Day 7 – Sweet William Prints
Sweet William prints are based in Melbourne, Australia (originally from South Africa). The team consists of sisters, Paula Mills and Shelly Gardner. We spoke to Paula Mills to find out more about her “whimsical” illustrations.
Are you a self-taught artist, or what studies did you do to get where you are today?
I did two art subjects at school and then studied commercial art and graphic design at an art college in Cape Town (where I grew up) after school.
I continually do short courses, as I believe as an artists you have to keep learning.
A few courses I have done:
Children’s Book illustration – CAE
Painting – CAE
Drawing – Victorian College of Art
Botanical Drawing – Paper Empire
Painting – Fitzroy Painting School
Portrait Painting – Andrew Forsythe
What tools, programs and apps do you love or cannot live without?
I love ink. I love watercolour. I love Photoshop. I love Instagram. I love a photo filter app called Priime.
Your art provides inspirations to so many others. What or who inspires you?
I am inspired by beauty, pattern and colour.
Can you describe your process including how long a piece of art or photography takes you from concept to complete?
My processes vary. If I am painting a canvas I try to finish it over a few days. If I am doing ink drawings, they can sit on my desk for months – there is always work in progress. Sometimes I work in layers in Photoshop – this can take hours. Sometimes I do a quick and simple ink drawing that only takes minutes…as I type this I realise I don’t really have a specific process. I very much work ‘as the mood takes me’.
What part of your process do you love the most?
Loosing myself in a drawing or painting – hours and meal times go by when I am completely absorbed in it.
If you weren’t an artist, what do you think you would be doing for work?
An art director… maybe or a florist…or a social worker…a stylist…not sure. A vintage collector/seller. A full-time mother. A bad you tuber. Embarrassing my children.
Who is the most fascinating or inspiring person you have met or worked with?
I can’t choose just one:
Years ago in Cape Town, South Africa, I met Desmond Tutu – he was very inspiring.
I have very briefly met Miranda Skoczek – I love her work.
One of my closest friends is Ali McNabney- Stevens – she is very inspiring
A few years ago I met Miso as a young Melbourne street artist – very inspiring too
Name an underrated artist
My brother – Myles Lamberth
What artwork of yours are you most proud of?
A large collage I did called ‘Two Worlds’ which sold in an exhibition a few years ago.
What’s next in the professional pipe works for you?
I have my first solo exhibition at Signed And Numbered in Prahran, Melbourne on the 2nd of November for two weeks.
Bonus fun questions
What is your pet peeve?
Bad music at a party.
What is your current favourite album?
Rag’n Bone Man
Apart from art, what is your favourite thing to do?
Dancing to 90’s house music in my lounge room.
If you could tame any animal and have it as a pet, which one would it be and why?
A zebra – they are beautiful.
Images used courtesy of Paula Mills © Sweet William Prints