Interview with Helena Nilsson

We sat down to chat with surface pattern designer Helena Nilsson to learn about how she became an artist, what inspires her and how she stays creative…


What’s your background and how did you become an artist?

I studied art for three years in the Swedish equivalent to secondary school and kind of had enough of it after that. So, I got a degree in literature / writing and became a journalist instead. After a few years I started to feel the urge to draw again and began learning about pattern design. I slowly began building my portfolio while freelancing as a journalist, writing a lot about interior design and design history by day, and learning about art licensing and vectors at night. I’m so proud to now have licensed my work for use on a wide range of products, such as apparel, gift wrap, quilt fabric – and electronic greeting cards!

How would you describe your own work?

Harmonious, colourful, fresh and with a slight retro touch.

Who are your biggest influences?

I could name many, but when I first started to learn how to make patterns my biggest inspirations were the beautiful work of Elizabeth Olwen, who I still admire, as well as the Swedish designer Marianne Westman.

Where do you seek inspiration?

Pretty much everywhere! In everyday life, memories,nature, Scandinavian design, vintage English textiles, favourite books, and music. I love Swedish surface design from the 50s-70s and collect tea towels from a manufacturer called Almedahls.

What keeps you creative?

Doodling! Doodling and mark making is a way to keep creative and to find new ideas, and I like to take a blank sheet of paper and just fill it without thinking too much. Sometimes I just end up with useless weird shapes, sometimes I get an idea for a new favourite pattern. I think the important thing is to take the time to draw or create things without any expectations that it must end up perfect or beautiful.

What do you do if you find yourself stuck in a creative rut?

Read, listen to music, tidy, bake – just anything that keeps me from thinking about it for a while. When in a creative rut I also try to keep away from social media as much as possible as it’s so easy to start comparing yourself to others.

Talk us through your creative process

Though my finished patterns are all vector-based, they always begin as a simple ink pen drawing. The motifs are then brought into Adobe Illustrator and lovingly assembled into repeat patterns with a harmonious flow. My favourite part of the design process is to play around with the motifs and try out different layouts, it’s like putting together a puzzle.

What memorable responses have you had about your work?

It’s such an amazing feeling to see your designs come to life on products, and I’m equally happy every single time someone chooses to buy or use something that has my designs on it.

What’s the one piece of equipment in your kit you couldn’t live without?

Ink pens.

If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self – what would it be?

Just take it easy! And don’t compare your path with anybody else’s.


Explore Moments from Helena Nilsson by downloading the Momentful app today on iOS and Android.

Interview with Faye Guanipa

We sat down to chat with artist and surface pattern designer, Faye Guanipa, to learn about how she became an artist, what inspires her and how she stays creative…


What’s your background and how did you become an artist?

I’ve been drawing since I was very little. I’d say I was an artist even back then! Professionally though, I’ve been working as an illustrator and surface pattern designer for over 8 years.

How would you describe your own work?

Very vibrant with happy colour palettes. Plus there’s lots of texture and heavy vintage vibes.

Who are your biggest influences?

I am inspired by a lot of mid-century artists and illustrators. Mary Blair who did children’s book illustrations is a favourite, as well as textile artist Tammis Keefe textile, and Charley Harper, to name a few.

Where do you seek inspiration?

Vintage home décor and art, as well as nature, and film.

What keeps you creative?

I try to make time and draw a little even when I don’t feel like it. I have a busy life with 3 kids at home, so I can’t always draw daily, but I try as best I can to get close to that.

What do you do if you find yourself stuck in a creative rut?

When I need to i’ll step away. That means away from being online, away from my work. Whatever I need to get away from, i’ll do it in order to get a fresh perspective and the get rest and refreshment I need.

Talk us through your creative process

When I am working on a commission or project, first I seek out inspiration – looking at old pieces of work for drawing styles, getting ideas for colour palettes, or the feel of the piece that I want to portray, etc.

Then I sketch, sketch, sketch. Once I am happy with my sketches and ideas I move onto producing a colour sketch – so a rough version of what the final piece will look like fully rendered, and then I just dive in to the final piece and see where it takes me.

What memorable responses have you had about your work?

People often comment on my use of colours and textures which is lovely.

What’s the one piece of equipment in your kit you couldn’t live without?

For now, my iPad and Apple Pencil. I hope to move into more traditional materials as soon as I can dedicate the time – aka when all the kids are in school and I have more time in my studio.

If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self – what would it be?

Appreciate where you are now. Write down your goals so that you can look back and see how far you’ve come. And don’t “despise these small beginnings”.

How did you feel when you first saw your work published in app?

Loved it!

Which is your favourite moment of yours that’s available in app?

Mr. Frog is my absolute fav.


Explore Moments from Faye Guanipa by downloading the Momentful app today on iOS and Android.

