LIVING IN culture-rich Shanghai, Hong Kong, and now Singapore, inspired Designer Louise Hill to create her unique and mesmerising prints.
Louise uses a mixture of her own photography, illustration and patterns, vintage imagery of details from the cityscapes that she has lived in to piece together stunning vignettes. We got to interview her and find out what drives her passion for art and how she does it.
PLEASE TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF. WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO?
I am an artist and packaging designer originally from London where I worked in design agencies for 15 years before moving to Asia in 2006.
You’ll often find Louise immersed in her extensive collection of inspiration.
“My local customers often relate to the nostalgia that my work brings, sometimes of childhood memories and my expat customers love to buy my work as a memento of where they have lived as they move onto new adventures elsewhere.”
TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY TO DESIGN, WHAT ABOUT DESIGN DREW YOU IN?
Design is in my family as both of my parents are in design, so I have always been surrounded by art and design from an early age. After leaving school I followed in their footsteps and went straight to Art School and specialised in Graphic design.
WE’VE NOTICED A STRONG INFLUENCE FROM SINGAPORE AND HONG KONG IN YOUR WORK. WHAT ABOUT THESE CITIES AND CULTURES INSPIRE YOU?
We have lived in Shanghai for 4 years, Hong Kong 4 years and now Singapore for 7 years. I love the varying cultures of all of these cities, the heritage buildings and architecture, the patterns found in traditional fabrics, packaging design of local brands and the amazing cultural customs and festivals!
I love to discover the heartbeat of a city, the reality of living in a foreign country as opposed to visiting for a short time can be very different as you start to notice more of the visual layers of everyday rituals and scenery that make up daily life.
THERE ARE SO MANY BEAUTIFUL DETAILS IN YOUR COLLAGES, HOW DO YOU DECIDE ON THE COMPONENTS? TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR SELECTION PROCESS.
Thank you! Rather than collage - an art form which tends to use existing imagery, I prefer to create all of my own imagery for my artworks using a mix of photography, illustration and hand finishing. I always start with a concept and sketch out my ideas first to enable me to piece together my design. Then I use a selection of photographs of pattern and architectural details, bought vintage objects, fabrics and sometimes I illustrate some details of chinoiserie to add in too.
All of these elements end up as one digital file which once printed I might hand finish in metallic inks and gold foils. I tend to select the imagery based on balance, subject matter and colour ways.
WHAT DID YOU WISH TO ACHIEVE WITH YOUR WORK? HOW DID YOU ENVISION CUSTOMERS TO REACT AND EXPERIENCE YOUR PRINTS?
My work is a visual reference of my life and travels in Asia, a culmination of my observations of details and cultures that I love. My local customers often relate to the nostalgia that my work brings, sometimes of childhood memories and my expat customers love to buy my work as a memento of where they have lived as they move onto new adventures elsewhere.
As my design style is so highly multilayered, customers often say that each time they look at my work they often discover a new detail they haven't seen before.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR ART STYLE? IF YOU COULD SHOW ONLY ONE OF YOUR CREATIONS AS A REPRESENTATION OF LOUISE HILL DESIGN, WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE AND WHY?
My art style has evolved naturally from working as a packaging designer for companies such as Crabtree & Evelyn and Fortnum & Masons in the UK using a refined heritage illustrative style of design which spans back to pre computer days when we would design everything by hand.
These days I like to mix the traditional way of working with the new and combine both traditional and computer skills. I would say that it is a form of photographic digital art.
“My work is a visual reference of my life and travels in Asia, a culmination of my observations of details and cultures that I love.”
I suppose if I had to choose one (which is impossible!) I would choose my'Chinoiserie in Aquamarine & Powder Blues'
as it combines all of the elements that I use, including illustration and hand finishing in gold ink.
It’s all in the details. Louise adds a layer of luxe by hand painting the beautiful gold elements.
WHO ARE YOUR DESIGN HEROES?
I have so many but my earliest would be Mary Lewis from Lewis Moberly, Louise Fili for her incredible hand crafting and Sir David Tang for his amazing talent at taking the cultural heritage design elements of China and turning them into a contemporary brand.
DO YOU HAVE A DREAM PROJECT AND WHAT IS IT?
I would love to collaborate with a big fashion and lifestyle brand or become a lifestyle brand myself!
The artist draws inspiration from a wide range of objects and visuals. Overtime, she has collected many beautiful pieces of heritage and nostalgia. You may spot some familiar items featured in her prints!
WITH CREATIVE WORK, OFTEN COMES THE INEVITABLE MIND BLOCKS. HOW DO YOU GET UNSTUCK CREATIVELY?
I honestly have never ever had a mind block, in fact I have quite the opposite problem and can't seem to get through the long lists of never ending ideas quickly enough!
“I love to discover the heartbeat of a city, the reality of living in a foreign country as opposed to visiting for a short time can be very different as you start to notice more of the visual layers of everyday rituals and scenery that make up daily life.”
YOU’VE MADE YOUR HOUSE A HOME IN MANY DIFFERENT COUNTRIES, DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE ON HOW TO MAKE YOUR HOUSE A HOME?
Share the beautiful prints with loved ones, send them Louise Hill Design Singapore Luxury Greeting Cards. Beautifully finished luxury set of 8 individually designed cards and 8 different envelopes, both printed with gold foil logos.
SO … WHAT’S NEXT — ARE YOU WORKING ON ANYTHING NOW?
I am always working on new artworks and projects, I am constantly collecting vintage objects and taking photos with different pieces in mind. As my work is mostly self generated, I often am working 6 to 8 months ahead. At the moment I am working on more pieces for Singapore, Hong Kong and Asia in general. I also love a good collaboration!