Watercolor artist Riley Sheehey takes us through her design process in painting the Odette silk scarf.
Q: What is your main medium?
A: Watercolor, but lately have been diving into acrylics as well.
Q: Where do you draw your inspiration?
A: Pattern, vintage movies and art, flowers and nature, and interior design.
Q: What would you like us to know about your creative process?
A: I love old things. One of my favorite quotes is by Sister Parish: “Innovation is often the ability to reach into the past and pull out what is good, what is beautiful, what is useful, and what is lasting.” When I completed the research for this project, I saved many, many images of vintage scarves. The border detail for the Odette scarf was inspired by a sketch I found of a French textile design from the early 1800s. Once I had the border detail down, I felt like I was able to hit the ground running with the rest of the design.
Q: How did you get your start in this field?
A: I worked as an elementary school art teacher for six years before going full-time as an artist in 2017. When I first started selling my artwork in 2014, I created custom wedding paper designs and portraiture for friends and family. Since then, I have moved away from custom work, and am now more focused on building my own personal portfolio. One thing that hasn’t changed is that I want to create things that will make people smile.
Q: How would you describe your signature style?
A: Feminine, whimsical, and delicate.
Q: What is your favorite detail of the scarf?
A: The scalloped detailing around the border and the name “plaque.”
Q: What was it like working with Sarah on this project?
A: I have been a long-time admirer of Sarah not only for the brand she’s built, but also for her personal style, so I was excited to have the chance to get to know her personally. She has a great eye for detail and gave me a ton of creative freedom on the project, but was able to help me out when I was stuck (for example, I was struggling to figure out where to put her name, and she gave me the idea of adding in a plaque, inspired by vintage Hermès scarves). I loved working with her!