Meet Bridget Daulby, the Auckland based illustrator who created the chain print for our recent collaboration with Blunt. While on her Instagram @bridg_eats she is known for her drawings and digital artworks of the food nature, she is also a full time freelance illustrator and art director.
We sat down with Bridget at her home studio, to find out how she got into illustrating and learn more about the creative process behind creating this very special print.
Bridget, tell us about yourself, and what led you to where you are today?
I was born in the middle of the outback in Alice Springs, Australia and moved to Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, when I was 5. My mum and dad both come from big families, so family is and was always a strong narrative growing up. My sister and I have been really fortunate to have such amazing supportive parents that fostered whatever interests we had at the time, and still do. Ever since I was old enough to walk mum had me crafting, drawing, sewing or painting.
I studied at Massey University in Wellington (Bachelor of Design) majoring in illustration and following graduation lived in New York for about a year or so before settling in Auckland for the past 6 years.
Talk to us about your hand paintings/digital painting, what inspires them and where do you find inspiration to create?
I have certain artists that I admire, but I think I have to say a big thanks to my high school Art History teacher actually. He taught me how to properly look at & understand a piece of artwork. What story or emotion the artist was trying to convey with lighting, colour & gesture. I love looking up close at paintings to see all the detail and how they would have moved to create each stroke. So I try to think of these things when I’m working on a piece too.
Digital painting is now my go to, most clients need artwork digitally. I love it though, it allows a lot of flexibility that I don’t have with traditional mediums. I have recently picked up pencil drawing (by hand) again and it feels great to flex the old muscles.
My style has progressed through the years, experimenting with different mediums, levels of detail & subject matter. I’m really liking where I have landed at the moment though. This will probably change in time - it’s good to jazz things up.
What was your process like creating the chain print, how long did it take?
I came in to the Saben office and chatted with Roanne about different ideas and styles we could play with. I then mocked up three different illustration styles, and let the Saben team decide which direction to go.
Once we had decided on an illustration style, I then photographed all the chains, twisting them into various shapes. This helped me form the chain pattern design that I could then draw from. These first steps are often a little finicky but worth putting in the time & effort. Next came the rendering of the artwork, I was drawing this piece on my iPad in Procreate, which took me around 2 days to complete.
It's incredible all the hidden detail you added to the print. What was the hardest part of the illustration process for this design?
I think knowing when to stop? I could have easily gotten carried away and kept zeroing in on more detail, but I’m happy I didn’t - as the end result looks great!
How did the Instagram @Bridg_eats come about? Have you always loved food as a subject form?
The idea sparked during the first lock down (classic story these days) - I was experimenting with all sorts of recipes and then thought ‘hey that’d be cool if I drew these too - I had the time!’ I made an instagram account to hold me accountable to continue to produce work, and here we are 3ish years later.
You have worked with so many different clients and collaborators. Is there anything you’re particularly proud of, or a moment in your career so far that you’re particularly proud of (a fave, or maybe the one you learned most from?)
I mean, I am always so grateful that I have been given the opportunities to work with so many amazing people, it’s kinda hard not to be proud of that. But strangely, I get so much joy from kids' reactions when they see my work - for an example on this particular job my illustrations were showcased projected onto a tree for ‘Walk of Wonders’ and I heard these little kids go ‘Wow mum that’s amazing!’ That really made me smile.
Your illustrations must take time and pure concentration. What do you love most about the time it takes you to create your artworks?
Drawing & painting is quite meditative for me. I always know when I am really enjoying a piece because the whole world shuts off around me. And I get more motivation as the piece progresses, seeing its form come to life makes me eager to see where it goes.
How do you ensure your creative tank is full (or as full as it can be) ?
Well I don’t often practise what I preach.. but sleep is important & making time to relax at home. (I work from home most days so it’s hard to break out of work mode) Also making time to draw with no agenda/pressure. Don’t think the best content comes when I am feeling overwhelmed or stressed.
Have you got any pivoting business moments, or lessons / advice you can share with someone who is thinking of taking a chance on their dream?
Oh so many lessons - and still learning! I think it’s important to know your worth & stick to it. And practise, keep producing work, trial and error is important.
What is your Saben style? Either now, or on your wish-list and why.
I’m not one to carry a lot of stuff around with me, it’s either all or nothing. So the Winona card holder is my daily go-to.
Where can we find your work/follow along?
Shop the Saben x Blunt umbrella and capsule collection of leather printed pieces here.