12.3 One of my Current Design Projects: #encounter @geelong by Ilsa Melchiori


I was spending a lot of time over my uni break coming up with new content for this blog, but now that I'm back, I find I have less time to plan/write/photograph blog posts, which was really irritating me.Then it hit me! Ilsa, this blog was meant to be a way of documenting your creative projects, not an added stress on top of your workload! DUH!

So for the next few months while I'm back at Design School expect to see weekly posts about the progress of my work and examples of different design outcomes and ideas.

First up for my Studio class, This semester the class I chose is called #encounter @geelong and looks at the Geelong Gallery and (you guessed it) their Instagram account. Moreover, we will start to look at and develop ways/ideas of engaging an audience and their journey from Melbourne to Geelong Gallery via the V-Line train system.

For the first project brief, we had to start analysing the Instagram feeds of Geelong Gallery and another art institution (I chose the Victoria & Albert Museum). We then had to take the data collected and turn it into an informative diagram. Remember this is a design degree so a diagram has to be more than just a mind map or pie graph.

Below are the diagrams I produced. They aren't perfect, and I have some updates I'd like to do, but this is all about sharing the whole design process, so here you go.

Ilsa Melchiori Geelong Gallery Instagram Diagram Interior Design
Ilsa Melchiori Geelong Gallery Instagram Diagram Interior Design
Ilsa Melchiori V&A Instagram Diagram Interior Design
Ilsa Melchiori V&A Instagram Diagram Interior Design

4.3 Just a Moment of Truth by Ilsa Melchiori


I will never be the perfectly put together fashionista.  The immaculate beauty guru.  I will always have a stain somewhere on my clothes, I will never have perfect makeup and my hair will rarely be 'done'. There will probably always be at least one dirty dish in my sink. Most importantly, I'm not going to hide this.  I like it when things are just a little bit 'off'.

I am working on juggling everything in life right now.  I choose to do this blog and I will keep choosing it.  Just give me a moment to re-balance my spinning plates.

Share your new endeavours in the comments below.


26.2 What Do You Actually Do? Q&A with Jess Lafrankie by Ilsa Melchiori


Ever wonder about the lives of self-employed creatives? How do actually make money? What does their work day look like? This new Q&A series will start asking creatives just that, what do you actually do?

First up we have Melbourne photographer Jess Lafrankie. To check out more of her stunning images head to her website: http://www.jesslafrankie.com/

Describe what you do in 5 words or less.

J: Fashion and commercial photographer

Now expand…

J: I’m a freelance photographer based in Melbourne who shoots for fashion brands. My style produces crisp, clean and colourful images that maintain a feminine aura.

What has your career journey been like?

J: I discovered photography when I was 15 and was put in the wrong class in high school. I started shooting paid work when I was 16 and from there relocated from a beach town to pursue this kind of career further. It’s been my sole focus ever since.

Best part of your job?

J: Having the chance to enjoy what I’m doing every day. I wake up excited to get to work and my favourite day of the week is Monday.

Worst/hardest part of your job?

J: Never clocking off. I didn’t realise I hadn’t taken a day off in 5 years and it started to affect my health. Putting my health above my career has been a struggle.

What does your typical work day look like?

J: As a photographer I don’t have a typical work day, which is probably the best part of all. I’ll either be shooting all day or in my office retouching and planning. Before this starts to become too much like a routine I’m generally on a plane for a work holiday.

What are you favourite apps to use for work?

J: Wunderlist - I’ve got my shooting gear list stored in here so I can literally just tick what I’ll need and what I have saves me heaps of time.

Ubereats -  I’m not even kidding. Having the piece of mind that if I’m exhausted from shooting or I’m too busy with deadlines I can just order some food is a life saver.

What is it like working for yourself?

J: It’s the best kind of job in the world. It’s important that you can self manage, self motivate and be proactive.

What is your current work playlist?

J: I’ve made a playlist on Spotify with all the songs that have the word WORK in the title or are about working. I’ll play this if I need a boost. I’ll play Ben Howard for good retouching vibes though.

Best career advice/tips you could give someone?

J: Read Timothy Ferris’s books.

Can you tell us about your next project?

J: It’s inspired by paintings. It’s going to be epic, my favourite to date.

What's your next step/move? Any future dreams/goals?

J: Become even more portable with my work life and get back to Europe!

24.2 Friday Favourites: 4 Youtube Tutorials for Makeup for Glasses by Ilsa Melchiori


I am a glasses wearer. I have been since I was 13 years old.Over the years I've worn contact lenses for a large chunk of the time, however, in recent years I've found myself wanting to wear my glasses on the reg.

Enter my dilemma: make up for glasses? It's not as simple as 'do your makeup as normal and then whack on your glasses.

I find that you need to do things differently. Mostly I find that you need to just do more. More eyebrows, more mascara, more eyeliner etc.

