Bring in Spring with New Designs from Tiff Manuell
Just in time for Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, we have a colorful, vibrant and exciting new series of wallpaper designs from Tiff Manuell. Spring is a time that signifies new beginnings. It’s common for home decor enthusiasts to refresh their interiors with something that signifies life and optimism. The art of Tiff Manuell is all about the joy of life and her designs have given a fashionable, inspirational and jubilant vibe to clothing, bags and accessories. Now you can capture that same dynamic vitality in your home with her wallpaper designs. We would love to introduce you to this talented and successful Australian artist and dive into this new wallpaper collection. Read on!
MK: You are currently in Adelaide, South Australia, have you always lived there? Where were you born and raised?
TM: I was born in Adelaide, but moved to Alice Springs in the Northern Territory when I was two, my family started a small business there. I then moved when I finished high school to Melbourne.
MK: At what age did you realise you had a knack for art and creativity? How did you know?
TM: I think I was about ten when I discovered how comfortable I felt when I was creating. I just felt compelled, I think, to create on some level…imagine, draw, make, observe and window dress everything I could get my hands on! I was making and selling products by the time I was 15 through my dad’s pharmacy. I think I have always had one of those brains that was not settled if I was not thinking creatively and or creating.
MK: Did you receive any training or education in art? If so, from where?
TM: My move to Melbourne was to study at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. I graduated with a Bachelor of Fashion. I spent many years illustrating and designing… I always had an affinity with paint and pencils, less so with the sewing machine!
MK: We see your art has having a very distinct style or brand, how and when did you discover your style?
TM: My artwork has evolved over the years with experience but I think most people would suggest my style has always been very distinctive. I have never been afraid to use a lot of colour, for me its just an intuitive process. I never really plan or overthink it. Even my first business “Happy House’ was firmly built around colour. Without putting too much thought into it, my brand has just developed by virtue of creating paintings that make me happy. I believe in just following this theory. Given that people respond well to it is just an added joy, so I continue to explore and hopefully always build on my skills and quality of work. I don’t deliberately try to make sure my work fits into a style, it has just taken on a life of its own, I guess.
MK: The majority of your artwork features a key element of drip painting, though sometimes it’s appearance is not as dominant, what do you find most appealing about this type of art?
TM: For one reason or another I starting using a wall to paint raw canvas on. It was a vast area to use and it meant I could use pressure against the walls to create texture into the paint using various tools. Also, gravity was wonderful given the free flow of paint. I really adored the texture from the fluid paint, the drips! I am all about layers and depth of colour and texture, whether it’s for our bags or my wall paintings. I love using different mediums and in particular mixing colours to achieve a never ending array of hues. The drip style has just become a signature, but was never deliberately so.
MK: Would you say that Janet Sobel, Andre Masson, Jackson Pollock are influences on you? If not, what artists inspire you?
TM: I have to be really honest, apart from a few art history lessons at school, I have never really delved back or been deliberately influenced by what others do. Don’t get me wrong, I love observing art. I think my intuition for colour and art was more driven by my surroundings, being brought up around indigenous art and a mum who loved modern art and adorned our walls with a mishmash of styles and artists. I was very influenced by Ken Done, Linda Jackson and Jenny Kee when I was super young, I think that total explosion of colour and design onto product and clothing influenced me more so. It was also incredibly Australian! I do love many an artists these days, I think the work that has most moved me when seeing original paintings in the flesh have been Jean- Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, and more recently Australian artist Ben Quilty. I’m also a massive fan of product design, furniture and architecture design, 3 dimensional!
MK: Vibrant colours are another huge element of your style. Can you tell us a little about your favorite ways of using colour and what it represents to you?
TM: I am definitely not minimalist, that is for sure. More is more, I guess. I don’t like to be shocking with colour or bold to the point of being over the top. I just love to be experimental and I am as happy to work with pastel palettes and quirky mixes as I am to work with brights. I just love colours full stop. I am totally drawn to the never-ending combinations, the way two or many more colours sit side by side and how they influence our feelings. My patterns and colour combinations can have different effects on different people; this is incredibly interesting to me and a constant source of inspiration. I am naturally drawn to brights but I tend to live more peacefully with a mixed bag of bright and muted tones against a lot of white and a good mix of nature!
MK: Your artwork is being turned into wallpaper, how do you feel about that? Have you ever worked with wallpaper before?
TM: I couldn’t be more excited. For many years I have painted large panels of canvas on my studio walls and customers already saw and commented on them looking like wallpaper so this opportunity with Milton and King is a natural transition, I think. I am very appreciative that Milton and King were so happy to just work with the designs in their original form rather than dull them down or dilute their detail. I think it’s incredibly brave but also really very timely when people are looking for unique statements for their spaces. It’s a great fit for our current interior design trends. Well, I hope so!
MK: Of the new wallpaper designs, do you have a favourite, or one that speaks to you the most or stands out to you in any way?
TM: I am very drawn to the nana type florals, I think its a nice fit between my natural bold art style but soft and almost historical as well. Many people suggest my work is often nostalgic, reminiscent of eras gone by, that they have lived through! Often the 80’s! I like this as an idea to my work.
MK: What are your artistic, personal, business goals over the next couple of years?
TM: Most importantly to grow artistically, to develop my work so it signifies quality and a distinct style. I am less about building a bigger business when it comes to our products and focused on quality rather than quantity. Hence, our products are quite limited and almost everything is hand made. Working with distinguished businesses and interesting people is very rewarding too, so I am open and hopeful for a few of those opportunities. I would love to dedicate more time to focus on my original artwork. The process is extremely humbling and I love how it constantly pushes me outside of my comfort zone.