Five minutes with Melanie

Melanie gives us an insight into her creative life. She tells us about her art degree, her love of singing and why she would want to revisit the past for jazz and the swinging 60s. 

If you could only keep five possessions, what would they be? My laptop so that I could use it for when I sing, make music and videos. A wash bag because I am a bit OCD, keys to my flat 🔑 my passport so I’m not trapped in any country and my debit card. I guess I’m a very boring and practical person. 

Why did you choose your profession/ how did you get into it? It was a bit of a winding road, I did maths when I was 17 and I didn’t know what to do. In France they push people to do maths because it is a broad subject which can help you in lots of professions. I then went to engineering school and did sound processing as I wanted to do more creative work, I got a job in this but it was a lot of making algorithms go faster so it wasn’t that creative. I then did an art degree as an adult but it was too difficult to make a paid career out of it 👩‍🎨 So I made a compromise and went into digital media as it is more visual and creative.  

If you could time travel would you go to the past or the future? I would go to the past because I have no idea what the future holds and I’m not optimistic about it. I would go to the 20s for the Bloomsbury group and the jazz age 🎷 I would go to the 60s for the swinging 60s and of course it’s the hippy era.

What is the craziest thing you have ever done? I chained myself to the school gate in France for a student protest about reform of the school organisation. It only lasted half an hour because the caretaker came in at 8am with tools to cut the chain. 

What is the best thing about working at Ocasta? The people are very laid back and tolerant and there is no office drama. 

What is your favourite animal? I like birds because they fly around and they’re free 🦅 my favourites are probably blackbirds because they’re beautiful singers. 

Is there a talent you have which people don’t know about? I sing, whether I’m talented at it or not is another issue 🤔 I sang at Brighton Fringe Festival for an experimental cabaret show with about 40 people watching. 

Do you prefer France 🇫🇷 or England 🇬🇧  (Melanie is originally from France) Well there are advantages and drawbacks to both. England is a bit more laid back than France, for example in Brighton and central London the way people dress is very relaxed and there is more tolerance for harmless eccentricity. But long-term I think economic safety is better in France. 

What is your favourite thing to do at the weekend? I like making art or looking at other people’s art. In summer I love to go swimming in the sea 🌊 

Do you prefer going out for dinner or to the cinema? I would rather go to the cinema 🎥  I like to be told stories, my favourite film is Lost Highway by David Lynch. 

If you had a year off from work what would you do? I would do art work full-time, and try to do it whilst travelling ✈️  I would love to go to New York🗽 and the Scandinavian countries as I’ve never been!

Is there anything that really gets on your nerves? Lots of things but you have to train yourself to go above it otherwise it could be never-ending. Judgemental people do though because I believe if no one gets harmed you should live and let live.