cass deller's water colour design

When it comes to water, artist Cass Deller has more of an affinity for the wet stuff than most. Not only did she recently uproot her life to plant it permanently on Queensland's beachside Sunshine Coast, she also has an aquatic tilt to her creative work, producing beautiful water colour art inspired by the natural environment around her.

We found ourselves getting swept away in Cass' flowing designs, so gave the lovely lass a tingle to ask a few questions about her art.

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How would you describe your designs? So many words come to mind when describing my work. I think I would have to say happy, whimsical, feminine, coastal, meaningful, and imperfectly structured.

What mediums do you like working with most? My two favourite mediums are the good old-fashioned ink pen and water colours. I use fine-tip ink pens for my hand-lettering styles, and have also taken up calligraphy to explore new lettering forms to complement my style. I have always had a passion for abstract water colours, and am constantly mesmerised by the flowing forms they naturally take. I have recently been exploring the combination of water colours and lettering and I'm loving the results.

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Tell us a bit about yourself – what aside from art takes up your time? My husband and I recently moved up to the Sunshine Coast, so when we are not working in the home studio (although I love my job, so I hardly call it work), we spend afternoons at our local secluded beach with our fur baby, a beautiful black 12-month-old German Shepherd. Weekends are always spent on the water, whether it's fishing, boating, or just chilling out at the beach. Oh, and I always get to the markets whenever I can. Eumundi and Peregian Beach Markets are my fave!

What kinds of things inspire your work? I am constantly surrounded by inspiration! Sometimes I'm quite overwhelmed by how much actually inspires me. I always try to find the beauty in everything, and draw from that wherever I can. The beach is my peaceful place, I am inspired by the ocean every day, I am fascinated by the way each wave washes onto the sand, leaving a different impression every single time, I think this is why I love water colour so much - it has a similar effect.

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I am also incredibly inspired by written words and the effect they have. I am constantly finding new quotes, which are so uplifting and can remind you of the simplest things. I think in this crazy world we live in, it's nice to be reminded to 'live in the moment' or 'run your own race'.

Describe your workspace for us. Organised chaos... haha. I actually share a studio with my husband, as we both run our own businesses from the same space, so it's very divided down the middle. Half the office (my half) is all white, with colourful inspirational pics all over the walls and my Mac taking center stage. Empty coffee cups (my husband is a barista trainer - it comes in very handy) and sketch books, calendar, diary... I still write everything down, as I find it so much easier to keep on top of things that way. The other half of the studio is definitely a boy's space...

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What's been your journey into design? I knew that I always wanted to do something creative, I just didn't exactly know what. I studied interior design when I left school and specialised in retail design. From there I worked my way up and found myself working as a Retail Design Manager in an extremely corporate environment. Over the years I'd grown a strong interest for graphic design, and wanted to learn more, so I enrolled myself at Shillington College, and never looked back. Within the first couple of classes I knew this industry was for me, and I was immediately excited for my future. My hand drawing and lettering skills were nurtured, and my Adobe skills refined.

Through this course I was lucky enough to meet my lecturer/mentor/friend Alischa Herrmann of Bespoke Letterpress, who fostered my skills and gave me the opportunity to create hand lettering for her stationery range, and design for her stunning letterpress wedding invitations. This gave me the opportunity to become a freelance graphic designer, and with my client base and workload ever-expanding, I haven't looked back.

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What are the benefits of studying design instead of just jumping in on your own? The benefits of studying are priceless. From the people you meet, to the skills you learn, everything gives you the absolute confidence to face the design world, and know you are equipped to fully understand your design brief and give the best possible creative solution.

Where can we see more of your lovely work? I have such a large range of lovely clients, so you can see my work popping up more and more. Whether its a logo, website design, stationery or textiles, I am loving the variety in which my work can be seen. You can see a great selection of my hand lettering work at Bespoke Letterpress, and we are currently working on some exciting new designs for their upcoming stationery range.

I am also designing some textiles for The Brown Trading Co and Saw Interiors at the moment, and am extremely excited about a water colour collaboration with the up-and-coming swimwear label, Eady + O. In addition to this, I'm beyond excited to announce that I have a new stationery collection being launched on May 1. This range begins with a selection of 14 hand-lettered and hand-water-coloured original prints which will be available on my website.

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If you fancy yourself an arty type and would like to give design work a go, maybe consider popping down to a Shillington College campus on Friday May 2nd for an open day. Stop by their website for all the deets, including start dates for their next available graphic design courses.


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