Our Stencil Stars™ series highlights individual artists and their use of our Royal Design Studio mylar wall stencils on walls, floors, furniture, and more. Today, we’re proud to feature Royal Design Studio’s very own Design Assistant Valeria Zavala! Valeria exercises her considerable artistic skills with stencil patterns in many of her decorative painting projects, both on and off the job.
MEET VALERIA ZAVALA. She went to school for Visual Communications, which focused on designing commercial spaces, merchandising, and styling for home décor. Stenciling actually came into her life by accident… Don’t all great things come to you when you least expect it? We certainly believe so! Valeria has always surrounded herself with color and creativity, including working as a hair stylist and makeup artist. When she stenciled for her first time, she instantly fell in love with the craft and it became a new addiction for her. She now works for Royal Design Studio and creates beautiful stenciled projects and spaces to teach and share with other pattern-lovers. She says, “I’m lucky enough to do this for a living.”
What draws you to stenciling?
…The endless possibilities, the big space left for creativity, there are no rules you can make it as simple or complex as you like, and the fact that every job is custom and unique.
How do you determine which pattern will work for your project?
You have to learn to listen to what your client doesn’t like more than what they want (I learned that as a hair stylist). In general, I’ve come to learn that clients never know what they exactly want, which is why they hire someone to help them visualize and create the space they’ve been dreaming of. So I think the key is being a good listener, paying attention to detail, watching how they dress, and noticing what décor is in their house. This will tell you what stencil pattern and color scheme I should pitch to the client.
Also, “window shopping” helps a lot too! I love browsing through new stencil designs and keeping them fresh in my mind. It makes it easier to think of an appropriate pattern when a job comes along.
What would be your “dream” stencil project?
I love color so
nurseries and kids rooms are my favorite because people allow themselves to be a little bolder in these rooms. Commercial spaces also allow me to be a little more creative. I guess I love anything that involves a lot of color, creates a visual illusion, and takes the client to a “fantasy world”! But don’t get me wrong- I can also do tone on tone and neutral color schemes, and I enjoy it just as much!
What is your top stenciling tip(s)?
Off load your stencil brush before stenciling! And don’t be afraid to stencil, it’s just paint!
What are your favorite surfaces to work on and design for?
I can’t think of just one and that is the beauty of stenciling. You can stencil on anything! Since I started stenciling, I now only buy plain home decor so I can stencil it or paint it myself! Like I said, it becomes an addiction!
Do you feel inspired to stencil projects like Valeria’s? You can see her in action and learn how to stencil an Italian-inspired damask pattern on an accent wall in this video tutorial: