Welcome to the Mignonnette Tea Talks, where we speak to wonderful women who inspire us and explore what it means to be a modern day enchantress.
Today’s guest is the multifaceted Carrie Neely – Artist and Designer for homeware, fashion and lifestyle brands, as well as the Founder of art consultancy Art Loves. Her artwork can be found hanging in hotels including The Westin, The Conrad and NYX London – among several others.
Also the artist behind luxury brand Myrtle and Mary, Carrie is a champion of maximalist collages, mixed with vintage images, hand drawing, vivid pop art and bold colour. To top all this off, seeing as she has a penchant for tarot and all things psychic, we feel we can definitely learn a thing or two from her about being a true enchantress.
Carrie, you are a creative powerhouse! Can you tell us how you got started with your different businesses?
I have been working in the art world for over 25 years and owned and ran galleries in London and New York before starting my current businesses in Northern Ireland. I have always been an art consultant, commissioning and buying art for private and commercial clients, but I only started to create my own work again less than five years ago (I had not been practicing since art college in the 90’s).
Your businesses all seem to complement each other. Do you find there are central themes to everything you work with?
My consultancy Art Loves is client led and I like each project to be creatively unique to that particular project, so I try to do something different every time. Myrtle & Mary has a vintage Maximalist theme running throughout all the artwork and patterns.
How would you describe your artistic style?
I have two very different styles in my personal work and both are at opposite ends to the spectrum. One is very graphic and uses minimalist geometric shapes, and the other is maximalist eclectic collage, although both are created digitally and are very strong and bold in colour and form.
Where do you find inspiration?
My mind is like a huge image bank... there are literally hundreds of thousands of images that are stored there, so subliminally my inspiration could come from anything, but most of my Myrtle & Mary designs are inspired by family and friends and often designs pop up in my dreams! As an art consultant for Art Loves, I am often working towards a brief from an interior designer or architect, so I always have a good place to start, whether that is a theme, a colour or a style.
What are some of your favourite projects you’ve worked on?
I love a creative challenge… I once had ten days to find over 300 pieces of vintage art within a certain budget to do a salon hang in a bar which was great fun! I am working on bespoke artwork for hotels in Turks & Caicos, Rome and Gibraltar at the moment which I am loving. Myrtle & Mary now has an agent in London so I am currently in full creative mode designing for lots of homeware partners for 2024 products. We've also just started a pop up with Walton Fine Arts in London.
With Mignonnette London, deeply embedded in the core of our brand, is that when you put our clothes on, they bring your inner enchantress, you transform into that best version of yourself, or the part of yourself that you want to reveal in that moment.
Do you feel your own work has a similar transformative effect with people and their homes?
The Myrtle & Mary artwork pin ups all have characters, and I find that people connect with certain characters for a reason – particularly FiFi, who is different by day and by night…
Through working on these fantastical art pieces, do you feel you have changed and evolved over time?
Absolutely! I was very shy about getting my own work out after so many years of championing other artists and designers, and I am much more confident now about putting myself out there.
What is your your dream project?
If we’re talking about enchantment, of course we have to ask you about psychic mediumship and tarot – can you tell us more about this?
It is something that has been with me since childhood. It used to frighten the life out of me if I am honest, but I started to explore it when I studied Reiki healing in my 20’s and then joined a psychic circle in my 30’s when the kids were babies. I think that the pregnancies made me more open to my intuition.
I joined a psychic development group online during lockdown, around the same time as I created Myrtle & Mary and it opened me up to a whole new world of understanding my abilities in mediumship and psychometry (reading objects).
I think in general as I get closer to 50, I have stopped worrying about so many things that held me back before. And daily yoga and meditation really help keep me open to a higher consciousness that I can tap into for help with work and anything in my daily life.
Your artwork is so bold and joyful – does that carry through to the clothes you wear?
I LOVE colour! I definitely dress according to how I feel on that day. If I need cheering up, then I go full on.
What do you love to wear when dressing up and also just relaxing?
I live in yoga gear and Nikes during the day, but when I go ‘out out’, then I love to make an effort - depending on the event. I can remember every event and night out by what I wore!
What does style mean to you?
Style is very personal, but to me it is the ability to mix up an outfit with a vintage piece, or something you pulled out of a drawer, or jewellery your granny gave you - that will just make it slightly different from the way anyone else would wear it.
Who are some of your personal style icons?
Audrey Hepburn for classic style, Chloë Sevigny for kookiness and Harry Styles for having no fear!
What’s your favourite Mignonnette dress?
I loved the Mistress Midnight dress as soon as I set eyes on it. It is a totally transformative dress that makes you feel more confident the moment you out it on.
You can discover more about Carrie and her work at: