[This is the second installment of the new series of my blog “International Boho-Chic Designers”. I have met so many fashion designers and artists on my travels that I buy jewelry, swimsuits, tops, anything from. I love having unique items and I’m creating this section to share them with you. These are going to be limited to people I’ve met and personally shopped from/love, not people perking/paying me.]
You can’t walk past Saffron’s shop without stopping in. But be prepared, there is so much detail in her work, you’ll end up staying a while!
Introducing Saffron Wiehl Illustrations
Saffron Wiehl was born to her artist mother in Goa. Her world as a kiddo was watching her mom paint and taking in the amazing colors and animals of India. It was destiny that Saffron would become and artist herself. She’s only 24 but has finished school in Australia and has her own gallery in Goa.
Saffrons’ main inspirations come from nature and her time in boarding school in Kodaikanal hill station: monkeys, eucalyptus trees, and views of the planes from the high mountains tops. Back in Goa every-day life continues to prompt more design ideas with the cows, dogs, cats, goats, peacocks, monkeys, and elephants we’re lucky enough to see in Goa.
You saw tiny Saffron modeling clothes in my article about Tia & Tan’s clothing line. This artist, model, and hopefully one day writer and illustrator of children’s books, clearly has a girly side. She is obsessed with flowers and loves to draw beautiful women- those combined make up my favorite works of hers, especially in the turquoise colors! Her paintings are the perfect gift to take home after your travels. After traveling in India, or in my case living here awhile, her artwork would be the perfect personal keepsake. I love to gift people with art and handmade souvenirs instead of the typical junk.
Saffron’s Products & What to Expect in the Future
Her designs are drawn and painted on watercolor paper because she uses watercolors as well as ink and fine-liner pens for illustrating girl’s hair and floral deatils. I’m actually really into watercolors now, as they’ve been all over the catwalk on prints and so many new ASOS collections are watercolor fabrics. Saffron’s watercolor designs will look great on the new canvas beach totes that are being made, cushion covers, and most definitely sarongs.
Her feminine style and intricate detailed lines makes for an incredible end product. Her puns are a great example of how clever her work can be. Some options she’s done/considered doing are designing logos (like the one she did for Sakana), doing illustrations for magazines style and beauty sections, illustrating for kid’s birthdays, or cosmetics illustrations.
She’s added a new product in the last month to her collection: clocks! She buys cute little clocks and takes them apart very carefully to add her artwork and puts them back together in working order. I asked Saffron why her art is so important to her and she compared it to one of her favorite quotes, that I think people who love to travel will relate to:
“One of my favorite quotes is, ‘The EARTH without ART is just EH.’ And for me, that is completely true. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t love to draw. It’s the absolute best way to release stress- I can just zone out and not have a worry in the world- it’s just the line I’m drawing in that second on that piece of paper”.
Where Can You Purchase Saffron’s Illustrations?
Saffron has a stall at the Saturday Night Market in Goa that she shares with her friend and designer of Dadablui, Katja Grew. She also has a gallery in her home that her and her mother showcase work in. Her mother and inspiration, Shireen Mody, is another amazing artist who has been painting acrylic scenes of Goa on canvases for 30 years. The gallery address is 33/1 Viegas Vado, Arpora, Bardez, Goa, India. E-mail her for a more detailed map.
You can tell by looking that these illustrations don’t happen in a few hours. Each ones takes 20-25 hours over the course of a few days to finish, not to mention the time it takes to come up with concept design before getting started. If you have a specific request contact her about it. Originals start at around 10,000 rs (180 USD) but all are different. Prints range from 10-30 USD.
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Rachel Jones is an American who left a career in nursing to live on the beaches on Goa, India two years ago where she is now a Thai masseuse, candle-maker, and travel writer. Her award winning website gives advice on the other 28 countries she's been to but has become the go-to site on India travel, focusing on off beat places & “glamorous travel”. Hippie in Heels has been featured in ELLE magazine & was voted by Flipkey as one of the top 25 female bloggers to follow this year. You can follow her adventures on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google plus.