RO GUEST DESIGNER // Meet Deb McNaughton!

RO GUEST DESIGNER // Meet Deb McNaughton!


If you haven't come across the name Deb McNaughton before, it's your lucky day my friend... prepare yourself for a visual feast! Deb is a fabulous Australian Artist, and we absolutely ADORE her gorgeously bright and playful work. 

One of Deb's driving forces and main motivators to create her pieces, is hearing how happy they make people. Being a brand that exists to put smiles on faces, RO + Deb seemed like a match made in heaven! We've collaborated to bring you a stunning range with 3 different artworks across our most loved products, PLUS brand spankin' new pieces - all COMING SOON.

A little birdy tells me that the first round of goodies may just land online next week. Shhhhh, you didn't hear that from me! Until then, let's get to know Deb better and find out more about her work.

RO: Tell us a little bit about yourself?

DEB:  I am a lover of life and definite go getter, determined to enjoy my time on Earth doing the things I love to inspire happiness - with people who make me shine. I love spending time with my family and look forward to our holiday adventures to dream destinations. 

I am creative at heart, both on and off the canvas! I also love planning and hosting fun events for others - anything to bring more happiness into the world! My artwork is a reflection of my personality and my love for life. It’s bright, happy, and playful!

RO: You said that you never planned to be an artist and even had dreams of being a “banana selling lady” when you were younger. What was the catalyst that made you start to explore your creativity through different mediums?

DEB: Funnily enough, I studied Fine Art for three years at Ballarat University. At the time, it was purely a stepping stone to get into a diploma of education and ultimately, become a teacher. 

It wasn’t until I was home on maternity leave with two babies that I started dabbling with paints, and created an abstract piece for our dining room. To my surprise, it wasn’t terrible! I shared a pic on facebook and within 3 months of starting a couple of social media accounts as an ‘artist’, I had a contract in New York and another in London. That’s when it hit me that I could reconsider my ‘banana selling lady’ childhood goals, and decided to aim a little bit higher.  

RO: We are so thrilled for our collaboration! What RO product are you most excited to see your designs on?

DEB: I am equally as excited and SO keen to see the round puzzles. I am drawn to unique, unusual and quirky ‘things’ so these puzzles are right up my alley.

Deb McNaughton sitting at a table, pouring out puzzle pieces

RO: Is there a particular impression or feeling that you want to leave people with when they view your pieces?

DEB: Happiness. I paint when I am happy and I put a lot of happy energy into my work. I hope that people are drawn to the colours and obscure shapes and I hope the playfulness of my pieces takes people back to their childhood.

RO: As a busy artist, business woman and mum - what does a typical day in your life look like?

DEB: Woah! HUGE question! For a start, no two days are ever the same and secondly, no day ever goes to plan. 

My day generally starts with a run or a dip in the bay - both of these are important for my own mental health and my body (thanks me). Then it’s home in time for the morning mayhem with the boys and attempting to get to school on time. THEN my work day officially starts.  

Since hiring a personal assistant this year, Stef has taken care of the majority of the business admin while I concentrate on the creative stuff, whether it be painting artwork for clients, meetings about my current sculpture being fabricated, designing artwork for licenses or working on my next collaboration. There's always something to do! 

I generally ‘clock off’ about 3pm and try to spend my afternoon being present with my family. That doesn’t always go to plan depending how many orders have come through or how long the work list gets throughout the day.  

We sit as a family at the dinner table each night and share stories about our days. I am passionate about maintaining strong relationships with my boys as they grow older and this family time is so important to me. I’m usually in bed by 8pm and I’m not even joking. 

RO: We love talented and amazing women (like yourself) here at RO. What’s the best and worst thing about working for yourself? 

DEB: The best thing is definitely having the flexibility to choose my own hours and manage my time with work and family in a way that suits our lifestyle. 

The worst thing is having to figure out everything by myself. There's nobody to back you up if you have a question or to help with a technological glitch. Thank goodness for YouTube! The amount of youtube tutorials I have watched while running this business has been off the charts. 

RO: Tell us something we’d never guess about you?

DEB: I have been known to cry if I see a plastic bag floating around in the wind and being hit by car after car at a busy intersection. I also felt sorry for a drain that appeared to be struggling to swallow so much water after flash flooding. Yep, bet you wouldn’t have guessed those two.

Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us Deb! We have loved learning more about you and your work. 

We hope you all ADORE this stunning collection as much as we do. How many sneak peeks can you spot? ;) Which pieces have caught your eye? We'd love to hear from you! #celebratingamazingwomen

Instagram - @deb.mcnaughton
Facebook - @debmcnaughtonart
Website -

Photography - Jessica Roberts: The Who //


Ann Ballard

Incredibly beautiful colour combinations; just makes me happy looking at them.

Steph Boase

I just love the bright sunny colours and designs. I’m can’t wait to see what is coming!

Sharon Pendergast

Will you be selling the lovely bright overalls as part of your collection 🤞? They look so fun and comfy ❤️

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