A Story by the Ocean
Hannele Fernström is a versatile illustrator based in the seaside town Gothenburg in Sweden. With a background in print design and a five-year tenure as a print designer within fashion, Hannele has now established herself as an independent designer, passionately crafting captivating visuals. She blends contemporary design with minimalist and expressive motifs of objects. The ocean, organic forms and a passion for colour and pattern inspired her latest vibrant collection.
Welcome to Postery! How are you?
Thanks, I'm good! Summer is in full bloom, and I’m enjoying picnics at the beach and cold drinks in the sun.
Tell us about yourself and how you got started with art.
I'm an artist and freelance illustrator based in Gothenburg, Sweden. I've been drawing since I was a kid and went to art school in my early 20s. I've been working with art and visual design in many forms since then. As a print designer in fashion, as a graphic artist and as a visual designer.
What are your primary sources of inspiration?
Nature, the internet and daydreaming.
Who are your biggest artistic influences?
My daughter. She can sit and draw for hours and never compromises her artistic expression.
Tell us a little bit about your latest collection.
I wanted to make a summery dreamy collection with a positive vibe that I could see hanging on my own walls. Colourful but still kind of minimalistic. I borrowed the texts from my favourite lyric poets.
What motivates you to create?
I like to make the world a prettier place. Also, I don't know how not to create.
What does art mean to you?
For me, aesthetics is everything. I'm a visual person, and my surroundings make a big impact on me. With the risk of sounding like a snob, I can feel physically ill when I'm in an "ugly" environment. But I'm trying to see beauty in everything.
"I wanted to make a summery dreamy collection with a positive vibe that I could see hanging on my own walls. Colourful but still kind of minimalistic. I borrowed the texts from my favourite lyric poets "
What is the biggest challenge of being an artist?
Money! Haha, but you are also working on your own. I love collaborating and participating in other people's ideas and skills.
How do you manage a work-life balance as an artist?
I have two small kids, so I can just work office hours (when they're at kindergarten). After that, I'm a 200 % mom.
Describe how art is essential to society.
Art simply makes life worth living.
Does your residential place have an impact on your art?
I live in Gothenburg, Sweden. The archipelago here is magical in the summer. Living in the northern part of Europe impacts me because of the changing seasons. It's pretty much dark and cold for six months when we stay in and create, and then come spring and summer, and we all bloom and become more social creatures and live our lives outside to just suck it all in before the darkness arrives again.
When is your favourite time of day to create?
With my second cup of coffee around 8 in the morning! I'm completely useless after 4 pm.
How do you see your prints in an interior setting?
I like Nordic interior design with a twist—light but brave in colours. I could definitely see them hanging in your local wine bar.
What do you like doing when you are not creating?
I love music and singing, I just joined a pop choir, and I love it.
What will we never find in your home?
What is your current obsession and why?
Blue, I just bought a big can of my favourite blue colour and can't wait to repaint my latest vintage cabinet. I have had a pink period for a couple of years now, and I guess blue is just a natural reaction to that. I still love everything pink, though.
Do you have a hidden talent?
I'm a karaoke queen, or at least I like to believe I am.
Would you say you are an introvert or an extrovert?
Social introvert. Ambivert, I guess.
What are you focusing on right now?
Right now, I'm just soaking in inspiration for my next collection.
Do you have any future projects you would like to share with us?
I'm starting up a side career as an interior stylist, and my first job is to decorate my boyfriend's music studio. I will definitely use some of my own artwork. I am also working on some new drawings. It would be fun to have some kind of art show.
If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Blood Orange - Time will tell.