The characteristic of an artist is their sensitivity to translate the world that surrounds them into something sublime that touches those around them. Discover Hélène Garcia-Duthilleul. She creates with rare talent paintings and illustrations under the name of Happy Garden Design. Her art is a real window open to an enchanted, poetic and ultra-feminine world. I have rarely seen such a beautiful vision of women and nature with much positivism, generosity and originality. She has something of Frida Kahlo, Modigliani or even the exoticism of a Gaugin on her work. She’s our artist of the month, and we’re honoured that she accepted the game for our exclusive interview.
LuxuryActivist (LA): Dear Hélène, we define you as an artist-painter and illustrator. Is it right? Where does your artistic vocation come from?
Hélène Garcia-Duthilleul (HGD): Painter and illustrator, yes, that’s how I can be defined, I think.
I have more of an autodidact background because I did not go to art school, but I took a few months of private lessons with a former fine arts teacher, which allowed me to learn some basic tricks and techniques. Since early childhood, I have also been immersed in an artistic universe with a pianist grandmother and a father who is also an artist-painter. This is what clearly, I think, has developed this passion.
LA: How would you describe your style?
HGD: My paintings are all inspired by femininity, flowers and nature in general, hence the name “Happy Garden Design”, which I gave as a signature to all of my work and which takes up the initials of my name. My clients define my work as very poetic and joyful, and I am delighted to see that my works reveal positive emotions.
LA: When you start a new work, what are the different stages of your creative process?
HGD: It all depends on the inspiration of the moment. As far as flowers and graphics are concerned, I draw inspiration from fabric patterns and various Japanese illustrations. For the faces, they are completely imaginary. Still, my family and my friends sometimes recognize themselves in them. The unconscious, perhaps?
LA: What themes or elements of your works that you like the most? Why?
HGD: I would say the flowers are all imaginary; I like to give them bright colours and add a lot of detail. I also like to spend time on the graphics of the women’s clothes that I paint, it’s very meticulous, and I can spend long hours there, locked in my bubble.
LA: Which work(s) made you particularly proud and why?
HGD: I created a Marianne for the municipality of Nogent Sur Marne a little time ago, near Paris. I took great pleasure in creating this symbol of femininity, hope and freedom. Then there was this painting of the woman and the toucan that I particularly liked with these shades of blue, which was sold in 3 days in a gallery in the 17th arrondissement of Paris.
“I remain convinced that the wounds of life develop creativity, perhaps through a hypersensitivity for which art remains an outlet?”Hélène Garcia-Duthilleul
LA: Are there any artists who inspire you? Who and why?
HGD: We can recognize in my style of portraits of women and flowers a semblance of the self-portraits of Frida Kahlo, a Mexican painter whose story touched me a lot. I recognize myself in some of the hardships she may have gone through, and I remain convinced that the wounds of life develop creativity, perhaps through a hypersensitivity for which art remains an outlet?
LA: Could you tell us something about yourself that not many people know deserves to be told here?
HGD: Many of my clients and followers do not know that in addition to my job as a painter, I am also an artisan in pearl making and creating unique jewellery under the HD creations brand. The complementarity of these two artistic activities allows me to renew myself constantly, and although the techniques are completely different, we recognize my “signature” and my universe in both.
LA: Any interesting upcoming projects you could tell us about here?
HGD: I dream one day of developing a ready-to-wear range using the motifs of my paintings, mainly flowers, but why not portraits. I already started 2 or 3 years ago by producing a range of objects such as tote bags, mugs, pocket mirrors, cushions and magnets using my paintings, but having clothing collections produced would be a culmination for me. To be continued.
Exhibiting my paintings abroad one day to make myself known beyond the borders is also one of the medium-term goals I set myself.
LA: What can we wish you for the future?
HGD: With the emergence of the virtual world, mass production and the consumer society, it is to be hoped that people will continue to support craftsmanship and have more pleasure in acquiring a unique piece made with love and passion than mass-produced factory-made objects.
Concerning me more personally, my life continues to put inspiring and caring people in my path and may I continue to flourish from this profession-passion for a long time to come.
Hélène Garcia-Duthilleul is a one-of-a-kind artist with beautiful feelings and transcribes women’s magical and positive image. She paints a colourful, optimistic, and warm vision of life through a surreal nature. She deserves to be known, and I can only recommend the discovery of her work here: https://www.etsy.com/fr/shop/HappyGardenDesign or on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/happygardendesign/
Happy Garden Design offers us a happy garden, lush even, where women are free and express themselves without any restraint. It represents such a poetic vision of life that we would love to be part of.
Information sourced by the author for luxuryactivist.com. All content is copyrighted with no reproduction rights available. The images are provided by Hélène Garcia-Duthilleul for strict use in this article and its promotion. Profile picture by par Cyril Mahey.