Ola Supernat, the artist behind our Harmony wallpaper, also happens to be Hygge & West’s Creative Director. Based in Portland, OR, she has filled many roles at the company over the last 15 years, most recently focusing on product development. She has designed several of our wallpaper collections in collaboration with other brands, but this pattern is her first solo endeavor, and we couldn't be more thrilled with how it turned out!
What was the inspiration for Harmony?
Since this pattern was not a client commission, I wanted to simply draw flowers I find beautiful. I see lots of camellias and hellebores on my neighborhood walks and love their full petals. My mom keeps a delightful garden—the snowball tree and the irises were inspired by the blooms I saw there when I visited my family back in Poland a few years ago.
Tell us about your background.
As a child, I could spend hours drawing and painting—even such mundane objects as a vinyl record. I ended up going to school for graphic design tho (fashion design was close second). Over the years, I worked primarily in brand design with startups, design studios and global advertising agencies before finally joining Hygge & West full time in 2018. I am beyond happy that I came full circle and get to make art as my job now.
As far as personal background, I am originally from Poland and have lived in the United States for over 20 years (came for a high school exchange, stayed for good). I made it to Portland, OR, via North Dakota, Minneapolis and Chicago, where I now live with my husband, our toddler and a four year old Persian, The General.
How do you describe your artistic style / aesthetic?.
My style spans from quite loose to precise—more graphic, less realistic. I am most comfortable with a pencil or pen, though I’m working on expanding into new painting techniques. The subject matter of choice—all day every day—is flora.
One of the many gorgeous gardens Ola passes on her daily walks
Tell us about where you live and how it influences your work.
Oregon is full of natural wonders and so is Portland itself. People’s front yards transform neighborhoods into botanical gardens come spring for an abundance of inspiration. I constantly come up with new pattern concepts on my walks. There are also numerous creative makers and shops in town, so the influences are truly all around.
Camellia and snowball tree in progress
What was your design process like for Harmony?
First, I sketched the flowers in pencil, scanned them and worked out the layout on the computer. I went back and forth a few times to make sure the flower shapes loosely fit into one another before drawing the final motifs. Next, I drew the little line shading detail (started too heavy handed, but thank goodness for good erasers) and then painted in the color fields. When it came to developing colorways, I knew I wanted to create very happy and bold scenes to match the lush subject matter, and I think we achieved that.
Where do you envision this wallpaper being used?
I see it used in a sun room or dining room as an extension of the outdoors. Or in a smaller bathroom so that you can get lost in the flowers along with the pattern’s creatures.
What represents hygge for you? How do you find or create it in your own life?
Hygge nowadays is embodied by cherishing as much time as I can with my son, whether it's enjoying breakfast together in the early mornings when the world is still quiet and sleepy or cozying up and “reading” books at bedtime. Also, family walks with my husband and any time The General decides to grace us with cuddles.