LEAN2creativeworks is the studio of independent artist and illustrator Melinda Nettles. (That's me.) My work is driven by story and character, and grounded in the relationship between critters, including people, and the places they inhabit. My work draws on many years studying, practicing, and teaching architecture. That's how I learned to draw, to letter by hand, to compose spaces, to tell stories with pictures and words, to observe people and places, and to dream up and illustrate wonderful imaginary places and things. (A building design, after all, is just a fantasy in pictures and models until it is built.) For more on my background, please see the "Architectural Rendering" page.
why lean 2?
Lean a bunch of branches against the backyard wall, and you've got yourself a lean-to. It's about the simplest shelter you could make, and it makes a darn fine hideout from your little sister. The light comes through and makes a pattern on the wall; beauty and shade all at once. The rain comes, and you've got yourself a dry spot under the music of the sky. This is the spirit of LEAN2creativeworks - reminding ourselves of the simple, often imperfect, stuff that makes us happy. So I bring you hand-drawn pictures, hand-lettered words, and illustrated stories that I hope will make you smile, help you giggle at the absurd in your life, remind you of the beauty in your daily rituals, and bring a little comfort and joy in what can be a challenging world.
UPDATE: This section needs an update! See the blog for info.
Eugene, Oregon, which has been my home stomping ground for the last decade or so, is a unique place with no shortage of opportunities to find inspiration in the absurd, the quirky, the creative, and the handmade. It is a place where we value freedom of expression, robust participatory democracy, the local, and social justice. We think deeply about our food choices (organic, dairy-free donut, anyone?) and the political content of our daily actions. We love gardening, and our local farmers, food producers, and brewers. We love bicycles, trees, hula-hoops, and yes, still, tye-dye. We are track fans and students, eco-anarchists and football fans, foresters and farmers. We live amongst tall firs, lacy ferns, bright green mosses, rhododendrons the size of your standard garden shed, and maples with leaves the size of dinner plates. If you are a local, I hope you find an inside joke or two in the artwork. If you're from another neck of the woods, welcome to our special world. We hope you'll visit soon. (And, of course, take home an illustrated souvenir or two.)