One of the many things I love about Instagram is its ability to connect us with people who share the same interests and that's how I found the lovely Mari. I'm not sure if it was one of her colorful & playful zebras, elephants, or hand painted works that got me but I knew immediately I was a fan. Its been so fun over the last year to get to know Mari and her work. Its inspiring, unique to her, and puts a smile on your face. Not only does she create pillows, notecards, & fabric she is also an interior designer & painter. I wanted to get inside her head and see what inspires her. Thank you Mari for sharing. Enjoy!
E: 1. Tell me about how you got in to design & painting. Which came first.
M: They go hand in hand. I use my illustration when working with my interior design clients and when I'm developing new products for other companies or myself. I've been doing both my entire life.
E: 2. Do you paint/draw everyday. What is your appropriate title? Painter, illustrator, etc.
M: Yes, I do paint every day. I've participated in the 100 Day Project which is to do something creative everyday and I chose painting. I'm on Day 96!! When I'm not painting for that project I am using it with my clients or in developing product designs. I guess, I'm both a painter and an illustrator but I would say my watercolors are more illustrations.
E: 3. Have you always had an interest in chinoiserie, bold colors, animals, etc.
M: Yes, no matter how hard I try to do something different, that's just what comes out of me. I have my ideas but then I just flow with it when I'm painting. My husband always laughs at me at how easily distracted I am by something pretty. I got lost in the flower department at Vons last week! I'm also a sucker for any kind of cute animal video. So I guess it makes sense that flowers & animals are among some of my favorite things to paint. I also really Love to paint room renderings. Because I'm an Interior Designer, it's fun for me to make up crazy, colorful rooms when there is no client asking for beige everything. I love my clients but the paper gives me great freedom.
E: 4. Do you have any advice for up and coming artists/designers?
M: Don't be afraid to reach out to other artists. A candle doesn't dim by lighting another. (Not sure who said that but I love it.) I'm a huge fan of supporting the arts when ever I can. Also, stay unique. Although there are many trending topics being painted and we are all influenced by one another, try to find your own way of creating. Those are the artists that rise to the top because it's authentic and interesting to see what they will create next.
E: 5. Where do you go for inspiration?
M: Like I said, I got lost in the flower department at Vons... ha ha ha. Inspiration is everywhere. Yesterday when I was at the beach the sand was making the most exquisite patterns, so obviously nature is my first go to. I'm also very inspired by my Interior Designer friends and sometimes I just want to paint a room they created because it's so beautiful. You know this first hand with those amazing chairs you created!! :-)
E: 6. What are your favorite podcasts?
M: I hardly have any time to listen to a pod cast; three daughters, a husband, two businesses, caring for my elderly parents and my two crazy cats leaves very little time for those fun extras.
E: 7. Who is your favorite artist & designer?
M: Oh jeez....there are so many!! For Interior Design past, I have to say Dorothy Draper. She seriously is my spirit animal and paved the way for fearless and colorful design! I also love the architect Julia Morgan who designed many of our houses in California including that little one known as Hearst Castle. She was pretty incredible. My favorite Interior Designers present, have to be the Parker Kennedy boys. Again, fearless with color and decor. BUT there are hundreds on this list!! As far as Illustrators, I have to say Jeremiah Goodwin. He is the King of Room Renderings! What he does with the paint brush and light takes my breath away. I follow him on Instagram and everything he does makes me happy.
E: 8. What is your favorite book?
M: These are really hard questions!! Well, the Bible comes to mind right away but others I enjoy would be The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, and pretty much any book that has to do with art, design, travel and entertaining!
E: 9. Can new art live with antique art and how do you combine the two?
M: Oh my yes!! It has too. Just buy art that speaks to you and they will always play nicely together. It's when you are looking for a "wall filler" that things then get more challenging to decorate around.
Rapid Fire Questions:
Coffee or Tea? Coffee but I love Green Tea too.
Sushi or Mexican? Both! Lunch then dinner.
Gym or Hike? Hike! So many beautiful hikes here on the Central Coast.
Book or Kindle? Book, a thousand times over a Kindle.
Mountains or Beach? Beach but Both aka Big Sur.
These are Mari's new 2016 Tea Towel Calendar & Pagoda Mugs launching next week. Aren't they fun?
You can follow Mari here: