Little girls often dream about growing up and becoming a Disney princess. Few ever obtain their goal of turning into Frozen’s Elsa or Aladdin’s Jasmine. Diamar Payano, however, came just about as close as one can realistically get.
Artist, illustrator and designer Payano uses her love for the pretty and the whimsical to create beautiful and romantic art pieces for dreamers alike with a style that is uniquely hers.
“I grew up loving to draw and paint,” said Payano. “I remember when I was younger being completely obsessed by the beautiful artwork in Disney movies. Well, actually I still am pretty obsessed with Disney. I guess you can say it’s what inspired me to draw first.”
As a child, Payano spent most of her days carrying around a book bag filled with art supplies and ideas.
“I remember my third grade teacher, Ms. Storms, wherever she is, said to me one day that if I didn’t work for Disney when I grew up, to not speak to her again,” said Payano. “It was probably the best thing I ever heard.”
While Payano is not working for Disney, she does have the entrepreneurial spirit similar to Mr. Walt Disney himself. She’s the founder and owner of Diamar Paperie: Custom Art & Design By Diamar Payano.
“I’ve dedicated myself to my artwork. I never had professional schooling for art, just the basic elementary and high school stuff. I decided I was going to teach myself everything I needed to know – from drawing and coloring techniques, to website building to business accounting,” said Payano who made illustrated bookmarks during her school days to sell during snack/lunch time for 25 cents.
Payano is now utilizing her degree in fashion marketing and her expertise thanks to her numerous positions while working in the fashion industry very creatively.
“I had dreams of designing gorgeous wedding gowns for smiling brides as well as inspirations from your every day gal with killer fashion sense,” said Payano. “Becoming an illustrator has allowed me to not only use my talents and passions for art and fashion in my job, but it has also allowed me to tap into my business side.”
Payano’s client list includes Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Eileen Fisher, Jo Malone, Bergdorf Goodman, Sak’s Fifth Avenue, Armachology Perfume Bar, Christian Dior Parfums, Nordstrom, LVMH, Aqua Di Parma, Neiman Marcus, GUESS and more.
Services include custom artwork, including framed originals and prints and digital artwork; weddings, including invitations, stationary and gifts; and live sketching.
“I take pleasure out of every aspect of running my business,” said Payano. “From sorting through orders that grew from a steady flow to rapid fire in a short period of time thanks to social media, word of mouth and steady relationships to meeting with clients. The opportunity to see the excitement on their faces when I hand them their carefully wrapped package… it’s truly fulfilling.”
Like many artists before her, it took Payano some time to stand up for her talent and call herself an artist.
“But thanks to the unyielding support from my beautiful family and friends, and a lot of hard work and practice, today I am proud to call myself an artist, illustrator and designer,” she said.
By Jessica Humphrey-Cintineo