An Inspiring Interview with Australian Artist Adele Naidoo

If you’re anything like us and love dreamy artwork, then you might have already heard of Adele Naidoo. Known for creating art for flower lovers and dreamers, Adele Naidoo is an Australian artist whose art brings joy to many people’s homes. Through her creation of paper and canvas prints, minis, and original art, Adele has created a business that is highly coveted. We’re fortunate to feature Adele as one of our Style Makers, who as an artist has a special ability to showcase dreamlike feelings through her artwork and embody a unique sense of style. We recently had the opportunity to speak with Adele herself and ask her questions about her personal style, inspirations, her creative and design process, and some exciting upcoming projects. So, find a comfy spot and read on - we promise you’re bound to feel inspired.

What does ‘style’ mean to you?

Style to me is something that comes naturally and evolves with you through the years. It is certain things that light you up inside instantly from art, fashion, interiors, furniture and colour palettes. It embodies things you are drawn to and want to fill your home with and be surrounded by daily. 

How would you describe your personal style?

Luxe, resort vibes - minimal, tonal, a mix of vintage and contemporary and organic shapes. I love natural elements – marbles, woods, a neutral palette with pops of colour. My art collections are a representation of my evolving style through the years. 

Tell us a bit about your career journey to date. Have you always had a passion for art?

Having a father as an artist and art teacher allowed me to appreciate beauty and colour. I was fortunate enough to have my creativity nurtured at an early age whereby art became my passion. I obtained my bachelor's degree in education but my passion for art, design, and interior styling lead me to complete a diploma in interior design while working as an art teacher. With the arrival of my first child, time at home allowed me to explore graphic design.

I created my first collection in 2018 and was represented by Greenhouse Interiors which gave me exposure as an emerging artist. I also worked as a full-time teacher up until I arrived back in Perth in mid-2021. My time in Shanghai before arriving back in Perth allowed me to experiment and establish my brand, create a website, and start selling art on my own (scary at the time but so rewarding). I strongly believe that when doors open no matter how overwhelming or daunting it might feel at first, you have to see where opportunity leads you.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

I draw my inspiration from early memories of watching my father create and paint. Growing up in South Africa I was surrounded by nature and always admired the landscapes. Flowers are of course a huge inspiration. From a young age, I have been obsessed with colour palettes - I remember rearranging stationery, wardrobe and toys into colour order. My art style is heavily inspired by fauvism and one of my favourite Artists; Henri Matisse’s use of colour blocking, and pastel hues with pops of colour. My art is also inspired by vintage floral poster compositions, fashion, interiors, travel, and culture. 

Image Credit: Inventory Interior

What is your favourite aspect of being an artist?

Being able to create your own reality, waking up each day and being my own boss, watching seeds you plant over time bloom and grow into a business. We are so grateful that we were able to build this business from just a little dream of being able to paint at home and provide financially for my family.  

What are some of the things you’ve learnt as a business owner?

  • There are a lot of ups and downs, more downs than ups but those ups make the whole journey worth it. 
  • The effort you put in will be rewarding in time and you will reap the fruits of your labour. 
  • You have to believe in your vision because you created it - no one will see it in the same way you do.

What is the typical design and creative process that you use to create your art?

I start my art using Photoshop where I have created a digital collection of all my hand drawn florals. With new works, I add new floral elements and experiment with compositions and colourways.

My work has evolved from purely digital drawings to mixed media, where I now combine both acrylic painting and digital art. Large-scale florals, thick, textured brushstrokes, dripping paint on a subdued pastel or contrasting dark and moody backgrounds are my signature style. Time spent in lockdown in Shanghai, pushed me creatively and I began experimenting with calmer palettes and designing new products. 

How do you stay true to your style amongst the ever-changing trends in the design industry?

I think style is something that comes naturally to you and even though it may evolve over time you will still be drawn to certain things. Though some things may inspire you, I think that naturally your style is unique.  

What does a typical day in the life of Adele Naidoo look like?

First thing in the morning it is getting my two boys ready for school. After drop-off my husband and I have our morning coffee and a small business catch-up to go over our daily plan. These could include emails, painting, creating social media content, editing photos, working on new collections, collabs or upcoming original works and launches. 

At 2.30pm we pick our boys up from school and if there is a deadline we continue working for a few hours before taking the boys for a bike ride to the park or swimming in summertime.

Then it’s cooking dinner, family time and games or bedtime stories and when the boys are in bed my husband and I watch our favourite TV series or debrief from the day. There have been many late nights painting after the boys have gone to bed (if I’m in the zone with a new piece I can't help but want to work at it until it's complete).

Are you working on any exciting upcoming projects that you’d like to share with us?

I have a new print collection coming out in October that is all about pretty garden florals and soft pastel palettes. I also have an exciting collab coming out next year that is my biggest collab to date so can't wait to share more on that. 

Future plans in the pipeline are experimenting with my florals on textiles and décor items. I can envision a homewares or fashion collection but waiting for creative flow to come naturally with these.