Mel Armstrong

Illustrator & Surface Designer

After 10+ years working as a web designer and graphic artist, I discovered illustration and the world of surface pattern design.  In 2016, I won the Make it in Design scholarship (2016) and signed up with art agent Advocate Art.  I love working both traditionally and digitally and my illustrations have appeared globally on products such as shoes, greeting cards, journals, fabric, stationery, phone covers and baby products.

In 2018 I ventured into children’s illustration.  My first children’s picture book, published by New Frontier Publishing was released in Australia, New Zealand and the UK in September 2019, with a second book coming out in October 2020. I’ve also just completed baby board books for Hallmark US and Tiger Press/Penguin Random House.  I’m currently working on a children’s reader for Harper Collins UK and a board book for a Koren publishing company.

I am also honoured to have a top teacher badge at Skillshare. Top teachers rank among the top 1% of teachers on Skillshare so it’s an absolute honour to be included amongst such talent.  With close to 30,000 students, it’s been a pleasure sharing my process and my skills with the rest of the design community.  I get such a thrill from watching other artists build their own career. You can view my Skillshare profile here.

Thank you for visiting my website. I hope you find your own inspiration from my inspiration.

About Me

Born and raised in New Zealand, at the tender age of 16 I moved to Australia to pursue a career in ballet.  I trained at the Australian Ballet School in Melbourne, and went on to dance for both the Royal New Zealand Ballet and the Australian Ballet.

My ballet career was short lived after a serious injury left me unable to dance.  I went on to discover other ways to be creative working as an actor, graphic artist and web designer for many years before discovering illustration and surface pattern design.

After 27 years in Australia, I moved with my partner and two young kids back to New Zealand to enjoy a slightly different lifestyle closer to my family.  Here, my studio looks out over the beautiful Wellington harbour, whilst gathering inspiration from the incredible wildlife New Zealand has to offer.

I now spend my days drawing, illustrating and navigating parenthood with two amazing kids, who inspire me and motivate me to keep going.


My work is available for licensing through my agent Advocate Art.  I’m available for licensing and commission work.


I’m always working on one or two book projects including picture books, board books and novelty books.  I am also one of Auzou’s top illustrators, designing for puzzles, books and illustrated scratchcards.


I’m currently a top teacher on Skillshare where I teach surface pattern design and illustration to thousands of students.

Client list…








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