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Daily Inspiration: Meet Hilary Dufour

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hilary Dufour. 

Hilary, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I’m an artist and GIS specialist born and raised in San Diego. A lot of my time is spent exploring outdoors, which is where I get most of my inspiration. I earned my Bachelor’s in Studio Art and Art History and from UC Davis, and more recently, earned my Master’s in Geographic Information Systems Technology from University of Arizona. I use art as a means to learn about the environment and as a means of self-expression. For figure art, I try to capture someone’s personality, uniqueness and help them feel empowered. I also specialize in pet portraits. A watercolor of a furry friend can bring so much joy to someone’s life. My work is mostly ink drawing and painting in watercolor or acrylic. I also enjoy shooting portrait and wedding photography from time to time.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back, would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
One thing I’m thankful for is finally finding a style and sticking to it. That’s somewhat sarcastic, but consistency has been a challenge for me. One day in 2021, I came up with a funky design idea exploring relationships in the natural world among plants, animals, and fungi. I worked all day and late into the night on it, literally hanging halfway out of bed the next morning, drawing with it on the floor. I had no idea at the time what a catalyst it would be, leading to two solo shows (Web of Life and Southwest Symbiosis) and other opportunities in 2022. Before this, I was never able to complete more than 5 pieces in one style – the first photo shows how varied my work is. Nevertheless, I think all the experimentation I did and hopefully continue to do, as well as the creative ruts I hit, help me learn and grow as an artist.

Thanks – so, what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I like to describe this current body of work as a mix of scientific and botanical illustration with an element of whimsy. Countless hours are spent researching specific species (primarily native to the Southwest) and their threatened ecosystems so I can bring these stories to life on paper. It’s been a fun learning process.

What are your plans for the future?
I look forward to sharing my art in another solo show at Thumbprint Gallery in 2023 and meeting people along the way. The show will explore the dark side of plants and animals – why we think what we do and where our beliefs stem from, being religion, folklore, or because of a species’ potential to harm us, venomous or otherwise. It parallels a lot of the questioning I’ve been doing in my personal life. I want to provide a fresh perspective on species that often get a bad rap, like rattlesnakes and poison oak, and how ecological stability is contingent upon them. I look forward to spending countless hours reading scientific studies and articles about things I don’t yet know exist and seeing what comes of it. 

There are also upcoming commissions I’m looking forward to. It’s fun fusing a client’s ideas with my own and seeing the art created from the collaboration. 


  • Giclee Prints: 8×10 – $50, 11×14 – $70, 16×20 – $95
  • Watercolor Pet Portrait: 10″x10″ – $120, 11″x14″ – $140, 16″x20″ – $160

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