Below are a few of my favourite tutorials for makeup for glasses that the beauty gurus of Youtube have to offer. These are in no particular order.

1.Tanya Burr - Everyday Makeup For Glasses

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yCz-2PWjis&w=560&h=315]

2. Tanya Burr - Smoky Evening Makeup For Glasses

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIWDYbmyz2I&w=560&h=315]

3. Pixiwoo - Makeup for Glasses wearers

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0HV8SqKBqQ&w=560&h=315]

4. Lisa Eldridge - Makeup for Glasses

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arh5ODTuAm8&w=560&h=315]

20.2 5 Limited Edition Original Prints for Sale by Ilsa Melchiori


I'm not great drawing by hand. Everyone just assumes that I am because I went to Art School. However its honestly always been something I had to work hard at. As a result, whenever I was planning a new sculpture or design I had to come up with other ways of visually displaying my ideas, these techniques included photography, and collage. Over time I grew to really love collage as an art form in its own right and found myself hoarding old magazines, books, flyers (even scraps of wrapping paper) in order to use them for collaging at a later date.

With 90% of my work/creative life now done in front of a screen I really cherish the process of cutting and pasting by hand.

I will be releasing a limited edition print run of some of my favourite recent collages. These will be available for sale in A4 and A3 sizes from the online shop at the I Am Ilsa Melchiori Facebook page. Numbers will be limited, so if you are interested get in quick!

Limited Edition For Sale

Limited Edition For Sale

17.2 Friday Favourites: 6 of my Favourite TV Throw Backs by Ilsa Melchiori


The other day, in a solid effort to procrastinate from what I really had to do I found myself re-watching an old favourite TV program, Gilmore Girls. This got me thinking about other great TV throw backs. Below is my top 6 (in no particular order)


1.  Gilmore Girls


2.  Sex and the City


3.  Bones


4.  Charmed


5.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer


6.  Friends

(all images via imdb)

The best thing is that all these shows run for at least 6 seasons each. SO MUCH procrastination material!

What are some of your favourite throw back TV shows?

13.2 Design: A Look into my Design Practice by Ilsa Melchiori


This is the start of  a new series of design posts I'll be doing, in order to document my design growth and evolution.

Design is just another facet of my creative addiction. Hope you enjoy.

Please contact me with freelance work enquiries, including Graphic Design, Interior Design, Interior Styling, Logo Design, CAD drafting, or Renders.


PROJECT: The Idea(l) - Micro Apartment Design

How much space to do currently have? How much of that do you actually use? Could you have less space? My answers... More than I need. Less Then I have. Yes, very easily.


The old 'Australian dream' of owning a large house in the suburbs is fast fading, due to financial reasons, due to a shift mentality, due to a strong desire to live in the inner city areas. There are many reasons one might ‘blame’ this change on.


The next step? How do we create the most out of the smaller, possibly more unconventional, inner city spaces? These are the areas we no longer have room for the McMansions of the suburbs, so now we have to get creative.


As an Interior Designer I examined different ideas of micro living from around the globe. From the slightly insane, to the pure design genius.

This post contains images, from design sketches, to final renders that show one outcome for a very unconventional site, beneath a heritage listed bridge. Each apartment is made up of highly functional modules to make the most of a small space.

The Home Office 


The Pivot Flexi


The Entertainer


Which apartment style would you pick?

10.2 Friday Favourites: Things I've Learnt about Dressing for my Body by Ilsa Melchiori


Since last weeks Friday Favourites: Things I've learnt about make up post was so well received I've decided to do another along the same line. Things I've learnt about dressing for my body type. Firstly some context for you. I'm in my late 20's, 170cm tall, a size 12 (AUD), 32E. But more importantly to this post, I have very short legs and a very long torso. My friends never fully believe me until I prove it. I've clearly learnt to hide it over the years with the way that I dress.

So here are the things I've learnt, in case there are any other short-legged, long torso girls out there who want some tips and tricks.

1.  Skirts and dresses become your best friend. Basically if they can't see where your legs start then you can trick people into thinking they are long.

2.  High waisted skirts in particular have been kind to me. If people are focusing on your waist then they just assume you legs  aren't far away. They'll never know there's this 'extra' bit of torso hanging out.

3.  'Mini' anything probably wont work for you, unless you like showing your vagina off in public. Remember that 'extra' bit of torso, well that makes mini dresses shirts on you.

4.  Pants will be hard to find but not impossible. I totally still wear pants and jeans. Good hint, if something is labeled 'cropped' or leg 30' it will probably be the perfect length on you.

5.  Speaking of pants, I find that having a touch of exposed ankle between my jeans and my shoes makes my legs seem longer.

Most importantly though, please wear things that make you feel great!

6.2 What it's REALLY like living on a construction site... by Ilsa Melchiori


I've been sharing photos of our home renovations on this blog. All of the exciting new things that are happening. But on the flip side is the less fun, WAY less glamorous reality of how we have been living for the past 8 months or so. What's the truth? Well...

