MRC x Alyse Mercey

We sat down with Alyse, the artist behind our latest #MRCArtists Collection 
to talk about her art and what "the spirit of the East Coast" means to her. 

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I moved to PEI after graduating from McMaster University in 2019. I found a one
bedroom apartment and turned it into my own little art studio. I work full-time as
a gallery coordinator and I’ve learned so much from the exhibiting artists. Right
now, my biggest creative goal is to illustrate a children’s book or graphic novel.

Besides painting, I love practicing yoga, reading, drinking coffee, and exploring
the beautiful island with my boyfriend.

When did you first find a passion for art and what inspires your work?

Like most artists, I have been crafting and drawing since I was a little girl. I
started to take it seriously when I was 20 and got myself a sketchbook for the
first time in years. I fell right back into it, like riding a bike. A couple years later, I
was ready to get myself higher quality materials and experiment with different
mediums. Being self-taught, I’m proud of the unique path I’ve taken to get to
where I am. 

It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly inspires my work. Creating something unique
and special out of the mundane moments in life is a recurring theme for me,
though. It’s often when I’m walking to work, doing the dishes, or pouring a cup
of tea that narratives and ideas for illustrations come to me. 

Who is your favourite artist? 
That’s such a difficult question! I love Leigh Ellexson because her work inspired
me to start painting. I also love how intuitive her process is and how she uses
mixed media to create pieces that look effortless. Sha’an D’Anthes is another
favourite. Her use of colour is so fun and bold. 

You chose to donate a portion of the proceeds from sales of your
collection to Special Olympics Prince Edward Island Inc. What does this
charity mean to you?

SOPEI is an incredible organization that offers a safe space for individuals with
intellectual disabilities to “become all that they can be”. This past winter, I had
the opportunity to collaborate with them for their bi-annual Golisano Health
Leadership Award Ceremony. I worked alongside an athlete to create a painting
that demonstrated what the organization means to her. It was one of the most
rewarding experiences I’ve had in my creative career to date. I’m thrilled to be
able to donate to this organization. 

What does "the spirit of the East Coast" mean to you?
Community. Freedom. Leisure. 

I was drawn to the East Coast for its reputation of taking things slow. There is
also a certain sense of pride in being from the East Coast that I love. 

Favourite singer or band?

That’s another tough one… I’m going to go with Oh Wonder.

Favourite chip flavour?

Harvest cheddar Sun Chips!

Hidden talent?

I have a really high heat tolerance when it comes to  food and drinks. I’m not
sure what I can do with that talent. It does mean I can get caffeinated very
quickly, which is a pretty strong asset...

Shop Alyse's collection here:

Follow Alyse on Instagram here:

Check out more of Alyse's work here:

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