I am Szonja, the maker and designer behind the company: Szonja Daniel Design. Textile has been a childhood passion of mine. I have been painting silk since I was 6, always playing with my mom’s fabrics, and doodling during boring lessons. After finishing my BSc in Horticulture I decided to give in, and studied Textile design in Gent. Although I left horticulture behind, my love for nature and especially flowers has remained. Now I am cultivating immortal gardens and tying never wilting bouquets on silk.
(Photo by Frederik Van Allemeersch)
Why Silk Painting?
Silk is a traditional material and therefore is the technique. It requires knowledge of the paint and the material. It is a challenge for me to let go of my ego and give the lead to the paint. It is a ritual: it needs all your attention; it’s mesmerizing, meditating and I love to do it.
Hand illustrated digital design
It always starts with a sketch, whether it’s a hand painted or a digital design. It grows further by painting more and more elements, drawings with more detail, experimenting with new effects and materials. It is a research to create something unique. Working physically with paper, watercolors, inks, charcoal, different brushes and pencils can just draw you in. Discovering how they leave a mark on the paper, and sometimes the unexpected appears. This you cannot replicate digitally, only if you scan it in.
Why Should I buy your product?
First of all, because you fell in love with it. All of the products are unique, produced in low quantity, and if hand painted, they are all one of a kind. They are crafted with care to last long, taking the environment into consideration as much as possible. Buying any of my products supports the love and passion I have for design and floral illustration, and ensures the future of this business. Buying from a small business is a step forward to ethical and slow fashion.
I believe in choice, but there isn’t any good or bad choice when it comes to textile: there are only pros and cons. I choose to work with natural or ‘natural based’ material, because I believe that is closest to us, humans. Sustainability for me means that the products I offer stands the test of time, biodegradable, and your body will enjoy wearing it and all materials are coloured with the right approach. This means: Digital designs are printed by an innovative and GOTS certified printer using a digital printing technology to reduce water pollution and waste. Hand painted items are considered as artwork, therefore paint is only used with consideration. They are painted with H. Dupont silk paint, which is produced under strict EU regulations in Belgium.
My products are meant to be luxury. They are produced in low quantity or made to order to reduce the unnecessary stock and avoiding textile waste to accumulate. Digitally printed orders are collected weekly, and unused space on the fabric is used to create smaller items, such as scrunchies. You can take the term ‘slow fashion’ literally: Your order WON’T be delivered by tomorrow, so think ahead and order on time. Unlike seasonal items, these designs will be available the next time you enter the website, so you have the time to deeply fall in love. (You can always contact me for more information as well.)
I believe, you as a customer, have a choice. It is important, that the clothing you wear feels good, resonate with your identity, it makes you fall in love with it over and over again; like a good marriage, you will more likely appreciate it, wear it and care for it, if you love what you bought. Choosing to buy unique, high- quality, long lasting pieces that are fitting with your style and identity is, I believe, the best choice for sustainability.