Meet The Papergang Illustrator - Siobhan O’Dwyer

Meet The Papergang Illustrator - Siobhan O’Dwyer

Leaping into the New Year with a vintage, retro style, Siobhan O’Dwyer is the first Papergang artist for 2020 - and she’s kicking it off with colour! Her edits bloom with bright, vivid florals and nature, often envisioning a stunning, idyllic landscape.

We felt Siobhan’s unique style would bring some much-needed colour and beauty to the gloomy start of the New Year, making her the perfect artist to collaborate with on this month’s Papergang box!

Below, we spoke with Siobhan to uncover the origin of one of her picturesque prints, her digital creative process, and what influences her retro style.

Siobhan O'Dwyer Sunflowers

Hey Siobhan, it’s great to be able to collaborate with you on this month’s box - the designs you’ve created are so beautiful! Could you start by telling us a little about your background?

Hey guys! So, I have always been creative in one form or another since I was pretty young. I grew up dancing my whole life, which kind of paused when I decided to go into college for pharmacy. Through school, and definitely after, I really got into photography which coincided with my love to travel, and I began to utilise it to express myself.

“Honestly, the inspiration behind this box is really who I am as a person and how I’ve evolved into my own.”

My creative career really took a turn when I moved from California to New York City. After spending my first few months in the city every day with very little nature and lots more chaos, I channelled my subway rides into editing sessions. But none of what has come was ever planned, it was all just a method I used emotionally to channel the changes going on in my day-to-day life through my art.

New York City is where I really found myself. It took intense change and a tough push to really find my groove, but it went from being the most intimidating, overwhelming environment to the most inspiring. Floral edits became a theme I stuck to. I love vibrant colours in wildflowers, and I am a hippie at heart, looking through my Instagram feed you’ll understand the vibes.

Siobhan O'Dwyer camper van and sunflowers

Could you talk us through the process of creating one of your artworks and the tools you use?

Of course! Although, it’s totally random (and quite the process, haha!). Very few people in my life know that I actually work as a full-time pharmacist, so on a day to day basis, I’m usually saying to myself, “I could totally use more hours in a day!” Whether I go into work early or go in later, I find the few hours I do have in each day to really sit down and edit. In a way, I think this drives me creatively— I go without this for so many hours each day that it inspires me more when it is time for me to sit down and create.

“It’s like pieces of my heart I’ve left in these specific places in the world that make up who I am today.”

I usually start my days with a run, some coffee, and I find myself sitting on the floor, laptop and phone out, creating something I envisioned in my head on my computer for hours. I use a combination of Lightroom, Photoshop, and VSCO to create overlapping photos of various floral scenes I’ve taken over time, mixing colour schemes and playing around with what I feel like that day. Each photo is a little different from the previous, and I usually decide what I want it to look like (more dominant colours over others, cityscapes with florals, etc) based on my emotions that day.

Photo Collage by Siobhan O'Dwyer

Could you tell us about the inspirations behind the box you’ve designed for us? The A5 print in particular – where was that taken? It looks beautiful!

Honestly, the inspiration behind this box is really who I am as a person and how I’ve evolved into my own, which makes this so so special to me. The A5 print, in particular, is really cool to me. That edit has bits from Big Sur, California, flowers I’ve come across at the Union Square farmer’s market in NYC, a few flowers from my parent's house in upstate New York, and the remaining from Santa Barbara, California.

These photographs for me represent so many different places. It’s like pieces of my heart I’ve left in these specific places in the world that make up who I am today. It also proved to me that there is beauty in every corner of the world, you just have to look sometimes. So this box couldn’t be more special to me!

A5 Art Print pic Siobhan O'Dwyer

We love the vintage vibe of your work. What drew you to this kind of style and would you say your style has changed much over the years?

Aw, thank you! Haha, I’m in love with vintage everything! I’d say I really grew a love for it when I first moved to California after college. I loved that golden, hazy scenery the CA coast provides, and around this time I was reading ‘On the Road’ and ‘Big Sur,’ books by Jack Kerouac, who has inspired me a lot creatively. I’m a free spirit, and a person who is full of life, so I felt like I related to him in a lot of ways and always felt a need to express my emotions creatively — just instead of writing, I took to art.

My clothing style at the time also really changed to more of a vintage, hippie girl vibe. You’d find me walking around Whole Foods in sunflower bell bottoms, crop tops, and Doc Martens boots with salty hair.

Are there any things stylistically or in production that you’d like to experiment with more?

I’ve started to get my art pieces on to more products, which I LOVE, including this box! I think my pieces translate pretty well onto stationery, which is why this collaboration means so much to me, it’s my first stationary work! I just recently had my art printed on the side of BANGS shoes which was an absolutely amazing experience, and I’m working right now on floral graphic tees with Sand Cloud, which I’m SO excited about. This direction with my art is something I truly am loving, making it more wearable and versatile for anyone, and I’m honoured to see it in these ways.

Siobhan O'Dwyer Camper Van and Flowers 2

Are you constantly travelling for your work? And I noticed there’s a lot of camper vans that crop up on your Insta and wondered if you find these purely by coincidence? Or do you travel in one yourself?

I am travelling a lot, but not as much as it seems, I’m sure! I live in California and New York, so bi-coastal living seems very normal to me now. And, surprisingly, all of my camper vans throughout my feed are all coincidental! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been so close to purchasing a few multiple times!

When I do travel out of CA or NY, I often travel in a camper van depending on where I’m going. Camping and sleeping in one by the beach is something I’ve grown to love, so I’m in different ones quite a bit. They contribute to my inspiration! And, eventually, I’ll have one parked outside, just wait.

IMG_5274.JPG

Thank you for taking the time to talk with us, Siobhan! For the final question, what’s been your favourite place to visit, and what’s one place you’d love to visit?

Honestly, it was my pleasure, I’m so honoured and thankful to be able to work with you guys!

Oohhh, this is such a hard question- ah! I have various categories for questions like this haha— I think if you are asking in general, one of the coolest places I’ve experienced, I’d have to say is Bali, Indonesia.

For a place I’ve gone back to visit loads (and live close to!), a place that has become very special to me and my creative career, I’d pick Big Sur, California on Highway-1. And one place I can’t wait to visit (and visiting very soon) is Byron Bay, Australia.


The sign up to receive Siobhan’s box is available now. Click the button below or head over to Papergang to reserve yours!

January Papergang 2020

You can find more of Siobhan and her work over on her Instagram or website.


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