Finding inspiration in nature

The beauty of the natural world offers limitless inspiration; from the detail on the wings of a butterfly, the dramatic shape of a tropical leaf or a million different flower forms. Here, founder Gabrielle Cave discusses how she finds inspiration in nature, and her work as a print designer.

“Discovering pockets of nature in a city"

Being born and raised in London you become accustomed to searching for pockets of nature in the concrete jungle, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I could spend hours finding inspiration among nature, whether it be walking in the woods, rediscovering the greenhouses at Kew Gardens or simply wandering around the local park or plant nursery.

Inspiration at Key Gardens
The Palm House at the beloved Kew Gardens

“Inspiration in nature"

These days it’s so easy to have your phone camera in hand ready to take a snap when you come across something inspiring. I always find the most inspiration in nature and regularly add to a bank of my own photographs to draw inspiration from throughout the year. In my head I essentially live in a world of perpetual spring and summer where everything is alive, green and verdant, in full bloom. I just love the smell of fresh grass in late spring and the smell of the earth after a summer shower.

“Voyages of discovery"

I have been fortunate to visit many places and am inspired by my travels. I love discovering other cultures when I visit another country and always have my camera or phone close to hand to record a visual diary of the native plants and flowers I encounter. You’ll often find me taking pictures of the pavement, an interesting tile, or texture on a wall to add to my inspiration.

Inspiration - Barcelona Palau De La Musica Catalana mosaic
Gorgeous mosaic tiles on the Palau De La Musica Catalana, Barcelona

“Life is Art. Art is Passion."

My passion for art has been with me from a young age, I have been drawing and painting since I could hold a pencil or brush. Art is a huge inspiration, many hours have been spent wandering around the National Gallery or the Tate, or appreciating London’s unique street art. Anything that can expand my mind and jolt me into seeing a different perspective can start me on a journey towards my next piece or collection.

It’s fascinating to see the latest couture creations on the catwalk where the designer is free to create without commercial limitations. I love working with lots of colour, so I love seeing all the gorgeous prints and colourful designs by some of the fashion industries most celebrated designers.

“Creating designs, curating designs"

I have been a successful freelance print designer for several years so it’s second nature for me to keep up to date with the latest trends. However, for Orchard Moon I combine my knowledge of trends with timeless designs. By curating designs which will remain beautiful and appealing in any year, we deliberately avoid fleeting trends and ‘fast fashion’.

Orchard Moon Sustainable luxury pyjamas Calypso print
'Calypso' ©Gabrielle Cave

“My style"

Sometimes my work can be bold and graphical with large areas of bright colours and strong black outlines, and sometimes it can be detailed and delicate. I love to add layers to my work and often use watercolour, gouache and acrylic paint. I add detail and texture with coloured pencil, pen and fine liner. Using a Japanese brush pen can create an unpredictable natural line which can look great.

I love experimenting with lots of different mediums and will often switch between traditional and digital processes, however I do particularly enjoy using paint. These days painting is my meditation and brings me a sense of calm and ease. You’ll often find me painting in pyjamas and a robe, whether in the morning or late at night. A well-cut pair of pyjamas will keep you comfortable from dusk till dawn, no matter what you’re up to in them!

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