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For the latest edition of The Style Sheet’s Day in the Life series, we discover what it takes to be the multitalented Hong Kong-based muralist and visual artist Elsa Jean de Dieu. The brains behind her eponymous business, Elsa Jean de Dieu studio, Elsa has created some of the city’s most recognisable (and Instagrammable) wall art, street art and large scale murals, including the graphic feature wall at TMK Rap & Roll in Starstreet Precinct.


‘I wake up at six to make a good cup of coffee, and spend the next two hours playing with my son Noam and re-learning life through his eyes. I might grab a second takeaway coffee, and then I’m often on the go until at least lunch, usually at on-site projects. For murals and wall art projects, the length of time we spend on them can vary according to the scale and the style, but most take between three and ten days to execute, while the design usually takes a month or two. When on site, I’m often working with a couple of members of my team, Carol Bellese Choi and Angel Chiu, both of whom work with me on our different creative elements such as painting, working in Illustrator and preparing presentations.’

Muralist and visual artist Elsa Jean de Dieu in her Wong Chuk Hang studio

‘The morning might also be spent in the studio working on our second business, On Paper Lab, which I co-founded with Carol to offer a curated selection of affordable high-quality art prints and posters. I love to listen to music while working as much as possible too. Music is a huge part of my daily life, and I can’t live without it — it’s the main way I separate myself from the world and reconnect with my creativity. It either helps me to focus or disconnect. I have the most eclectic library, as I enjoy listening to different styles and rhythms according to what I’m doing, but recently I’ve been listening a lot to more instrumental world music.’


‘When I’m working at the workshop in Wong Chuk Hang, you might see me running to Repulse Bay, which is my favourite run in the area as it’s along the sea, and probably the easiest as it’s completely flat! If it’s a day when we’re working on-site, we find somewhere to have a quick and light lunch nearby.’

Elsa and her team are behind much of Hong Kong’s most recognisable wall art


‘In the afternoon, we might have a first meeting with a client to find out more about their style and what they’re expecting from us. Then we’ll get started on a full presentation including a mood board and few sketches to show in detail what we could do on their walls. The details might include plaster, acrylic paint, gold leaves, imitation leaves, patina — we use all the media! Our team member Carrie manages all the work between us artists and the client or contractor, which frees up our time to be creative.’

Elsa works on new designs in her studio. The team works in a wide variety of spaces and with a range of materials
‘The exciting part of our job is that we never know who is going to be our next client, where the site will be and what kind of design we’re going to create. It could be for a hotel, residential building, fitness club, private club, restaurant, bar or retail store. We could be working at a Macau casino, working on an extremely large area, such as 10,000 square metres, creating a vegetation wall inside a lift shaft on a six-storey house, creating an abstract wall for a clubhouse, or creating a feature wall for one of the most talented designer in Hong Kong, André Fu. We also design exclusive gifts for luxury brands like Van Cleef & Arpels, and I personally joined a French team to design a Chanel catwalk in Singapore few years ago.’
Elsa created the iconic feature wall at TMK Rap & Roll in Starstreet Precinct


‘To get in a bit more exercise, I might run back home from wherever I am. Once I’m home, I finally slow down — I play with my son and prepare him for bed. As a new parent, evenings are usually very quiet at home with my husband, which I think all new parents can relate to!’