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Lize Meddings tells us all about The Sad Ghost Club

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Hi Lize, who are you and what do you do?

Hello! I’m Lize, obviously, and I am an illustrator! That means I get to draw all day and make silly comics and stuff, which is pretty neat. I also co-run an event called SHAKE BRISTOL which is a little indie zine fair we’ve just started and it’s going really well! Oh yeah and I run the Sad Ghost Club.

We love your artwork. We reckon that you’re a constant sketcher and doodler. Is this how you form ideas for your next piece of work?

Aw thanks! I do love sketching, I think I mostly do it to keep myself disciplined though, if I haven’t got a project on it’s really easy to not do any work, because there’s no one telling me I have to! So when I’m experiencing a lull I try and make myself sketch as much as possible, and yeah then I can look back at my sketchbooks for ideas for new pieces, even if I didn’t like them when I drew them.

You love drawing plants, ‘babes’ and cute animals. How come these are the big 3 in your creative mind?

Those are my favourite things to draw! I think those are just the things I’m good at though. I like drawing girls/babes because you can make girls so pretty! And I love coming up with their clothing/accessories, I think it appeals to 10 year old me who repeatedly drew SailorMoon, and I’d make up my own sailor scouts and stuff, so I still enjoy it many years later! Animals are the best to draw because you have a lot of freedom, if someone says your cat doesn’t look like a cat, say it’s a dog. My cats always look like cats though, I love drawing cats. And plants, plants are great because again, you can make it up! Also I really enjoy nature and the outside world so I think putting plants in everything gives a kind of freshness to the pieces.

Can you tell us a little bit about your Sad Ghost Club? It seems to be really popular!

Yeah, Sad Ghost Club has really taken off! It started as some little hand painted badges I had for sale about a year ago, (originally it was the tired eyes club) and then I helped out with a comic book boot camp earlier this year with CBSP (Comic Book Slumber Party) and we had to make quick comics so I did some very rough (and very bad) sad ghost club comics, I put them on my blog and stuff and people loved them! Tumblr’s great in that respect, if people hadn’t supported those first comics (thanks followers!) I wouldn’t have made the zine! But I did, and then I started to make more merch, and it just seems to be growing and growing!

Can anyone join the Sad Ghost Club or is it just for sad ghosts?

Absolutely anyone can join the Sad Ghost Club, I think it’s really easy for people to feel lonely and sad, especially people who spend a lot of time online (I was also very guilty of this!) and so the club’s just like a little refuge for anyone who needs to feel like they’re part of something. But yeah, if you’ve ever been sad then you’re in the club. I’ve got the new zine called ‘The sad ghost club’s guide to not being sad’ coming out soon and that’s like tips on not being sad, or some things that have helped me feel better. I was really worried that my followers would hate me telling them what to do to be happy, but I was really careful with the tips, I really didn’t want to be preachy, and I didn’t want people to think I was telling them what to do! But people loved it, I’m really excited to print the zine. And I’m absolutely thrilled with the response.

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You come from Devon but are based in Bristol, does your geography have any influence on your style or output?

I think when you live in Devon you can’t help but be inspired by all the nature and the sea and beautiful scenery, I really enjoy using watercolour because I did a lot of that in school, but it’d be boring landscapes or still life pieces, so now I’m enjoying experimenting and playing around with different pieces. Living in Bristol has been great, I’ve only been here since May but yeah, there are so many enthusiastic and creative people. I still can’t believe how many people come to our Shake Bristol event and how much people enjoy it! You definitely would not get that in my tiny hometown in Devon.

As much as you like drawing all things cute, there are the occasional darker elements that creep into your work. Is this something you’d like to explore more of?

People always say this! I really don’t do it intentionally, I think it’s just how I see the world, as bleak as that sounds. I like making pieces that sort of tell a story, it just happens that a lot of the time the story is a bit sad or dark. Also I think it’s just interesting, I’m a really jolly person and I think that’s maybe because I draw sad stuff a lot, it all comes out in my work! I’m working on a comic at the moment that I wrote over 2 years ago, when I was really down about life, and I’m re-writing it now but I have to listen to really sad songs and bum myself out, so it doesn’t all come naturally!

Outside the world of art, what floats your boat?

Jeez, that’s a hard question for someone who sits at their desk 10 hours a day. I’ve really gotten into baking, just bread and cakes at the moment. Oh and I make a really good cheesecake. I made a whole heap of biscuits/cakes for the last Shake event, I might just ditch the drawing and make cakes full time (I won’t do that). Erm, I’m into video games I guess, I really don’t do much outside drawing/painting. And planning for Shake and other events, it’s all pretty full on at the moment, but I’m really enjoying it.

In terms of merchandise, what kind of paraphernalia have you put your awesome designs on?

Pretty much everything you guys sell! I obviously have zines and prints and standard illustration stuff, as well as merch for the Sad Ghost Club, I think phone cases are next on the cards! Also my talented boyfriend made some animals out of wood in my design and then I painted them, I’ve got some that are waiting for a varnish, and it’s so nice seeing my work in 3D, I don’t want to sell them! I also got to paint a big Sunfish sculpture earlier this year for Plymouth College of Art. It was great seeing my work so big and I had a totally free reign so it was great just to paint whatever I wanted on this giant fish thing!

Anything else you’d like to promote?

I think we’ve pretty much covered everything! The next Shake Bristol event with be on the 7th December at Start the Bus in Bristol, it’s gonna be really festive and really fun, of course! You can find the Facebook page here. Thanks!

You can also find Lize on Tumblr, Facebook & Instagram

Here’s a cool pic of some badge packs we made for her.

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