When twenty-nine-year-old Gabrielle MacDonald couldn’t find the perfect wall art for her home she decided to create her own. Not long after she launched Papier hq offering her super stylie, up-to-the-minute wall art at affordable prices. After discovering Papier hq on Instagram, I recently called on Auckland-based Gabrielle to create the perfect gallery wall for my newly made-over lounge room. I was blown away with what she created for me so decided to catch up with Gabrielle to find out a little bit more about her cool new design business that is fast becoming a cult favourite.
5 MINUTES WITH GABRIELLE MACDONALD
Do you design everything at Papier hq yourself? I design the majority of the artwork myself. A handful of pieces have been designed by my business partner.
Can you walk me through your design process? My design process really depends on the piece of art I’m trying to design. I’m from a textile design background and so the way I design hasn’t really changed. I tend to build layers on layers using different methods such as hand painting or other photoshop design tools. I love creating illustrations using illustrator for more of a graphic look.
Where do you get your inspiration from? Being a creative I can’t honestly say there is not just one thing that inspires me. I get my inspiration from everywhere: International trends, travel, people I meet, colour. Sometimes I’m actively looking for inspiration and sometimes I get surpirsed. Papier hq definitely has a clear style which we try to stay true to. I think this comes through when someone is browsing our range of wall art.
Do you have a favourite design? My favourite design changes all of the time but I’m currently really loving the flower bomb prints! They are so different to anything we’ve seen and they sit well within the family of art.
Above: This stunning print is one of Gabrielle’s current faves.
How did the idea of creating gallery walls on your website come about? I wanted to make the process as easy as possible for our customers and gallery walls looks so affective when put together right. I wanted to provide options that covered a majority of styles, tastes and homes and so we are always updating and adding in new gallery options. Inspiration doesn’t stop when designing the print, we like to design them with multiple prints in mind that would work well as a gallery.
Can someone create their own gallery wall (similar to what you did for me)? We love working with customers to create their own custom gallery wall. We do this quite a bit as part of a service and it’s nice to do something a bit more personalised for them. We are about to launch our new gallery wall option which is made up of a combo of our customer’s own family photos mixed with our prints.
Above: Papier hq also offers a huge selection of custom made art to add a real personal touch to your home.
How often are you creating new designs? I am constantly adding to our ranges to keep our website fresh and exciting.
What role does art play in a room? People are really visual so if I walk into a friend’s house and see anything from family photos to a statement piece of art that dominates an entire room, I get a great sense of my friend’s personality through this. Artwork also amplifies the mood of a room.
What did you do before starting Papier HQ? My previous role was as a Product Developer and Textile Designer for a homewares company in Auckland. I worked for them previously in Melbourne. This role was broad and my role required me to design all textile design for both Australia and New Zealand as well as liaising with international suppliers. putting ranges together, customer presentations and some marketing duties. I learnt a lot which has has all being beneficial starting my own business. I also worked for an apparel company designing a kids range that was sold internationally.
What do you like doing when you’re not designing? Starting a business has basically taken over my life so I’ve forgotten what having a hobby actually means! When I’m not working I’m online window shopping, hanging out with friends or family and or spending time at our family holiday home in Kinloch. I love to travel so I like having a trip to look forward to!
What’s next for Papier HQ? We recently returned from a research trip in Europe where I was inspired by a whole variety of people, places, homewares and street style. All of which will inspire our next range so stay tuned! We have also started a section “adorn your walls” which will be a variety of homewares designed or selected by me that can vary from macrame wall hangings to beautiful oak mirrors – anything that could hang next to a piece of artwork. We have a few other things in the pipeline too which we are really excited about – 2018 is hopefully going to be a really big year for us.
What’s something that most people don’t know about you? I like motorcycling and my partner and I try and plan our trips around this. Also – it is possible to fall asleep on the back of a motorcycle whilst someone else is riding. (Not recommended).
Above: Papier HQ’s gallery walls make it easy to create a design statement in your home.