If you thought we had a thing for clouds you haven't met Liv Dockerty, a Miami-based artist inspired by the spectrum of colors in the sky and the different shapes of clouds. Learn more about her story by reading our interview with her below and make sure to follow her on Instagram to see more of her work.
What did you dream of becoming when you were growing up?
When I was young I always dreamed of being a fashion designer when I grew up. It was that dream that led me to study design at Parsons which ultimately led me to becoming an artist.
What were you doing before you were painting?
Before I began my career as an artist I was living in NYC and going to school. I had several internships in both fashion and jewelry design and I was trying to figure out what I liked best. When you’re young it is difficult to know whether your skill set and personality fit your dream career so working in several different internship opportunities in that field helped me narrow down my interests.
What made you decide to go for it and become an artist full-time?
It definitely wasn’t a smooth road. When I graduated from Parsons I started to feel anxiety over what I should do and where I should live. I really wanted to move back to Miami but I felt that I had to stay in NYC to have a successful fashion career. I felt like I was having a quarter life crisis so I booked a one-way ticket to Miami to go home for a few weeks and while I was home I had a calling to start painting. I bought a large roll of canvas and rolled it out on my bedroom floor and started painting. I had always been interested in art but never considered it a career option because I was afraid of the “starving artist” stigma I always heard about. At that time, however, it was really therapeutic for me so I just kept painting and painting. Then a few months later I was back in NYC moving my younger brother into his new apartment and I walked by the new RH store. I noticed that they had amazing artwork painted by individual artists so I went to customer service and asked for the contact of the art buyer. Next thing I know my paintings were in RH stores across the country.
You have a thing for clouds. What inspired you to paint them?
When I was growing up one of the ways my mom would entertain my brother and I in the car was to tell us to look at the sky and tell her what colors we saw. We did it all the time and we loved it. It became a habit of mine to always look to the sky. I loved the different types of clouds and different shapes that could be formed. I especially loved sunrise and sunset clouds when the sun hits them and a spectrum of colors can be seen.
What is your favorite part about being an artist?
My favorite part of being an artist is the joy of seeing a vision in my mind come to life on the canvas. It can also be the most frustrating part as well. When I first started to paint clouds it was so difficult to get the image in my head onto the canvas but after a lot of practice I finally got it down and it felt so rewarding because I taught myself.
Tell us more about your creative process.
Usually I will roll out a primed canvas and cut it to a size I feel like that day, usually fairly large. I enjoy painting on larger canvases versus smaller ones. Then I play some classic rock music. I title all of my artworks from classic rock song lyrics. Most of my titles come from Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, The Eagles, The Rolling Stones and Elton John, for example. Once I have the canvas cut and music playing I will select the paint palette. If I am working on a commission I will have a specific palette to work with but if I am not then I’ll select whatever I am feeling like that day. My signature feature is the use of these specialty paints called Interference paints that color shift with the light. It adds an ethereal feel to the works and I love working with them.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow their dreams but doesn’t know where to start?
As someone who has been that person I would say to not give up on your dream even if you feel like it is just not working. It probably won’t be easy but it will be worth it.
Where can people find your work?
On my website, www.livdockerty.com and my instagram @livdockerty.
I also have an Exhibition on Artsy called Cloud 9 showcasing through April.
So tell us, are you a morning or night person?
A night person!
How many hours of sleep do you get (or try to) on a daily basis?
I sleep 9-10 hours. It definitely seems like a lot but I always feel like I need it.
What’s on your nightstand?
My nightstand usually has some dried eucalyptus, a large water bottle, a Nest candle (love the bamboo scent) and my phone. If I was reading before bed then I will have either a book or a magazine. I love AD and Harper’s Bazaar.
Walk us through your bedtime routine.
This year for Christmas I asked for the NuFace facial toning device and I am obsessed with it. I love all things beauty and skincare. I start by cleansing my face and taking my makeup off. Then I like to use a SkinCeuticals serum as my base. I then use the NuFace with their hyaluronic acid serum which helps to kind of depuff and destress the face. It is only about a 5 minute process. Then I top my face off with a Dr.Lancer moisturizer. Even though Miami is so humid I still have more normal-to-dry skin so I love to layer on the moisture before bed.
What’s your favorite Half Asleep piece and how and when do you wear it?
My favorite set is the double ruffle pant set! It is incredibly comfortable and soft. I am obsessed with the material, it somehow feels silkier than silk. It is also completely adorable. I feel like I could throw on some Manolos Blahniks and race off to a meeting in my pjs and no one would second guess it.
What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
The first thing I do is reach for my water bottle and have a sip. I am a total water baby and drink it even in my sleep. Then I check my phone, which admittedly is not a great habit. Then I head straight to the kitchen to get my coffee brewing. Like I said I am not a morning person and am useless without the coffee.
Let’s talk about our favorite meal of the day: breakfast.
Salty or sweet? Sweet > Salty! My go-to favorite splurge breakfasts are usually pancakes, donuts, and bagels.
Coffee or tea? Coffee in the morning, Green tea in the afternoon.
Be sure to check out Liv's exhibition, Cloud 9, showcasing now through April and follow her on Instagram to check out her latest works.
Dream Street Diaries is a section on our blog where we interview women entrepreneurs, creatives, and changemakers. We ask them about their dreams, how they made them come true, and we get to know them personally - from what's on their nightstand to their favorite midnight snack.