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Vikki Chu Watercolour flowers for all occasions

April 2, 2014

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Vikki Chu knows a thing or two about watercolour delicacy when it comes to painting flowers. She has a keen eye for colour and doesn’t shy away from producing intricately flowing and ornate illustrations. Vikki originates  from Richmond, Virginia but is now based in New York.

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I love the feeling of movement and fluid rhythms in her work, I got in touch to discover more.

Where did your interest and fascination with flowers come from ?

I used to work as a textile print designer and a lot of the patterns I created at that job were floral. Since then, it has become more of an influence on my work.

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I can see your watercolours translating well into fashion fabrics. Have you ever thought of doing a range of womenswear summer fabrics ?

I would love to do a range of fabrics, but I haven’t had the opportunity to do so yet.

What has been your favourite commission to date ? Is there anything that you wouldn’t like to paint ?

My favorite commission has been working on the illustrations and patterns for the book Eat Pretty which just came out. Making patterns to be printed in a book was different than making them for fabric that is meant to go on a body. It was a fun project that really let me utilize my experience as an illustrator and textile designer.

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I see that you already produce some lovely designs for cards and sell prints of your work too. Are there any other areas that you would like to move your artwork towards ?

I would love to make wallpaper.

What is your favourite way to work ? Direct from nature, from photographs / sketchbooks or from your imagination ?

Unfortunately, I don’t draw from life as much as I used to but I’d say that drawing using nature is really my favourite way of working.

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How long do some of your intricate designs take to create from start to finish ?

It can take anywhere from half an hour to weeks. Really depends on what it’s for, but it’s definitely the digital part that takes the longest for me. I really tend to get stuck in that stage.

Fortunately for us, Vikki takes her sketchbook wherever she travels. You can sense the vibrancy or tranquillity of these cities from the way in which she has drawn them.

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I sense that along with very good eyesight you must be quite a patient and articulate person to paint the intricate work that you do. What do you most / least like about your chosen profession ?

Of course I love being able to make money from something that I already love doing. My least favorite thing is definitely the long hours of sitting hunched over a desk, which is sometimes needed. It really has taken a toll on my back and I often feel like I’m actually 80 ! I’m going to make the switch to a standing desk soon.

I love your animals and little church scenes too, are there any plans for more of these painterly views or delicate blue foxes ?

Yes, I’m sure there will be more of them in the future !

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Thanks I’ll be keeping an eye out for them then. You can buy Vikki’s designs on cards here at Betty & Dupree.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Nicki Aitken permalink
    April 3, 2014 8:04 am

    Hugely inspiring. Vikki’s designs are wonderful, pretty without being twee. A great way to start my day -Thank you!

    • April 3, 2014 8:11 am

      Thanks for letting me know too Nicki.

      • Nicki Aitken permalink
        April 3, 2014 8:10 pm

        There’s something “Collier Campbell” about the brush strokes, they seem to come alive. Would love to see Collier Campbell honoured on your site one day…

      • April 3, 2014 9:57 pm

        Thanks Nicki, Judy Lever, who took over the company is doing great things with it. It’s featuring in House of Fraser and M&S, but I must confess it’s not all to my taste. The Tropical Birds print is definitely amongst my favs : )

  2. April 3, 2014 2:51 pm

    The bottom prints are so different than her top prints. All interesting, beautiful. I like the questions you ask.

    • April 3, 2014 3:29 pm

      I agree Joy, there’s quite a range in Vikki’s style which is great to see. I try to ask the kind of questions I hope other people might be also thinking lol

      • April 4, 2014 1:44 pm

        you’re doing a great job.

      • April 4, 2014 4:27 pm

        Thanks, it’s great to feel the support of the people who read my blog too. Makes it all worthwhile : )

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