09 Feb 2024Mont Marte

We asked Melbourne artist Kerrie Jacobs (@merakiartbykj) all about her creativity and what inspires her. She puts her heart and soul into her art and brand Meraki Art, working to bring her passion alive through painting. Kerrie also teaches people to find solace and self-expression through art, running workshops and Art as Therapy classes. Read on to find out more and get inspired!

1. How did you discover your creativity? Was it a gradual process or a surprise discovery?

Kerrie holding a colourful, abstract turtle framed painting


I’ve always loved anything creative! From a young age, I loved drawing, painting, making doll houses and furniture, and designing house plans and streets! It was a natural transition to go to art school as everything else bored me! As an adult I have loved home decorating, doing up old furniture, and painting anything and everything! So, I’d say it’s just who I am and what I’m meant to be doing in my life.

2. Who’s your biggest creative inspiration?

I must say as a teenager I was absolutely obsessed with Ken Done! I had the doona cover, clothing and everything I could get with his art on it! To this day I still follow Ken and have his books (but unfortunately, I do not own a piece of his artwork! One day!). I love his use of colour, the simplicity of his work and the genius behind his thoughts.

3. What brought you to art teaching?

Kerrie standing standing in front of her fram themed canvas paintings


I had an art studio in Surrey Hills many years ago and people would come to buy my art (mainly resin back then) and comment how they would love to learn how to do it. I think someone just asked me upfront whether I could teach them and then it organically went from there.


In 2020 with the pandemic in full swing and not being able to hold classes due to lockdown, I decided to study Creative Arts Therapy as I felt there would be a huge need for this with what was happening in the world! Art helped me get through and I wanted others to be able to use this also. My instincts were correct, and I now not only hold general art technique classes, but I also have ongoing Art as Therapy group classes and private students through NDIS.

4. What’s something that you’re proud of, that you don’t often get to talk about?

I think my private students through NDIS. I don’t speak much about it because it’s completely private and personal, but it gives me so much joy and I’m so proud of the beautiful souls who have so much hardship and trauma in their lives. I’ve been able to help them by giving them tools and techniques to get through ongoing hard times. I’ve even had a couple of my students sell their artwork which absolutely makes me so proud of them and has made me quite emotional. When they tell me they have used my teachings to help them through the week and how grateful they are, it makes me proud of myself that I’ve been able to do this.

5. Would you say you have a creative family?

Textured pastel coloured floral painting close up


Yes, both my parents are creative. My Dad was a carpenter and “Mr. Fix-it”. He can look at any problem, design something and build it. I also grew up helping my mum cut fabrics and make the crafts she used to do as a job from home. She also has a natural flare for colour and design in her home and what she wears! And as for my children (young adults), all 3 are hugely creative in different ways, they just don't know it yet and I think in the future once they establish their careers and lives, they will come back to the creativity they embraced as children.

6. When creating artwork, do you prefer to plan it out or jump in and learn as you go?

I paint intuitively, I see something that inspires me and just jump in with no pre planning at all!! Sometimes works for me, sometimes not!

7. What 3 art supplies would you take to a desert island?

Acrylic Paints

An endless roll of canvas

Oil pastels

8. What would your dream creative space look like?

Bright flower painting on canvas hanging above couch


A light filled studio overlooking the beach with sliding glass doors that open onto a decking with a view, must be painted white with lots of storage, sinks and open space (I’m messy when I create but then I like to tidy up and everything in its place when I’m finished a project). Oh and I would have to have a bed for my old dog, doesn’t matter about my cat as he just sleeps on top of artwork!). Also, a couch to lie on and a coffee machine, is that too much to ask!?

9. It’s the end of the week and you can’t wait to relax. What’s your fave way to unwind?

Hmmm depends on the week! My yoga is my fave way to relax but I always fit that in during the week. Sometimes I just hit the couch and do nothing, sometimes if I’ve spent a lot of time in my home studio I like to get out with friends and have a glass of wine.

10. How do you tackle art block? Any advice for other creatives?

Kerrie sitting in her studio with her dog surrounded by creative supplies


Hard question as I still occasionally struggle with this! I think if the creativity isn’t flowing, don’t force it. Don’t sit there looking at a blank canvas trying to magically invent something. I usually meditate before I start something new. If that doesn’t work or you don’t know how to meditate, then I suggest removing yourself completely and going for a walk in nature – by the beach or anywhere that helps you relax and inspires you. I have a great little meditation mantra card I give to people when they come to my Meraki Art workshops. If anyone would like one, please just contact me!



Kerrie’s attitude towards art is inspiring. We hope your creativity has been ignited and you’re ready to express yourself! If you need supplies to paint and draw, jump onto our website and have a browse.  


Check out more about @merakiartbykj by hopping onto our gallery, where her art journey is featured. If you do get creating, #montmarteart or tag us @montmarteart on Instagram or Facebook. We’d love to see what you come up with!


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