Honestly it's hard. I'm not going to sugar coat it. It's disruptive, and messy, and draining.

This post is inspired by  Helen Anderson, who did a great video on her YouTube channel called A Real House Tour.

It's easy to get caught up in these seemingly perfect worlds people present to us online, but the real life behind that, complete with dirty dishes, pimples and bad hair days, can sometimes be far more interesting. Or at least, more relatable.

Below are some truths, along with some real, unedited, un-staged, images of what it is really like to live on a construction site.


1.  There will constantly be a layer of dirt/dust on everything. You can clean all you want, it will always be there.

2.  You will potentially be completely or partially exposed to the elements on more than one occasion. It's been raining inside my house several times. I'm not talking about a drip or leak that you can put a bucket underneath, but full-blown rain.


3.  You will probably gain weight. You kitchen facilities may be 'creative' or non-existent. You will start eating convenient food. I have gained around 5kg since we started.


4.  Not a morning person? You will learn to be. Builders can start at 7am on weekdays and for the sake of productivity, you will want them to.

5.  You have to be very organised, but at the same time understand that your organisation is likely to constantly fall apart.


6.  If you have a romantic partner with you on this journey it will, at times, cause a strain.

7.  90% of what you own will be in storage. Which as a self-employed creative can really suck.


8.  There is nowhere that is clean, well lit and pretty to take Instagram/blog photos. Get creative.

9.  If you work from home, you will get cabin fever, bad!


10.  At any given time you may be without water, power, gas, walls, and for us, a section of our bedroom ceiling.


11.  Things merge. Lines get blurred. My bed is currently also my dinning table, my lounge room and at times my office. It is not ideal, but cannot be helped.

12.  By staying you can save money.

13.  But by staying you might be making it take longer as the builders have to work around you.


14.  It's not glamorous.

15.  It's not for everyone.

I'd love for you to share your experiences with home renovations below.

3.2 Friday Favourites: 5 of the best Things I've Learnt About Make up by Ilsa Melchiori


I started my make up education fairly late in life. My mother never wore it when I was growing up, I didn't have any sisters, and I was the 'girly' one in my friendship group in school. For this weeks Friday Favourites I decided to switch things up a bit and share with you 5 of the best (favourite) things I've learnt since the commencement of my make up education.

1.  Make up artists and sales assistants will ALWAY try and sell me foundation that is too dark for my skin tone. Yes I'm half Italian, yes I have yellow/olive toned skin, but I am pale as can be.

2.  The scent of a product can totally ruin it for me.

3.  Contouring is actually very simple. Here a tip, if you've been applying your bronzer is a 3 motion along the side of your face, you've basically been lightly contouring this whole time.

4.  Ran out of eye makeup remover? Olive oil works wonders, just try not to get it in your eyes.

5.  Hydration is the key. If your skin is dehydrated, then it doesn't matter what you do, your make-up will end up looking cakey and gross throughout the day.

What is your favourite piece of make up related advice?

27.1 Friday Favourites: My 5 Current Favourite Blogs by Ilsa Melchiori


Today for Friday Favourites I am talking about some of my favourite blogs out there. I've been reading blogs for almost 9 years (including some of the ones listed below). A Beautiful Mess DIY, cooking, style, there's a little bit of everything on here. This blog is vibrant; in colour, style and personality. I have been following this sister duo for at least the last 5 years. They now have a team of people working for them, books, a subscription box service and lots more. They are #goals!

Chapter Friday I started reading this way back when it went by a completely different name and it was simply Founder, Yara, posting personal style photos. I love watching how she has developed this into its present-day adaptation. I particularly enjoy  the Careers section, with inspiring interviews with a range of amazing creatives and young business owners.

The Sartorialist Duh. Haven't we all lost hours of our lives staring at Scott's beautiful style portraits from around the world.

Nil Erurk Nil is a Turkish style blogger who, for some reason, I always related to. Check out her site for really beautiful personal style imagery.

Pages by Megan This is a new one for me, but I found myself instantly drawn in by Megan's kooky take on fashion. She is a self-confessed 'weirdo' and I love it! It's always so neat and refreshing to see people having such fun with clothing.

What are some of your favourite blogs? I'm always keen for some new discoveries!

24.1 A Day Trip to Montsalvat by Ilsa Melchiori


Today's post is going to be an image heavy one.

Recently I met with my friend Tegan and we went for a little day trip to the Montsalvat Artist Colony in Eltham, near where we both grew up.

Monsalvat was founded in 1934 by Justus Jörgensen as a artist's colony and home for practising artists. It remains today as a working non-for-profit arts centre. Set on 12 acres of lush, established gardens, there is a beautiful mash-up of buildings from charming mud-brick cottages to the impressive Great Hall. Growing up I always thought fairies lived at Montsalvat. Still kind of do...


Where should we go for our next day trip?