While her Lourdes Academy classmates were pursuing their passions in various subjects, Liv Dockerty was figuring out how to become the next Diane von Furstenberg. After apprenticing at fashion factories in Wynwood, she attended Parsons School of Design, only to discover her real path as a painter. One cold call to Restoration Hardware’s contemporary art division, and a business was born. Here, the 25-year-old talks with INDULGE about success, the stigma of selling out and her desire to create an album cover.
When were you bitten by the art bug?
“My parents are avid supporters of the arts, so we’d go to Art Miami and Art Basel as normal family outings. We even had Lhasa apsos named Picasso and Matisse. Around first grade, I saw Titanic and thought Leonardo DiCaprio’s character was the coolest guy. Since he played a figure drawer, I wanted to be like him and got out my crayons and pencils. Only I wasn’t drawing naked women but flowers.”
How did you segue from fashion to painting?
“At Parsons, I switched my degree from fashion to integrated design to have more opportunity. I’m happy I did because having a diverse background in typography, graphic and interior design all comes together in painting. When I moved home to Miami, I experienced a quarter-life crisis about what I was going to do with my life, and I started to paint as therapy. Not being confined to a tiny New York apartment, I could roll out a big piece of canvas and blast classic rock. It was something pent up in me and just took off.”
Do you see a future combining both?
“Definitely. I look up to Jeff Koons’ collaboration with Louis Vuitton. Dior’s artist commissions for its Lady Dior bags last Art Basel also has my name written all over it.”
This Miami phenom pivoted from fashion design to painting — a decision that proved to be a stroke of genius.
Describe the artworks that got your foot in the door at Restoration Hardware.
“They’re abstract — their inspiration comes from clouds — and typically large with a mix of solid acrylic paints and Golden Interference Acrylic Colors, whose colors and iridescence shift depending on your vantage.”
Were you concerned about being labeled a sellout?
“Yes, but I think that idea will change since millennials are constantly branding themselves. Even doctors and lawyers are becoming their own brands. We’re OK with making money.”
What’s next for Liv Dockerty?
“My works are available through a new online gallery, NAVA Contemporary, launched by former art directors from RH. They have a really brilliant, approachable concept because people who might not know much about art have a lot of big walls to fill. My elementary school approached me to teach art, too. As for my wish list, I’d love to design an album cover like George Condo did for Kanye West.”