs for a range of their children's products. It can get very tough keeping a regular part-time or casual job while studying full time but I find that Mont Marte are very flexible and understanding. This means that I can have fun and be creative without feeling pressured and hopefully pass that joy on to the children.

For Mont Marte, I have drawn images for a new magnetic canvas product, made paintings for their kid's canvas range and am currently working on models for a new range of mould-your-own plaster magnets sets. At home and at Uni I work mostly in watercolour and pastel which are made very affordable for students like me by Mont Marte. But my favourite products are a large folder I use to carry my big sheets of paper around and a handy callapsible easel that I use in my plein air (out-door) painting classes.

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Katie Young

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I'm 23 and live in Melbourne. Art has always been an important part of my life. It has definitely been a passion of mine ever since I was a child. I started my first private drawing lessons at the age of seven where I learnt the basics of drawing. Over the years I have done various classes such as life drawing, watercolour and portraiture. After I finished High School I studied Visual Arts at TAFE which is where I learned to use oil paint, my favourite medium.

My work is predominantly figurative, and people provide a constant inspiration for my art as I like to explore human identity and emotion. Portraiture painting is what I enjoy most of all as I get the most satisfaction out of trying to capture the essence of the person I'm painting. Apart from painting, I dabble in drawing, writing and most recently photography. Photography is an instant medium and I use it as a reference for when I'm painting.

When Mont Marte approached me to design the packaging for the 12ml oil, acrylic and watercolour paints I was unsure that my art would be suitable for the job. I created three portraits with each of the mediums and fortunately Mont Marte was happy with the design. I am so happy that Mont Marte gave me the opportunity to have a piece of my artwork on their products, and hopefully it helps promote the quality and affordability of their great range of products.

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Vanessa Szychter

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I have been in the advertising/marketing industry for over 25 years. I am a traditionally trained graphic designer, yes from way back in the days of using a drawing board, T-square, black ink and gumbo to create press-ready finished art! I was fortunate enough to experience the transition from traditional art studio to digital art studio where I saw many changes and developments that made my work interesting and exciting....and much easier!

Having the traditional knowledge helped me explore and gather experience in different areas - t-shirt printing/graphics, books/publications, marketing materials, advertising, corporate ID/branding, game/product packaging, and now the packaging of the full range of Mont Marte products. For the past 6 years I have been working with Mont Marte International providing them with all their graphic design needs. They are a great company to work with and it's wonderful that they support Australian Artists.

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Lesley Villani

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I've been drawing for as long as I can remember. As a child, it was about illustrating my imagination. To enhance my drawing skills I practiced copying pictures of wildlife from my parents' encyclopedias. I favoured giraffes. I continued developing my skills through school, private art classes and TAFE.

School taught me basic technical aspects of drawing, painting and sculpture but I found it most beneficial to acquire new techniques through experimentation. The cost of most art materials on a student budget discouraged this. When I discovered the brand, Mont Marte, with their affordable prices on excellent quality art materials, my eyes were opened to endless possibilities.

I was absolutely overjoyed when I was approached to do an illustration for the package of ‘Mont Marte® Skin Tints Pastel Pencils’. The sketch was to show the selected range of colours were suitable for portraits and figurative drawing. As an adult, my interest in drawing giraffes progressed to an interest in people so this commission was very motivating.

Since then I have completed several other illustrations for Mont Marte® products including sketching sets, graphite, pastel pencils and charcoal.

For me, being an artist is challenging and compelling. An artist's brain, eyes, heart and hands work together to create something beautiful and unique. I have immense gratitude for Mont Marte's support of my art.

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Helena Babic

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I was Born in Melbourne, Australia in 1982. I always greatly enjoyed Art as a subject at school but the highlight is definately completing my Diploma of Illustration in 2008 at NMIT. Since then I have been involved in various group shows around Melbourne. My favourite medium is Acrylic on Wood and my subjects range from the lighthearted and whimsical to the darker side of life. Art has been the love of my life for as long as I can remember. www.helenababicart.com

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Rebecca O'Halloran

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Growing up in Bryon Bay, I was constantly surrounded by creativity; as long as I can remember I have had a passion and appreciation for the arts and learned the joys of painting, drawing and photography through my high school years.

I was constantly encouraged to pursue my passion and after finishing high school in 2003 I then went on to study Graphic Design at the North Coast Institute of TAFE. Here I learned the endless possibilities of digital art as well as furthering my knowledge of drawing and photography.

After studying I travelled the world for a year during which time I continued to explore my interest in photography and illustrations. On returning home I worked as a graphic designer on a full time basis. During this time I was thrilled to be able to create some sketches for Mont Marte for the packaging of their bleed proof paper and graphic markers. I think it's wonderful that Mont Marte supports Australian Artists and thank them for their support.

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Bridgit Hoyle

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Art is the way I express myself to the world. It gives me freedom to stretch my imagination miles from where I actually am. It’s a wonderful experience to lose yourself in creative thoughts by diving into this artistic world.

I have had a passion for painting and drawing for as long as I can remember. I can even remember as a little girl staying up past my bedtime drawing sneakily in the dark! I have furthered my artistic skills ever since and last year completed a Bachelor of Visual Art and Design at the Australian Catholic University in Sydney.

I have been using Mont Marte products since early in my University studies. It was fantastic to find their collection of products at that time particularly as it’s so hard for students to combine quality with affordability when buying art supplies. I have now been given the opportunity to work for Mont Marte and love the products and continue to use them almost exclusively in all my art works.

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