If you haven’t yet heard of Diamondoodles, prepare to be delighted. Hannah Becker’s whimsical, humorous and vibrant illustrations uniquely combine her love of art and gemstones. From turquoise-embellished cowboy boots, to Bart Simpson with a yellow sapphire finish, each doodle is a window into Hannah’s vivid gemstone world.
We caught up with her to learn more about how Diamondoodles got started, which are her must-have gemstones, and how she recommends you find the perfect engagement ring.
How did Diamondoodles come to be?
Diamondoodles came out of my passion for shiny things and a wandering mind. While working in jewelry production, I was tasked with sorting stones and creating parcels. I began to notice abstracted shapes in the piles of diamonds I was sorting. From there, I began to create the doodles with more intention, looking for stones to suit the drawings.
Why do you think your work resonates with so many people?
I think the playfulness and frivolity of Diamondoodles is part of what draws people to my work. We are so used to seeing diamonds and precious gems set into jewelry. Diamondoodles re-contextualizes the stones and gives them the freedom to just exist as their gorgeous, sparkling, and colorful selves.
How do you get inspired for a doodle, or does each one come about differently?
Most of the Diamondoodles come about in one of two ways. Sometimes I have something I’m dying to draw and then I hunt through my stones or seek out new stones that will accompany the doodle. Other times, like reading tealeaves, I take a look at the stones I have on hand and see what patterns and shapes they form. From there I come up with the theme/concept of the doodle. Far too often though, I need to post a doodle an hour ago, so in a frantic state I come up with anything that I can think of. These are usually my least favorite pieces because of the stress they cause me, but often they end up being the really well received.
Which of your doodles are you most proud of?
Wow, this is a surprisingly hard question. Last year, Kaiser Gems asked me to make a Diamondoodle for their Tucson AGTA Gem Fair advertisement. I created a cactus in a sunset; the entire composition was made from gemstones. This was my first commission and I love that it’s so lush with stones.
Is there a doodle you’ve wanted to create for a long time, but haven’t yet?
I really want to create a full deck of playing cards entirely illustrated with gemstones.
What is your favorite gemstone – or do you have different preferences for wearing/doodling?
I love Sphene, the dispersion and the chartreuse color really gets me. For doodling, I enjoy playing with color and having variety in size and cut. As for the gems I wear, I love bold jewelry. I have more size preferences than stone preferences for the jewelry I wear.
You partnered with Kara Ross on a stunning window display for her New York store. What was that like? Are you besties with Opal the Octopus now?
Partnering with Kara Ross on the store window was such an honor and a pleasure. I met Kara this year at the Couture show in Vegas and she instantly knew that Diamondoodles fit the playful luxury that characterizes her accessories. It was really fun to translate Diamondoodles from its usual small-scale form into giant rhinestone bejeweled objects.
Opal and I are pretty tight. I’m still trying to get in with the whole Octopus clique though. I still need to meet Pinky and Onyx.
What are your thoughts on the evolution of online jewelry shopping? Do you see that becoming the norm, or will people always prefer an in-store experience?
There will always be a place for in-store experience, particularly with fine jewelry, but the convenience and diversity that online jewelry shopping provides has great appeal for the consumer. I think the new comfort in purchasing luxury goods online has created a more egalitarian marketplace for new jewelry designers to emerge.
E-retail gives designers the ability to take greater risks and push their designs further knowing that they can capture the wide audience of the Internet and social media. Fine jewelry designers don’t have to worry about finding the brick and mortar store with the perfect clientele for their jewelry or investing in creating multiple samples initially, they can test the market online first.
What is your favorite piece of jewelry? Are there any new pieces on your wishlist?
I don’t like to pick favorites; it creates a lot of tension and causes a lot of quarrels in my jewelry box.
When Wallace Chan unveiled “A Heritage in Bloom”, the casual 507.55 carat diamond necklace, earlier this month, it moved to the top of my wishlist.
Do you have any advice for someone just getting started with engagement ring shopping?
My biggest pieces of advice are:
- Work with a sales person/designer/company you trust. Find someone who will educate you on your purchase, guide you through the decision and make you feel comfortable during the entire process.
- Follow your own tastes and preferences! Forget what’s trendy, ignore what you think makes for a “proper” engagement ring and pick out a beautiful piece of jewelry your partner will want to wear everyday that makes you both smile.
Follow Diamondoodles on Instagram to see more of Hannah’s incredible illustrations!