Based in East London, artist Ingebjørg Hunskaar is a freelance textile designer and illustrator.
For inspiration she dives into botanical illustrations, geometric patterns, and shape configurations.
During a photoshoot with her daughter Luna, surrounded by the encompassing ancient woodland of Epping Forest, we found some time to chat with Inge about her creative process.
What tools and materials do you use to create your prints and drawings ?
I start with either Indian Ink, fine felt tip pens, or watercolour/gouache. I quite often start with sitting, doodling different patterns and flowers, tulips, tropical, wild flowers, ideas of different trees. I draw with contrasting colours such as blue and black so it’s easier to separate them on the computer program. Then I make it into a repeated pattern and add the final colours.
What does a usual day look like for you ? Are there rituals and routines you follow ?
Get the kids ready for nursery and school, take them there. Then go to my studio/spare room in my house and do a few hours work before I have to pick the kids up again. Sometimes I do research for my next project, sometimes drawing and finalising my print or getting my prints ready for printing.
Where do you take inspiration from ?
Nature, flowers, plants and animals. Vintage fabrics and clothes from second hand shops or markets. Textiles and crafts from around the world. I have a book about the Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshop), a productive cooperative of artisans in Vienna, Austria from 1910 till 1932, which has been a huge inspiration for me. I have had this book for probably 20 years, I love the geometric patterns and florals design of this specific period. I also find a lot of inspiration from people out and about, what they wear, what outfits they put together, colour combinations and pattern mixing. I find it very fascinating, the more unusual the better! Living in London is a great source for this.
Did the way you worked changed during the pandemic ?
Yes, I started painting more by hand and with watercolour/gouache. My work turned more nostalgic, thinking a lot about my childhood and my birth country Norway, missing it and family and friends there a lot. I have done more commissions and collaborations, and I really love working with a team and feel connected to other creatives. I think the need for this has been even stronger as our lives have been more isolated through the pandemic. I have had to broaden my horizon and try new things, as the pandemic has had an impact on my industry, it has been scary, but also given me a push to evolve. I also learned to work with my kids around me, which is nice, but not always easy.
What are the things you are the most proud to have achieved as an artist ?
I am proud that I have been able to keep drawing, painting and designing since graduating without having to have a second job to earn money. I love my job, and I am very proud to be able to say that, and I know it is not like that for a lot of people, so it is a very fortunate place to be.
How does your work evolve throughout the years ?
My first love in textiles was geometric patterns, I still love them, especially to wear myself, but I have grown to love florals too, and more recently botanically accurate florals.
What is the best piece of advice you have received ?
Keep trying, not to give up, I think. It takes time to build up your career in this industry.