We instantly fell in love with Lydia’s art and her effervescent love for designing with a range of material so we decided to collaborate with her and ask her some questions to gain an insight into her world…
Can you explain a little about your background and how you formed your company?
I have always been very imaginative and wanted to create beautiful things for a living. On the other hand, in contrast to most artists I know I have also always been very structured, analytical and organised. In fact, most of my clients don’t know that I even hold a PhD in innovation!
My art studio was formed when I decided to bring these two sides of my soul together and combine my passion for art with my need to structure my work around a sound brand. Lydia Gee Art – glamorous paintings inspired by Swarovski® crystals – was born.
Have you always had an interest in art and painting?
Yes, for as long as I can remember! I have always been painting and drawing as a child. Initially I thought I would become a fashion designer. Then in primary school I enrolled in a regional art history contest and immediately got hooked. I studied all the great masters for months, starting from ancient times, up until modern art. I came in second and as a reward I could enter any high school of my choice without entry exams. I was thrilled and participated the following year as well, eventually winning a trip to a beautiful palace where I got guided tours into the hidden chambers and royal treasures as a reward. I have stayed in love with art ever since.
Alive No. 5 Canvas by Lydia Gee W80 x H80 cm, Our Price: £252.99, RRP: £309.00, Save: £56.01
Who is your typical customer, if you have one?
I often collaborate closely with my customers so I know that they are typically very sensitive to the beauty around them, are bold in their interior design choices, have amazing sense of colour and want their place to stand out from the mass-produced design.
Often after completion of a custom order I receive thank you notes with photos of my art in their new homes and I am proud that my creations complement their unique interior styles. My art can be found in homes and offices anywhere from London to New York City, from Sydney to Puerto Rico. My UK audience has been steadily growing over the years.
Do you think your travels have had an influence on your artwork?
Definitely! I have lived in several countries in Europe and America. I love travelling and have literally circled the world with my husband in 2010, visiting places such diverse as New York, Los Angeles, Beijing, Hong Kong, Bali, Hanoi, Dubai or Istanbul, to name just a few. This trip has changed my life and I started my art studio immediately after. We have now temporarily settled down in the tiny but absolutely enchanting Grand Duchy of Luxembourg where old castles co-exist with modern banks and where French passion, German order and Belgian friendliness meet on a daily basis.
All my travels have opened my world and allowed me to think differently, reach for my dreams and create things that I have never seen before.
How did you initially come up with the idea of working with crystals and other types of gems?
When designing my own home I saw a huge gap between the world of art and that of fashion and jewellery.
Into The Blue Canvas by Lydia Gee W60 x H60 cm, Our Price: £191.99, RRP:, £250.00
Why did we wear diamonds, semi-precious stones or beautiful Swarovski crystals but not decorated our homes with them so that we could enjoy them every day instead of only on special occasions? I wondered what it would be like to bring the world’s beloved Swarovski® crystals and other gems like diamonds from the jewellery drawers out into the light, where they are meant to shine. Combination of art and treasures like Swarovski® crystals in my collections is the result of this dream.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Anywhere where I see natural beauty and uniqueness: in peacocks, orchids, butterflies, life on a cellular level…I want to enhance this natural perfection even further through the use of crystals and precious stones. There are enough artists out there who focus on negativity and while I respect their work this is not how I want to contribute.
Abundance Canvas by Lydia Gee W60 x H80 cm, Our Price: £215.99,RRP: £299.00
I believe our homes should emanate beauty and positive energy because what we surround ourselves with affects our lives. I know one thing for sure – like other beautiful things in nature, we are meant to thrive.
Each of us is beautiful, exceptional and magnificent in our own unique way. We all have our gifts and we are meant to be proud of who we are, but we often forget it. My art is intended to be an everyday reminder of what we all know deep down to be true. The titles of my paintings (“My Pride”, “Abundance”, “Prosperity”, “Majestic”, “Alive”…) reflect this message. I believe we all deserve to sparkle!
Can you describe a typical day in your studio? Do you have any rituals?
I am a morning person so I often enter my studio early, before a pause for breakfast with my lovely husband and my 15-month old son. I also work in a project mode – I can paint for days breathing art and then, once a new creation is complete, have a break to focus more on my brand and keeping in touch with my followers. While there is no ‘typical’ day in my studio, I do have several rituals. First, when I create, I typically listen to positive empowering audiobooks or interviews with people I admire. I believe this positivity is then visible in my art.
Fields of Joy Canvas by Lydia Gee W80 x H60 cm, Our Price: £215.99, RRP: £299.00, Save: £83.01
Secondly, I aim to meditate every day, even if just for a couple of minutes. I use guided meditation to keep myself focused in this process, otherwise my creative mind has a tendency to come up with tens of new ideas when it is supposed to be still!
Finally, every evening I note at least five things I am grateful for and I upload one ‘gratitude photo’ to a private journal app on my phone. I have been doing this for quite a while now and have already recorded thousands of gratitude notes and hundreds of photos. Looking at them is a good way to turn my mood around if I had a rough day.
Who are your favourite artist or artists?
Frida Kahlo is probably my favourite one, but I also admire modern masters: Gustav Klimt, René Magritte, Wassily Kandinsky…
I like the sophistication of Jean Nouvel, architect of Louvre Abu Dhabi, but my biggest professional dream right now is to collaborate with Kelly Hoppen whose style completely resonates with me. My earliest inspiration was my Mom though. She was a surgeon but could also draw very well and was my first teacher. Like me, while she had a very structured and scientific mind, she was also very creative. We sometimes painted together, even until late in the night – a dear memory of mine.