Diane Hill, the artist behind our Birdsong scarf print, discusses her creative process and signature style.
Q: What is your main medium?
A: My main medium is watercolor gouache paints on paper-backed silk.
Q: Where do you draw your inspiration?
A: I draw my inspiration from hand-painted, 18th-century wallpapers, exported from China and used in grand European homes.
Q: What would you like us to know about your creative process?
A: My process always starts by looking through books or beautiful imagery on Pinterest. I look mainly at historical art and think of new ways of reinventing those styles. I then start compiling images and sketching. I don’t have neat, beautiful sketchbooks as you may imagine—I just get some A4 paper out of the printer and sketch away! I use Pantone or paint charts to pick colors and then start painting on the silk using gouache paint, lots of water, and my Chinese brushes. It is so meditative for me. I am definitely at my happiest painting as I can just zone out.
Q: How did you get your start in this field?
A: I guess it started right from toddler years! My mum says I used to draw all over the walls. As long as I can remember, I have been creating and crafting, and have always had a myriad of business ideas to keep me busy. I got into this particular field through my job at Fromental wallpapers, where I worked for six years. I traveled to China to visit the studios and learn these special techniques. From there it was just lots of experience and learning on the job.
Q: How would you describe your signature style?
A: My signature style is fresh, beautiful, youthful, and modern. What I do is quite unique in that I have taken traditional Chinese painting techniques and developed my own fresh, elegant interpretation. My designs are inspired by nature—birds and flowers, particularly.
Q: What is your favorite detail of the scarf?
A: The bold vibrancy of the peony flowers.
Q: What was it like working with Sarah on this project?
A: Working with Sarah and her team was just a delight from start to finish. Communication between all involved was so great, you would not even imagine we were thousands of miles apart!