Today we’re elated to introduce watercolor designer Dinara May (aka dinaramay in the Spoonflower Marketplace) for this week’s Meet the Designer series. Dinara’s home base may be in Moscow, however, she has spent the past year and a half traveling the world on a self-described “amazing journey of personal transformation and self-acceptance.” All the while, Dinara stays true to her unique vision of expressing her art and her human existence through being 100% present in her inward and outwardly exploration. We’re willing to bet you’ll be in your own meditative state by the end of this inspiring interview.
My day starts with:
“Tea and meditation. I don’t get to work until after lunch so my mornings are usually very slow and full of the things I love. I like to treat myself in the morning, it gives me a great boost for the rest of the day.”
I fell in love with design when…
“ I was a little girl. My mom was the first one who inspired and influenced me, I could spend hours watching her painting and designing something on her computer. It was pure magic to me.”
What’s in your toolbox?
“I like to keep it very light and mobile when I’m on the road. Usually, all I have with me when I travel is my iPad, laptop, and my Wacom tablet. When I’m in Moscow, I like to play with traditional media. My favorites are Schmincke watercolor paints, Dr. Ph. Martin’s calligraphy ink, and big synthetic brushes by Escoda.”
Can you tell us a bit more about your traveling lifestyle?
“With traveling, my initial goal was to find a new home in this world, a place I’d feel comfortable to live in. But after a while it has become something very different, it’s become this amazing personal journey of transformation and self-acceptance. So far I’ve visited about a hundred cities and villages, and each and every one of them was beautiful in its own unique way. I started my adventure in the north of Thailand where I lived for 5 months and then went to Laos, Singapore, and Sri Lanka. After that, I traveled to Europe – Spain, Italy, Greece, Malta, France, Germany. I’ve also spent some time traveling in Russia, this country has some of the greatest landscapes I’ve ever seen. If I had to pick my absolute favorite of all the places I’ve been to, I’d probably go with Berlin – it’s diverse, rebellious, very creative, and a little bit crazy. I feel like home when I go there and I hope I will be spending more time in this beautiful city. I don’t really know where I will be next month or next year, but I’m sure I will enjoy the ride.”
What is your process when creating a new design?
“The ideas always come suddenly when I travel and see something new or when I doodle something random. When I already have a certain idea, I would sketch it in ink or paint in watercolor, scan it and edit in Photoshop. Sometimes I would spend a couple days just painting different elements for future patterns and then work on them for months in my spare time.”
When I’m in my studio, I feel…
“Safe and calm. At home. I love being alone, it’s the time when I recharge and self-reflect while being productive.”
What influences or inspires your work and why?
“Life is incredible and gives so many amazing things every day. Traveling, nature, people I meet, my friends and family, relationships, love, art, even my own fears and doubts; everything influences me and my work in some way.”
I’d love to see one of my designs turned into a…
“Casual button-up shirt. Maybe also curtains, bed linens, or furniture covers. ”
What piece of your wardrobe best represents your style?
“Probably a black dress. It’s timeless, versatile and so easy to wear. It could look casual or professional with the right accessories, I just love it.”
If I could live in a painting, I would live in…
“Hiroshi Yoshida – Waiting for the Tide. I love the colors and the mood of this piece.”
The secret to a strong collection is…
“Consistent and appealing color palette and good rhythm.”
My mantra is…
“Done is better than perfect” is something I try to apply to my work on a daily basis. I used to be a workaholic and a perfectionist, and today I try to be the opposite – work less, rest more, make mistakes and be okay with it.”
What drew you to Spoonflower?
“ I first heard about Spoonflower about 5 years ago, and it was still a very new and interesting concept – to be able to not only design and use your own fabric, but also sell it online without the hassle of printing and shipping. I remember being very impressed with the possibilities and that night I read everything I could find about the founders and their story, it was very inspiring. I’m really glad I joined this community, I can’t imagine my life without Spoonflower today.”
For someone new to trying the design challenge, what advice would you give them?
“Don’t be afraid to experiment, use bold colors, weird shapes, step out of your comfort zone, it’s the perfect time to do it!”
Are you eager to create something beautiful with Dinara’s watercolor designs or what? One of our favorite DIYs is this zipper pouch featured on the Spoonflower Blog. On top of favoriting every single design in Dinara’s Spoonflower shop, skip on over to Instagram (@dinara.may) to follow the bright, clean and inspiring imagery she posts regularly. It will surely give you the lift you need, each and everyday!