Interview: Dial Watch Designer Sarah Dennis

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I’ve always been fascinated with the relationship between fashion and art, both it seems to enhance one another, and I’m obsessed with new watch brand, Dial Watches, which has merged the two worlds to create a beautiful timepiece. You may have seen the watch in a few of my recent style posts and on Instagram, I do love a statement watch, and the beauty of the Dial Watches is that it comes in two straps, navy and cream, so you can literally transform your wrist to match your outfit. I know I gush, but have you seen it? So, because I love it so much I sat down with the artist behind the timeless watch, Sarah Dennis on her inspiration and background. 

The use of illustrations in fashion has boomed in recent years, I love the idea of hand-cut details of paper art. Can you tell me a little about how you got into this form of art?

Sarah Dennis – For anyone who draws or paints it all starts with a blank piece of paper, you go on a journey of what paper works best for the medium your working with, discovering different textures and weights and how it affects your work.  I loved this process of discovering paper and found that I was constantly finding new colours, patterns and surfaces every where I went. I wanted to use these discoveries in my artwork. When I first started working with paper I would collage the different papers together to create my illustrations. I naturally started to become more and more sophisticated with my approach. It was a after a trip to a museum where I discovered Chinese paper cutting that I realised there was a whole world of intricate detail that could be applied to my own paper artwork. This is when I really started to hone my skills in this art form.

You’re a paper illustrator how did designing this beautiful watch come about?

The amazing thing about being freelance is you never know what’s around the corner.  It was fantastic to be contacted by a brand new company with a unique approach to creating a watch. When I was first contacted by Dial, there was no website or imagery,  just the raw idea, enthusiasm and bags of creativity. I felt really honoured to be the first artist be given the challenge of working within this space and create a piece of artwork in a watch.

What was the inspiration behind your design?

Nature has a big part of the inspiration in all my work. I had the idea of capturing a creature inside the watch, I started thinking what creature that could be. I wanted to capture the beauty of the passing of time in a simple yet elegant way. I had a really lovely day at the butterfly sanctuary not too far from where I live.  It was obvious to me in that moment that there is no other creature that is as elegant and fleeting as a butterfly, it was then when I started sketching some designs for the watch.

Was it a difficult concept to produce the intricate paper cut style on a such a small scale for the watch face?

It was a challenge, normally I am thinking how it would look hanging on a wall, not on a wrist. I had to take a different approach, thinking how I could retain the same level of detail on a much smaller scale and how that design would practically work as a watch and a beautiful piece of jewellery. I really love working with restrictions, I find you end up with some thing far more interesting as a result.

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I love the combination of the two colour ways – was this important in your design?

As I was working on such a small scale it was really important to have two contrasting colours to really bring out the detail in the design. I wanted something that was striking but would work with many different outfits. I personally love navy as you can wear it with anything and the cream gives it that delicate touch.

Do you have plans to produce different watch faces for the collection?

I have completely loved the whole process, and the watch has come out more beautiful than I could have possibly imagined. It has also been amazing to see how different art directors have managed to photograph the watch in such a range of settings and styles. I have lots of ideas for new designs and I would love to contribute another to the range, so lets watch this space. 

I find Instagram a great place to discover illustrating talent – do you have any favourite Instagrammers?

I love Instagram! Some of my  favourites are @victoriatoppingart, @gfsmithpapers, @emilyquinton, @flow_magazine, and @elsamorainstant

A photo posted by Emily Quinton (@emilyquinton) on

Also don’t forget to follow Sarah Dennis on Instagram, her intricate paper art is so beauty.


A photo posted by Sarah Dennis (@sarahdennisillustration) on

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