Put even the smallest paintbrush in the right hands and watch a new world of color and design burst forth. It's the world only as Dena sees it: fresh, inviting, and brimming with joy. Award-winning artist, illustrator, TV host, author, and widely syndicated newspaper columnist, Dena is a leading product and lifestyle designer whose signature blend of hand-painted florals and modern prints warm hearts and homes all over the world.
Q&A WITH DENA
Q: Walk through your artistic process with us.
Dena: I begin by thinking about the end product I'm designing: is it dinnerware, bedding, baby, clothing? What would I like to see if I were shopping for this product? How do I want to make my consumer feel? I'll write down all these ideas directly onto the paper I'm about to paint on. For example, I just started designing my newest Happi by Dena™ baby apparel collection and began by writing words like, "sweetness, happiness, playful, cozy, heather grey, soft pink, white". Once the words are written down, I'll sketch some quick pencil drawings on paper, mix my colors and dive right in! I don't like to plan it out too much - I prefer to let the design form as I paint, taking it one step at a time, deciding what color or shape will come next. It's always a bit of a surprise at the end of the process. Usually, I'll imagine one thing in the beginning and by the time it's done, it's much different!
Q: That leads us right into our next question. Where do you find your inspiration?
Dena: I find inspiration EVERYWHERE! My studio window looks out onto my garden, and because something beautiful is always blooming, I'm constantly inspired by it! But inspiration really is all around us - it can be found in a beautiful color combination, a wonderfully soft fabric or the feeling you get when you hug your dog. I am especially inspired by feelings and by what makes someone feel happy, warm, comforted, delighted, etc.
Q: It can be overwhelming for people to know where to start when it comes to inserting style into their homes. What would be your recommendation to them?
Dena: Start by simply buying things that you love. Don't buy things because they follow a new trend or because all of your friends have it. Buy something because it's a design that you would love to live with and that makes you feel good. I don't think there is any way you can go wrong if you buy only what you love.
Q: Lastly, with 2015 right around the corner, what's on the horizon for Dena Designs? Is there anything we can expect?
Dena: We're really excited for 2015! We've alligned with some amazing new partners and are also expanding in the European market in a big way. So expect to see lots of new product with tons of fresh hand-painted prints and patterns. We'll keep you updated!