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Interview with Michelle Mackay

Interview with Michelle Mackay

Interview with Michelle Mackay

Interview with Michelle Mackay


August 16th, 2021

How does your family use Playsilks or other open-ended toys?

Out of all the toys that have come and gone in our home Playsilks have been a consistent favorite. We’ve had our base collection since my oldest was one and he’s now nine. Just yesterday he grabbed two from the basket to set up a game of “capture the flag” while his four year old sister wore two silks for dress up. They’ve been curtains, fort walls, flags, gift wrapping, bundles for adventures, bright scarves for forest wanders during hunting season, shooting stars, and so many other things! My personal favorite is gift wrapping on birthdays or holidays.

How does your family inspire your creative process?

Watching my children play has been the most inspirational thing for my creative process. We spend lots of time outside and I typically paint nature inspired images so the natural world is also a big inspiration. My children will enact tiny stories amongst themselves and they always inspire a story in my sketchbooks.

What is your favorite part of the illustration process and why?

My favorite part is the ideation and the actual painting. Initially the painting feels so “wrong” and there’s always a stage where I want to give up but if I push past that feeling, I reach my favorite part of the process. There’s a point in the painting where I absolutely zone out and I almost forget where I am, like I’m in a trance. It’s meditative and so restorative for my soul. When I spend the day in this phase, I feel my happiest.

Which season is your favorite and how did the seasons inspire your illustrated Playsilks?

My favorite season is Autumn, no hesitation. I feel like the Forest Fairy Playsilk will be one of my most prized works for many years to come. I love all the seasonal silks so much, but I was born in the fall and no other season makes me feel the giddiness I feel then. The seasons were huge inspirations for these silks - imagining up the seasonal fairies and all their little counterparts has been a dream and I’m feeling so lucky this work found me!


Sarah & Michelle

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