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Island Dreaming - Artist Spotlight - Grace Vuetaki

Island Dreaming - Artist Spotlight - Grace Vuetaki

To work with artists from around the world to create our beautiful, exclusive and limited edition prints has long been a cornerstone of the Designer Bums brand.

Recently, we released our Island Dreaming capsule, a collection of island inspired designs by Fijian Australian artist Grace Vuetaki. Grace’s beautiful artwork has featured in many of our previous ranged and we were delighted to be able to exclusively spotlight her prints in our Island Dreaming collection.

Island Dreaming brings together three prints in a range of popular Designer Bums products inspired by the rich tones of tropical foliage, beautiful florals and dusky sunsets.

Recently we sat down with Grace to talk about all things art and what gives her inspiration to create!

At what age did you decide you were going to be an artist?
I’m not sure that ever ‘decided’ to be an artist, I feel like it definitely just happened naturally. Growing up I’d be constantly drawing and painting, I'd spend my lunch times in school in the Art rooms, being creative feels like something that has always been a part of me. 

As I started getting older people started to pay me for the things I was creating, I began taking orders, being asked to try something new, Pet portraits, Logo designs, murals etc I always said yes. Eventually I had to quit my job (working in my mum's clothing store) so that I had enough time to fulfill the orders I was receiving.

What's your favourite medium to create in?
I’ve always naturally been drawn to Acrylic paints, for me it’s the easiest medium. It dries quickly and I can work fast. 

Not too long ago I started to find myself branching into water colours, I find those just as easy, fun and give a nice soft aesthetic. I use watercolour paints for my pet portraits, people portraits and the basis for my seamless pattern designs.

Most recently, and this is very new to me, I’ve found myself immersed in the digital world of illustration. Last year I illustrated my first book, started doing branding for small businesses and used it to create and touch up my seamless patterns.

Where do you find your inspiration?
I find my inspiration in my surroundings, my family, my heritage and my feelings. My mum is a huge inspiration for who I am and how I create in this world. She is bright, colourful and creative; her mind never stops. 

Family is very important to me, my siblings and my Dad represent my background of Fijian culture, I draw a lot of inspiration from my background and love to incorporate Fijian motifs and patterns into everything I do.

Did parenthood change the way you create art?
I think parenthood has definitely changed how I create art in the sense that I know what I am truly capable of, my self-confidence, and how far I can push myself. Becoming a mother has shown me strength and courage I’m not sure I knew I had before, I feel like I’m much more capable than I ever knew I could be.

What was a 'pinch me' moment for you as an artist?
Every day in the Artworld is a pinch me moment for me. I feel like every time I complete an artwork I stand back and go ‘did I do that?’ 

One of my most memorable pinch me moments was when I received my very first print back from Designer bums. When Carla had reached out to me in 2019, I was newly pregnant with Maverick, and had no clue it was even possible to create a ‘seamless pattern’ for printing. 

But I said yes, I’ll do it.

I googled and youtubed until I could perfect a design, when I received that very first nappy, Maverick was only about 3 months old. I put it on him and I called my friends and my family, I showed everyone on social media. I couldn’t believe MY son was wearing MY design. It blew my mind.

The next very memorable pinch me moment was when I received the Bula Babe nappy. Growing up I had been in awe of these Fijian printed designs, and to receive my very own that is going to be shared to the world was amazing. To imagine a little Fijian baby wearing their culture is so beautiful to me.

Designer Bums have a new release - Island Dreaming - that exclusively features your artwork. Can you explain some of the meaning/inspiration behind the designs?
All of my inspiration comes from the same place, and that’s who I am, where I come from and how I feel. I want to bring joy through my art, create something that’s unique to me and fuse together my upbringing and culture through colour and Fijian inspired patterns.

To visit and enjoy more of Grace’s beautiful, soulful artwork, visit her instagram

To see Grace’s artwork in action on our most popular baby products, visit our instagram

Shop the Island Dreaming collection today!