Thomas Paul: The Naturalist
If there's a starfish on your sofa or a crab in your cupboard, you likely have Thomas Paul to thank. For more than a decade,
he has populated his pervasive line of home furnishings with sea creatures and other images borrowed from natural history.
"It started with coral and just grew," he says. Octopus pillows, sea horse towels, crab plates—they've landed in coastal homes like beautiful maritime oddities left by a receding tide. He almost singlehandedly returned vintage renderings of fish and fauna back to the public imagination. But he has a way of making the old new again with fresh colors and off-center framing.
Paul's menagerie sprang from natural history illustrations he found at New York flea markets. The hand-drawn forms had seductive appeal to a generation raised on mass-produced goods. "Most designers don't draw things anymore," he says. "So there's a certain power to the one-of-a-kind." —Michael Cannell