Interview with Wylie Von Tempsky
Salutation fellow friends of the flower. My name is Wylie Von Tempsky and I'm the co-founder and Creative Director of Slowtide.
Where does your inspiration stem from for the floral prints?
When it comes to designing, drawing, or painting flowers for our prints I find ample inspiration in my close proximity here in Huelo, Maui. My house is pretty literally in the jungle, so it's easy to snap a photo or various plants and flowers and use that as my base-plate to illustrate from. I'm also really big on going through old dead stock bolts of fabric or aloha shirts to find compositions of color inspo that I like as well.
Is there a story behind any specific print?
Each print has a unique story from start to finish, it really just depends on how deep that story goes or how much time goes into creating it. Some are quick and gestural interpretations of what I'm feeling or want to create at the moment, and others are very methodical orchestrations of "floral arrangements" that don't naturally happen in the wild. Here's an example: along the driveway to my house we have a long row of Split-leaf Philodendron along the edge. Just past that (close to where I part my truck) we have a Brugmansia/ Angels Trumpet tree. Now, both of these plants/flowers aren't found together, but somehow my mind associates both of them together in this process of "returning home". In the Summer 2023 line I took elements of both of these plants and sketched them on my iPad in very simple, somewhat 2 dimensional form, then arranged them in a way to make a repeat pattern. I then colored it up in 2 color ways that reminded me of coming home under the dark glow of the moon or leaving for an early morning surf in the bronze colors or the rising sun. Then I named it Hauke, which was the name of endearment that my Great-Grandpa used to call my Great Aunt. It means "Mind, Heart, or Spirit". Whelp, are you bored yet?
What makes each floral print unique from the others?
I think that's as simple as it is to say "what makes each person unique". Every flower or leaf is different, then once you add artistic interpretation to that, you'll always have a magnitude of difference.
Is there a drawing or design style you typically lean into when drafting the floral prints?
Not really, being a designer/illustrator you're constantly using different mediums or techniques to create your desired outcome. Some days i use pencils, some days i use India Ink and loose brushes, somedays i digitally illustrate over photos, some days i do block carvings, or wax batiks, it all depends what you want the end outcome to look like.
Do you have a routine creative process with your floral designs?
The only routine I have in my 18 years as a designer is that music is present at all corners of the creative process. It honestly helps me focus on the grand details if the design warrants it or it helps me stay fluid in the times that I'm trying to create loose interpretations of floral elements.
Do you have a favorite floral print and why?
Awe, I can never answer that question! It's like choosing a favorite child. Each of them have a special place in me and no one is of greater value than the other. Some you spend more time creating, or associate different feelings or memories with, but that rank equally in my appreciation and pride. I guess it's equal parts of a whole as they say.
Shop more of Wylie's floral designs here.