Designer, artist, photographer, author, illustrator, publisher, award winner, unique retailer, Gallery owner, awesome person…
Where do you start to describe Maree Coote!
About eight years ago, I was working on Clarendon Street, South Melbourne and outside my office window I noticed a new store was setting up, it was looking really interesting…so off I went to investigate. Looking through the window I could see some of the most amazing product, everything had a connection to Melbourne, but nothing like the tacky souvenir stores [although I do love a snow dome], these gifts, homewares, art pieces, silk scarphs, prints were all very stylish. All of a sudden the door opened and with a big hello and a smile, I met Maree Coote.
I told her how much I loved her products, which she told me see designed most of them herself…I have been following her wonderful creative career ever since and what a career it is!
Apart from all the objet d’art, Maree is a book publisher, mostly her own books and I think her first outing as an author was “ The Melbourne Book- A history of Now” its her modern twist on, as Maree says “ a unique city. Visual, passionate and informative, it tell the story of a city and its style, its people and its vivid past”. You can see why I like her so much, as we share the same kind of love of Melbourne.
The Melbourne Book, sums up the city beautifully as it gives you a bit of a history and more to the point it’s about the people and places that makes the city so creative and so liveable. This book has won a few awards around the world and is now in its 4th edition. Maree has since released quite a few other books over the years, with a lot of them being children’s books, which she keeps on winning awards. She is so cleaver, as one of her books – Spellbound, were Maree has used the letters from well-known people name to create an image of that person, yet that’s right…using the letters from their name to create their image, to name a few Kylie, Molly, Bowie and Leonard Cohen, imagine how much time she must have spent on each one, try doing it with your name – INCREADABLE!
Another one of her books that I love is “When you go to Melbourne”, it’s a kids book with lots of
Melbourne landmarks, illustrated so well, with a quiz for the kids to find how many sea gulls on a page, or how many trams can you count, so much fun. Her latest kids book is “Andy Web-artist” it tells the story of Andy Web a spider, who lives in the National Gallery and loves to draw, but he can’t draw in colour. It’s already won an award. So cool!
If that’s not enough, Maree and her wonderful partner Lex host a Gallery above the store, where she exhibits her own art and others works, well known and up-and-coming.
Every few months she releases a new and very exciting product, her mind must be working overtime, I wonder if she finds it hard to sleep at night with all those ideas running around in her head.
What Maree is doing at Melbourne Style is spreading the word about Melbourne to the rest of the world, but it’s such a shame as she hardly receives any media coverage here in Melbourne. But you will often hear her being interviewed on Sunday Arts Magazine on JOY94.9 and on these pages!