Cass Deller is an Australian Designer and artist based on the beautiful Sunshine Coast, Queensland. Inspired by the laid back coastal lifestyle, she specialises in modern watercolour illustrations and unique hand lettering.
Your hometown, Noosa, boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. What do you find so inspiring about the coast?
Most of all I find the lifestyle inspiring. Ever since we moved to the coast from Brisbane in 2013, life has been simpler, more relaxed and just generally more inspiring. The fresh air, slower pace and afternoons at the beach just allow for more day dreaming, and appreciation of the coastal life. No matter how busy or crazy your day has been, an afternoon at the beach soothes your soul, and makes you feel present each day.
When did you first fall in love with watercolour?
I’ve had a fascination with watercolour for many years. Growing up I always experimented with creative processes, which included trying and testing different mediums from pencils, to acrylic, to gouache, ink & watercolour. I always used to gravitate towards acrylic because of how I could control the colour and shading, however it wasn’t until I studied graphic design in 2012 that I feel in love with watercolour again. I love that watercolour can be as unpredictable as you like, and imperfections and accidents can be the highlight of the design.
How would you describe your creative process?
My creative process differs quite a lot from project to project. With a background in interior design and graphic design, my watercolour designs are featured on textiles, wedding stationery, packaging, and branding, so as you can imagine, each design brief can be quite different.
Generally speaking, each design project begins with a moodboard to capture the look & feel perfectly, it also ensures that myself and the client are both on the same page before I put paint brush to paper. Once the general direction is established, my research begins. For example, if the design is “lush tropical inspired”, I would research different fauna to represent this style and ensure I understand the overall forms, colours and details that make them unique.
Once I have created the watercolour artworks, I then scan them into the computer where they can be digitally manipulated. Sometimes the design is just touched up, and colours enhanced. Other times, the original artwork can be manipulated quite heavily, with the rearranging of forms, colours changed, and beautiful patterns created. Either way, each design always begins with an original artwork, and is then created into a very bespoke and unique piece.
Do you have a philosophy or set of beliefs that govern the way you design?
With each design brief I always try to stay true to myself, and to my style. I love to challenge myself, however It wouldn’t feel right to me if I was trying to create something that didn’t reflect the ‘Cass Deller’ brand. I inject a lot of positivity and love into what I do, and I want that to show in each and every piece, and most of all I want my client to feel that.
Tell us a bit about your designs for Pillow Talk.
This design came together quite organically. I wanted to experiment with different colour ways and how they would interact with each other once they were layered. When working with watercolour you have to work quite quickly as the pigments dry quite fast, and each second that goes by will result in a different effect. This particular design was inspired by rich summer hues, and how they can sit side by side in this waterfall effect.
With this design I wanted to create a snapshot into the beautiful forms and colourways that are found among lush tropical gardens. With quick moving brush strokes, I have used these simple forms to represent a flourishing water garden.
As well as quilt cover sets, you’ve designed coffee cups, swimwear & silk scarves. Are there challenges that come with translating a design on paper to an actual object?
Yes, there are always challenges with each design, however its just a matter of knowing the product, and problem-solving to ensure my design is not compromised by any hurdles we need to overcome. This is where digital design is revolutionary, and with the programs we use, almost anything is possible.
What are your thoughts on traditional vs. digital design?
I like to think that my work, and my life, combines the best of both worlds. I love nothing more than sitting in my studio, writing beautiful letting with and old fashioned calligraphy pen, or mixing watercolours and painting for hours on end. At the same time it excites me to take both my lettering and my artwork onto the computer where I can combine them, and create magical pieces that can be reproduced and shared with the rest of the world.
What’s on the cards for you in 2016?
2016 is looking like a very busy year for us! Not only are we expanding our studio and launching our online shop, we have a beautiful 5 month old boy to keep us on our toes 🙂