The Botanical Artistic Design Journey - Interview by Vigour & Skills
- Can you tell us about your background as a jewellery designer and how you became interested in botanical art mandalas?
My journey as a professional jewellery designer began in 2015 after retraining at the Goldsmith's Centre and City Lit College, London, transitioning from 10 years working as a graphic designer in London design agencies. Fueled with a passion for developing my creativity and a desire to express meaningful heartfelt stories, I merged my conceptual design thinking and craft skills with my love for craftsmanship, travel, nature and gemstones. Inspired by the Hindu rituals and vibrant biodiversity of Bali, I delved into the concept of mandalas. "Mandala," meaning "circle or wholeness," became the focal point as I illustrated a series of botanical mandalas, capturing the nourishing energy and colours of nature to evoke harmony and joy. These designs pay homage to the Balinese Culture and the art of living in balance with nature, inviting the viewer to embark on a spiritual journey within.
- How have your trips to Bali influenced your work as a jewellery designer and graphic artist? Can you describe some specific elements or motifs that you incorporate into your designs?
My journey to Bali spurred the evolution of my technical craft and illustration skills combined with the desire to tell my enriching story through visual art.
Inspired by the intricate craftsmanship of Balinese wood and stone carvings of statues and botanical decorative doors, I incorporated symbolic flowers, significant gemstones and decorative motifs in my illustrational mandalas to create more meaningful artworks. Frangipanis symbolise pure love, birds of paradise symbolise freedom, pink lotus flower symbolise resilience and new beginnings. All these elements were thoughtfully chosen to visually radiate a fulfilling harmonious feeling with a harmonious colour palette.
As a result these illustrations informed the design direction of my Sensuous Bali jewellery collection. I learned to meticulously hand carve sculptural botanical rings from jeweller's wax to add a touch of artistry to each piece.
- How do you approach combining different artistic disciplines, such as jewellery and graphic design, in your work? How do these different aspects of your creative practice complement each other?
I love combining different mediums for a rich versatile creative expression and see what I’m capable to create. Driven by the challenge to evolve my artistic and craft skills, I choose materials that would best communicate my message or idea.
I felt inspired to practice creative processes and tools that feel good and enjoyable while producing a meaningful final piece for different purposes: one to be worn and one to use.
I first set myself a brief with a conceptual idea before designing anything. I often illustrate, sketch, create moodboards, conceptual collage of the story or message I want to tell. This creative process helps me to find design solutions and translates the story into symbolic jewellery designs with the same botanical, organic, intricate, colourful and elegant artistic aspects. Sometimes I develop my illustrations further into a finished art piece which visualises the story of the jewellery design pieces well when they are on display at an exhibition.
I’m keen to experiment using sustainable materials such as handmade paper from botanical fibres such as bamboo or gampi paper with ink-coloured pencils and gouache.
- What role do you think botanical art mandalas play in contemporary art and design? How do you see them evolving in the future?
Beyond their traditional use in decorative pieces, particularly in the yoga industry, I see these intricate artworks seamlessly integrating into the realm of interior biophilic design within hospitality, well-being and retail spaces. I envision collaborations with my direct clients and interior designers crafting personalised mandalas, adding a unique and meaningful, uplifting element to spaces. These mandala artworks serve as more than aesthetically beautiful joyful decor; they become catalysts for raising awareness about the profound impact of nature on our emotional, mental, and physical well-being. As eco-conscious architects and interior designers embrace natural materials and purposefully integrate products for our well-being, decorative botanical mandalas artworks could emerge as a beneficial and intentional element, fostering harmony and connection within our living spaces.
- How do you stay inspired and continue to develop your skills as a jewellery designer ? Are there any specific resources, books, or artists that have influenced your work?
I love to discover new cultures and learn from their cultural craftsmanships and art. I keep drawing, sketching ideas, look for inspiration and technical crafts that inspire me to become better in my craft.
Indonesian Batik craft and design
Balinese Decorative Temple arts
ALPHONSE MUCHA of the Art nouveau period has immensely inspired my work.
JAMES CAMERON film director for Avatar for visual characters.
Botanical Art Techniques by ….
Poetry by JOHN MUIR
MARIANNE NORTH biologist, Victorian adventurer and pioneer in botanical art
ERNST HAECKL, a German zoologist, naturalist, philosopher, marine biologist and artist
Thank you Beatrice at Vigour and Skills for the interview !