An interview with Headfirst Scribbles

A long time friend & amazing artist Melissa Hockley took some time out to talk to me about her art child, Headfirst Scribbles.

Give us a little background, how did you get into art, design?

Art has always been a compulsory emotional vent for me that’s presented itself as various dabbling and scribbling throughout my life.

Lack of self-belief meant it was scribbles on the side for too long and I ended up in Advertising before finally changing the balance of power to the crazy voices in my head, allowing my scribbles to happily take priority.

Where do you draw your inspiration from? What inspires you?

Open minds inspire me, whether others or mine. I find being open and observant to everything whether it’s capturing dreams, being playful with the conversations I have with my creative soul’s ‘quirkmates’, or just taking the time to really look or think about something I’ve seen or heard somewhere, is inspiring. Negativity is a crude mirror of your own insecurities that will close you off, when you are open, you can end up anywhere.  


Who are your favorite artists? Do they play a part in influencing your work?

I’m a Google hoarder so I have many but in terms of the one artist responsible for getting my art tingles going in the first place I’d have to say Jeffrey Smart. He had the incredible ability to take something stark and ordinary and see the geometric beauty in it. You can hear the stories in his pictures. I love that overt combination of storytelling with visual aesthetic.

How did you develop your style?

I feel like I’m just the voyeuristic passenger in the creations that are a smashing together of all the things rattling around my subconscious. That’s what pours out as style, and it’s ever changing. As I embrace myself and the randomness of my thoughts more, and what people think of me less, I’m evolving into more of my own artist.


What is your favorite medium?

I’m a mixer, a media smoosher so I don’t have a particular favourite. I combine elements of hand-created with digital magic dust. A little illustration, a little design, a little photography, a little collage and a healthy serve of crazy.

What does art mean to you?

Art is me. I look at what I’ve created and experience a kind of synaesthesia. Behind the pictures or words is a captured feeling, mood, thought that marked that time and place. Sometimes the pictures appear dark yet I’m in my happy place. I love that emotions and the internal scampering of the mind, are so complex that they can attach meaning to seemingly unrelated things.


What is your process in creating your pieces?

It honestly seems like the things I create come from being strangely possessed by a slightly twisted child who lurks in the back of my head, tearing off dolls limbs and attempting to glue them back on teddy bear bodies, trucks and bits of broken dreams.

It’s really just embracing my subconscious, fuelling it with images from magazines, words I love that I’ve captured and kept in a notebook, letting it all run wild then desperately clambering after it to attempt to lock it down.

If you could sum up your art and aesthetic in three words, what would they be and why?

1. Dreamlike –the subconscious smooshing things together like plasticine

2. Moody – Whether happy or not so happy. Emotion drives them all.

3. A story muse (more than 1 word but I couldn’t think to explain it another way). I like to think you could create or finish your own story or two by looking at them.

What is your favourite creation so far?

At the moment my favourite is ‘Pocket Full Of Kittens’. It’s the combination of having the song ‘Ring a Ring A Rosie’ stuck in my head after spending time with my daughter and a dress collage piece from a magazine that I felt needed a posie.  I’d also recently seen a cool buffalo skull in a home design magazine and had been talking to my friend about her cat Rupert. The result is fairly obvious. It’s yellow because I was really happy that day.


What are some new pieces you are working on, What are your plans for the coming future?

At the moment I’m illustrating a Medusa head which is yet to find it’s subsconscious marriage. I also have a cheese grater dress bumping around in there that is waiting for a stylist to suggest the perfect person/animal/thing to wear it.  

The immediate future is exciting. We’re moments away from adding a new edition to our clan, a little brother to our 3 year old daughter. So keep an eye out for scribbles that appear even more insane than usual.

I’m also working on pulling together a journal style book of my illustrations that would be perfect for coffee tables and people who enjoy flipping through randomness to capture the AnimalKind & DreamKind Scribbles. I’m expecting that it will be collated and complete mid next year, watch this space.


Ok, so here a few fun random questions for you.


1. Photographer – the accidental kind.

2. Boy -husband

3. Girl -daughter

4. Artist – Andre Jordan

5. Designer –  Stefan Sagmeister

6. Instagram,Facebook or Twitter – Yis Goodwin

7. Band – London Grammer

8. Place – Seal Rocks, NSW

9. Animal – Lion

10. Book – Post Secret, Collated by Frank Warren

You can follow Headfirst Scribbles on the links below as well as visit the website to purchase some of these amazing pieces of art, that also come as t-shirts! I personally cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of her book. If you want to purchase items for Christmas your orders will need to be placed by the 14th December for prints and the 4th December for t-shirts.

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