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Artist Spotlight: A conversation with Pauline de Roussy de Sales

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Pauline has absolutely captured our hearts and, if you don't know her yet, you're about to be captured too! Her artwork is transportive and charming and truly brings you into the scenes she so colorfully portrays. When new original art by Pauline arrives at the shop, we all stop and marvel... and then immediately try to find space in our own homes for one of her new amazing pieces. Seeing original art like Pauline's is one of the best parts of the job and it helps that she is such a delight too! In between traveling, working, and developing prints for lines of products, Pauline shared some fun facts with us about her artwork, growing up in NYC, and the favorite parts of her home.

You are from New York originally, what part of the city did you grow up in, and where do you live now? Any other favorite neighborhoods in New York? I grew up in Chelsea in a townhouse full of art and a garden. I moved around in NYC but I’ve come back to Chelsea; this neighborhood still has some quiet places despite all its changes. The evolution of the area, though, has brought so many different crowds that it’s become a never ending source of inspiration for me. I love NYC so I don’t know if I have a favorite neighborhood but I like that each neighborhood is its own world, its own character and history, that’s unique to NYC, I think.

Tell us about your process and how you are drawn to what materials you use. I usually just make something up, I don’t sketch anything first and I generally just picture something in my mind and then try to put it down on paper. Sometimes, I am doing a party scene or a restaurant scene and I have little stories that I try to play out within the illustration. I always liked Where’s Waldo and Eye Spy  so I put a lot of action/activities/gestures in my work that I think are fun to take a minute and look for in the piece. 

A lot of your work is very New York centric. What inspires your work/ how do you decide what catches your eye? Everywhere I look in the city, someone or something is always catching my eye. New York is full of characters so the inspiration comes very easily. Sometimes I just look out the window and see someone in an interesting outfit or with a quirky dog and that is all I need to go ahead and start working.

Who are some of your favorite artists and illustrators? I love Florine Stettheimer. She was a painter in the 20s and 30s and she painted a lot of her friends and parties in a very whimsical way.

How long have you been drawing, and how has your work evolved? Where would you like to see it go next? I’ve been drawing forever. My parents are artists and there were always supplies in the house for me to experiment with. I would love to do more prints for home fabrics. I love the idea of mixing and matching my prints with pillows and upholstered furniture, maybe wallpaper too. 

Do you have a favorite piece you've created, or project that you've worked on? I particularly love when I get asked to design prints for fabric. It gives my art a new life when it’s put into three dimension.

What is your favorite room in your home and why? Any favorite objects with a special meaning? My favorite room in my house is my living room which is also my studio. It has the most light and it’s the most open, airy, and spacious. I purposefully don’t have much furniture to give it space to breathe. Favorite objects are my shell collection; I love collecting shells and rocks.

Where are some of your favorite places to travel? If you didn't live in New York, where would you live? I like traveling within the US. This country has the most extraordinary natural diversity. It’s incredible how expansive it is and that gets me very excited to explore. If I didn’t live in NYC, I would like to live in New Mexico or Arizona -- somewhere out West. The landscape really does something for me, the colors, reds and greens and super blue skies. Also the dry heat, there’s no dry heat in NYC.


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