Artist Spotlight: Sel Noir Designs

 Artist Rose Mara of Sel Noir Designs stars on The Block during hallway week.

Rose, how long have you been producing your art?
Since I could hold a paintbrush! I have always created, but I only started doing it as a business in 2014 when I went on maternity leave and had some time up my sleeve Sel Noir Designs was born.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
Oh gosh. Everything. Other artists, my children, pain, happiness, hope and despair. I can’t be numb to create.

Sel Noir Designs'Frida' stars in Daniel and Jade's Block stairway.

Your art features on The Block this year?

Yes! Daniel and Jade from South Australia were actually gifted 'Frida' and 'For Florence' by Deb and Andy as part of All Stars week. Having Deb choose MY ART was incredible. Clearly, they all have amazing taste haha. My initial reaction was shock. I wanted to scream it to the world. It was the biggest compliment. I always doubt my art. I can create a piece with full confidence and then spend the next few months doubting it. So when your art gets picked by a customer or in this instance The Block, it’s the biggest ego boost and you just gush. I was so proud of myself because your art is your soul. It’s your poetry and somebody connected with it as much as I did. So yeah, pretty happy!

What does it mean for you to have your art featured on The Block and be a Block Shop artist?
It’s an honour really. It doesn’t make my art any better but it absolutely makes me proud and thankful that I was noticed and given a chance. The art world is hard!

Sel Noir designs The Block'For Florence' selected by Daniel and Jade adds some colour to their Block hallway. 

How long does it take you to create a piece?
This varies. Some days I can smash a painting idea or drawing within hours or a few days because I am in the zone. Then there are other times where I will put a piece away for months because I became disconnected with it, and then I find myself returning to it because I feel connected again.

How would you describe your art?
I would say definitely contemporary and abstract.

How do you come up with a name for your artwork?
Most of the time its from the song I had been listening to while I paint that piece. I must ALWAYS have a song playing when I am creating.

Are there any particular artists that inspire you?
So many. I am not sure you have time for me to mention the 1200 I follow on Instagram! My top ones are Kate Owen from Kowen Art, Claire Kirkup, Knaut Contemporary and Ali McNabney 

Do you have a soundtrack you like to create to?
Yes, I do! My music is very eclectic. I enjoy all eras and all genres. 

Sel Noir Designs, Rose MaraRose at home in her studio in her Canberra studio.

What does a typical day look like for you?

It’s not very glam haha. I juggle three children and a husband who also runs his own plumbing business. There is all of that mixed in with Sel Noir Designs. I use the afternoons to paint most days.

How do you fit your art around life?
Some days are really hard. I paint depending on my emotions! So it’s hard to sometimes slip back into creating after a day of book work or house cleaning or breaking up a sibling rivalry. I allocate days and make sure it is when everyone is at school so I get no interruptions. Having a separate studio means I have my privacy to create.

Favourite Block couple?
Daniel and Jade and Deb and Andy of course!! But if we are talking of all time..sheez. That is way too hard!

Describe your personal aesthetic?
I think I have an eclectic style. My home is a mixture of mid-century modern with minimal clean lines mixed in with touches of boho!

Sel Noir Designs'Golden Hour' by Sel Noir Designs available as a print or canvas.

Favourite holiday destination?

I would have to say Phillip Island. I am from Victoria and my fondest memories are down at the Island for family holidays. We have been doing it for years and years and it is great to see kids are now creating the same memories there that we did at their age.

Hardest person to buy a gift for?
School teachers haha

What would you buy yourself from The Block Shop?
Def a Kate Owen artwork.

What is the most decadent thing in your house?
My husband's great uncle was an Irish artist Tim Mara who was a well known for his modern, pop culture screen printing. I have one of his prints framed but it got water damaged when our house flooded. I need to get it reframed and fixed which scares me to do!

Favourite room in the house?
My sunken sitting room. It has the most gorgeous sunlight in the morning and my it's filled with lots of vintage items which belonged to relatives or antique finds.

If you could renovate one room in your house which would it be?
We are currently renovating the entire home so I am going to have to say the main bathroom first!

A perfect Sunday afternoon would be….
America’s greatest hits playing in the back yard of a sunny day enjoyed with friends, grazing platters and my fave cocktails.

Sel Noir Designs

Shop Rose's gorgeous art HERE