Early signs of Merle’s quirky illustration style snuck into content graphics for Jamie Oliver’s TV series, Jamie at home, while working at Hello Charlie in Bristol. It was motherhood that gave her a pause to re-think her life and go after what she had always wanted to be. Now that hidden illustrator has come out from behind the curtain and taken over her life. Merle’s Instagram feed shows the evolutionary journey of her style as she honed her craft. From the first illustration she shared to her latest post you will see her quirky and subtle sense of humour. As her notoriety grew, she picked up projects for children’s books and publications, illustrating a song about the sea for Mare magazine, which her family have been collecting since it was first released in 1997. She originally worked exclusively in ink until she moved over to Procreate. The combination of ink and digital has given her greater control of the style she has become known for.
A dystopian vision where the lab mouse Mus Musculus, long ago subjected to the power of genetic and technological manipulation, has mastered those very sciences to genetically alter cats, creating a microcosmic umbilical mothership for their now dominant species. Chipped and brainwashed from birth, the misguided Umbilicat believes the relationship to be symbiotic and takes great pleasure in its role as protector and renewable nurture farm for the mice.