MY WORK­ING LIFE

Dubai-based artist Hatty Ped­der cre­ated the art­work for Fri­day’s an­nual horo­scope is­sue. When she’s not in her stu­dio – six hours a day! – she’s at lav­ish wed­dings, draw­ing the pro­ceed­ings live

Friday - - Contents -

Dubai-based il­lus­tra­tor Hatty Ped­der paints a pretty pic­ture, espe­cially of wed­dings.

What does be­ing an il­lus­tra­tor in­volve? Every day is so dif­fer­ent, as my work crosses many dif­fer­ent cre­ative gen­res. I am con­stantly dis­cov­er­ing new op­por­tu­ni­ties and meet­ing in­cred­i­ble peo­ple. As an il­lus­tra­tor, one day I am live-draw­ing guests for a lux­ury brand event, an­other day I may be fash­ion il­lus­trat­ing, cre­at­ing a con­cept for a brand, cre­at­ing a mu­ral or work­ing with ho­tels on their col­lat­eral or sim­ply paint­ing for my ex­hi­bi­tions. I feel very for­tu­nate that I have been able to bal­ance work­ing as an il­lus­tra­tor along­side be­ing an ex­hibit­ing artist. I host ex­hi­bi­tions that are in­spired by dif­fer­ent cities and am cur­rently putting the fin­ish­ing touches to my Paris col­lec­tion, which will be show­cased in Ger­many. I am also a mother to a nine-year-old daugh­ter, In­digo, and so am con­stantly jug­gling. How did you turn art into a ca­reer? I al­ways knew I wanted to be an artist – there was never any­thing else. It has al­ways been a pas­sion of mine and part of who I am. I come from a very cre­ative back­ground – my grand­par­ents were artists, my fa­ther a keen am­a­teur and my mother a smocker and chil­dren’s fash­ion de­signer. So it’s no sur­prise that I chose to fol­low in their foot­steps and grad­u­ated with a BA from Cen­tral Saint Martins in London in graphic design with a spe­cial­i­sa­tion in il­lus­tra­tion. How much of your time is spent draw­ing? I have to be very dis­ci­plined to keep on top of my work. Luck­ily my stu­dio is at home, which means I can work any­time I feel my cre­ative juices flow­ing. As a rule I paint ap­prox­i­mately six hours a day, al­though this is flex­i­ble if I have meet­ings dur­ing the day. How long does a piece take, and how much time is spent on ideas and con­cepts? It de­pends on the brief, medium, size, colour and other re­quire­ments. A live draw­ing sketch at an event can take about 10 min­utes while a sim­ple il­lus­tra­tion can take half a day, a more com­plex il­lus­tra­tion up to a week and a large art piece a few months. Con­cep­tu­al­i­sa­tion is a key part of my process and the il­lus­tra­tion. This can in­volve a lot of re­search, which is a jour­ney that I like to take with my clients. What are you work­ing on right now? I just re­cently fin­ished de­sign­ing a ceil­ing mu­ral for a restau­rant in Mad­i­nat Jumeirah, which I am very ex­cited to see. I am cur­rently work­ing on some tex­tile de­signs for a cou­turier and have a mix­ture of live draw­ing and pri­vate paint­ing com­mis­sions. What is the project you are most proud of? I think my con­tin­ued col­lab­o­ra­tion with the in­spi­ra­tional Gün­ther de Tem­ple – who was my first col­lec­tor and pur­chased my en­tire col­lec­tion and con­tin­ues to sup­port my art to this day – has been an in­cred­i­ble jour­ney for me on so many lev­els. A few years ago, he opened a bou­tique ho­tel in Ger­many, Au­berge de Tem­ple. It has rooms named after the artists from whom he col­lects and there is a Hatty Ped­der room, in which I have had the hon­our of stay­ing. I helped il­lus­trate for it, with com­plete free­dom al­low­ing me to go where my imag­i­na­tion and whim­si­cal style takes me. What’s the cra­zi­est job you’ve done? I don’t know that I have re­ally had mad jobs – they are of­ten very per­sonal and touch­ing, some­times quirky or un­usual. Once I was com­mis­sioned to design an il­lus­trated comic book for a young man to give to his fi­ancée for their en­gage­ment. He asked me to con­vey the story lead­ing up to their en­gage­ment and we had to re-en­act the whole sce­nario; it was very ro­man­tic and charm­ing. An­other time I had to face my fear of heights to cre­ate a mu­ral for Mojo PR in their in­cred­i­ble of­fice. Be­ing so high up on the scaf­fold­ing and draw­ing helped me get over my fear, and it was so much fun to do. What are the chal­lenges of your job? There are not enough hours in a day – my work tends to be very de­tailed and I am ob­ses­sive by na­ture. How about run­ning an art busi­ness in Dubai? I have been in Dubai 23 years and watched the mar­ket grow here at an in­cred­i­ble pace. You can’t help but get in­spired. There are so many op­por­tu­ni­ties – any­thing is pos­si­ble. With Dubai’s tourism and the con­stant growth, there are many events around town that in­cor­po­rate art – it is an ex­cit­ing time to be here. What I love about be­ing based in Dubai is the in­cred­i­ble spec­trum of dif­fer­ent cre­ative gen­res that I have the op­por­tu­nity to work across – keep­ing it fresh and di­rect­ing me of­ten on un­ex­pected paths. Why did you de­cide to pur­sue wed­ding il­lus­tra­tion? I dis­cov­ered the world of wed­dings and was in­spired by all its glam­our and the­atri­cals – espe­cially here in the UAE, where wed­dings are lux­u­ri­ous and imag­i­na­tive in every way. And go­ing on this cre­ative jour­ney with the bride is a per­sonal, ex­cit­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. I have in­tro­duced live draw­ings for wed­dings, where I draw the bride and groom and their guests. I also of­fer live draw­ing re­portage sketches through­out the wed­ding that can be bound into be­spoke wed­ding il­lus­trated books – cre­at­ing a last­ing mem­o­ra­bilia – and de­tailed be­spoke re­portage paint­ings that cap­ture the whole wed­ding. For this I at­tend the wed­ding and take thou­sands of pic­tures – it takes about three months for the paint­ing to be com­pleted.

For­get selfies: Hatty’s spe­cial­i­sa­tion is cov­er­ing events with live draw­ings – at wed­dings, for ex­am­ple

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