Meet the Maker: Hillery Sproatt's dreamworld comes to life

Hillery Sproatt is a mother and an artist. Her background in fine art coupled with the early influence of her mother, fiber artist and clothing designer Debra Weiss, fueled her love for pattern and design. Known for her gorgeous throw blankets, we're thrilled to be able to translate Hillery's delicate and detailed artwork into another functional product - wallpaper!

Full of beauty and playfulness, these wallpapers and murals created for H&W all invite you to look closely and become lost in the magical details. We're chatting with Hillery about her background, artwork, and how this magical collection came to life.

Tree Sprites Mural

Hygge & West: Tell us about your background

Hillery Sproatt: I was born and raised in Southern California. I was the eldest of three girls, and my mother was a single mom. My mother was always an artist, even though I don’t think she truly knew that about herself until later in life. When I was young, she had very little time to make things. When I was young, she seemed to notice that I was happiest when I was making art. She endlessly encouraged me to nourish my gifts, even when I felt unsure. I am forever inspired by and grateful to her. You can see her beautiful work at Specks & Keepings.


H&W: How do you describe your artistic style?

HS: I’m inspired by Japanese, Scandinavian and Eastern European design as well as countless self-taught artists. I adore the art of children. I feel joy, love, and peace when I paint, and I hope that comes through. I often feel that my whimsical landscapes, and childlike creatures draw connection between home and nature. I hope my paintings tell stories that inspire a deep sense of love and connection.

These past four years, I’ve enjoyed reading picture books to my daughter. The two of us endlessly study the illustrations. Our story book collection has become a great source of inspiration for me.

Garden in the Sea Wallpaper

H&W: Tell us about where you live and how that influences your work?

HS: I live and work in Portland, Oregon. I’ve always kept a small studio in my very small homes. At the moment I work in our basement, with very little natural light. I often reflect on the beauty of our imaginations. Although I dream of a beautiful sunlit studio, I love that when I sit down to paint, magic comes. It’s clear I keep my magic tucked inside my heart and mind.

I adore the nature and the seasons in Portland. Spring is absolutely my favorite season and it comes right on time every year here. I also love the people. I have made so many dear friends since moving here. When you heart is full, I think that comes through in everything you touch.

 Lily Pond Mural

H&W: What was your design process like for these wallpapers and murals?

HS: I’ve wanted to design wallpaper for many years, and I am beyond thrilled to be collaborating with Hygge & West! I think wallpaper can be so joyful, playful, immersive and intimate, especially in a home. I hope the murals feel like being immersed in a peaceful dreamscape full of beauty and bits of magic, transforming spaces so you want to linger in them. As for the wallpapers, I wanted them to feel intimate and playful. I love small scenes that dance around the wall, inviting you to look closer and get lost in tiny worlds.

In designing this collection for Hygee & West, I revisited paintings that were dear to me. I re-painted each painting larger, changing things as I went along. I tried to be considerate when laying out the large and small elements so the patterns and colors felt well balanced throughout.

Willows Wallpaper

H&W: Where do you envision the wallpapers being used vs the murals?

HS: I keep a very open mind and heart when it comes to decorating. I admire so many different spaces. For me, I imagine the wallpapers in bedrooms, kitchens, living spaces really. I think the murals would be beautiful in a dining room, or larger spaces…perhaps even in hotels, restaurants, or spaces that seek to transport you to a place of comfort and joy outside of your daily life. I love the idea of the murals in a very old home.

With that said, I am so excited to see how people choose to use them. I know I will be very pleasantly surprised! Putting things into the world and seeing how they are used is one of my absolute favorite things about being a designer.

H&W: 'Hygge' is the Danish concept of coziness. Where and how do you find hygge in your life?

HS: I have been aware of the term hygge for quite some time now. A friend first shared the word with me when I lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan years ago. We had such a cold winter, and it was starting to feel brutal and oppressive. He told me that if we make our inside spaces warm and cozy, if we gather with friends, if we nourish hobbies, cook good food, read and rest, that winter could be a restorative experience. I never forgot this.

I often reflect on my need to move furniture or objects around my home, to have candles and blankets available, and to consistently tidy so my home feels welcoming to me. I also believe that coziness is different for every person and family. I work best with fewer things and a tidy space, it allows my mind to focus on tasks at hand, but some of my favorite homes are filled to the brim with things - I admire these spaces so. I have grown to believe that our homes should serve us and our families. As we grow and change, our spaces change too. Coziness may feel like one thing when you are young and another thing when you are older. Our tiny home is filled with my daughter’s art supplies and toys, in this season of life, this feels very cozy and inviting to me.

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