Interview with Cardinky

We sat down to chat with artist Dannyboy, the cartoonist behind Cardinky, to learn about how he became an artist, what inspires him and how he stays creative…


What’s your background and how did you become an artist?

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved drawing and went on to study Fine Art and University, before later gaining a PGCE (Post 16) in Art & Design.

How would you describe your own work?

Organic hand drawn cartoons with a dash of humour.

Who are your biggest influences?

Sempé, Pont, Quentin Blake, Jean Julien, Charles Schulz.

Where do you seek inspiration?

Most of my inspiration is found by observing people and dogs, as well as watching old cartoons and ready old comic books.

What keeps you creative?

I don’t really think anything keeps me going, I just feel an urge to create things.

What do you do if you find yourself stuck in a creative rut?

Have another coffee, preferably with a slice of cake, or better still Tiramisu.

Talk us through your creative process

I keep a little notebook to hand and use it to scribble down ideas, and to record anecdotes or ideas that I think might work for a cartoon. I then develop the ideas by drawing and drawing again until I have an image that I’m happy with. Sometimes it happens quite quickly, but often it takes many attempts to find what I’m after.

What memorable responses have you had about your work?

When I exhibited at various trade events, it was lovely to see customers laughing at my cartoons.

What’s the one piece of equipment in your kit you couldn’t live without?

Felt tip pen

If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self – what would it be?

Don’t sweat the mistakes. They help you learn.


Explore Moments from Cardinky by downloading the Momentful app today on iOS and Android.

Interview with Ruth Tullis

We sat down to chat with artist Ruth Tullis to learn about how she became an artist, what inspires her and how she stays creative…


What’s your background and how did you become an artist?

I have always been creative when I was growing up and always drawing whatever I could see, especially animals! After I graduated from university with a design degree and being in the real world working in retail, I realised I missed being creative so I decided to start selling the cards I was already making for friends and family!

How would you describe your own work?

Colourful, positive and happy.

Who are your biggest influences?

I was first influenced by the work of Anna Bond from Rifle Paper Co. I love her beautiful colourful floral paintings.

Where do you seek inspiration?

I get a lot of inspiration from Instagram, whether it be from different colours and quotes to patterns. It sparks an idea in my brain and then I start drawing to see where it will lead to.

What keeps you creative?

It’s my passion. I’m lucky enough to call this my job but it is also my hobby! If I’m stressed, bored or struggling, creating always helps me.

What do you do if you find yourself stuck in a creative rut?

I take a break. The hardest thing to do but always works. Go for a walk, work on something else, but giving myself time out from a project lets me gain perspective and see it differently after time has passed.

Talk us through your creative process

It can go from waking up in the night with an idea that I quickly write down, to seeing a quote that inspires me that I want to illustrate. I usually start with the words I want to illustrate and find a colour palette I want to use (that usually changes about 50 times while I’m creating) Then I start drawing on my iPad if I have an idea of what I want to illustrate or I start doodling to see what patterns I can come up with. Once I am happy with what I have I send it over to my computer and making the finishing touches (and probably change the colour scheme again!)

What memorable responses have you had about your work?

I design with the thought in mind that I want people to smile when they see my work and when people say ‘you made me smile’ it makes my day!

What’s the one piece of equipment in your kit you couldn’t live without?

Apple Pencil!

If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self – what would it be?

Stop thinking, just go for it!


Explore Moments from Ruth Tullis by downloading the Momentful app today on iOS and Android.

Interview with Schim Schimmel

We sat down to chat with artist Schim Schimmel to learn about how he became an artist, what inspires him and how he stays creative…


What’s your background and how did you become an artist?

My father was a well-known water-colourist in the U.S., and I was fortunate to grow up with a father as an artist. He taught me the fundamentals of landscape painting, first in watercolour, and then later in oil. I eventually started painting in acrylic and sold my first painting out of a gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona at the age of 18. I have been a full-time artist since my late twenties.

How would you describe your own work?

Mostly I paint wild animals, but I also enjoy painting domestic animals as well. Thematically, my goal is to remind us all that we share this planet with its wonderful wildlife. It’s important to remember that all of earth’s animals, humans and ecosystems are interconnected.

Who are your biggest influences?

I am influenced greatly by both past and contemporary landscape painters. The paintings of Albert Bierstadt, as well as the Hudson River School landscape painters are particularly inspirational to me.

Where do you seek inspiration?

I am an avid hiker and spend most weekends hiking. In winter I visit the Arizona desert, and its forests in the summer. Spending time outdoors and in the wilderness is one of my greatest inspirations.

What keeps you creative?

We are all born with different brains and their propensities. I can’t do math to save my life, but I have always been a creative person. A musician, a writer, an artist, even a hobbyist. Living life for me is about actively pursuing creative endeavours.

What memorable responses have you had about your work?

One of the greatest honours for me has been enriching people’s lives through my work. On more than one occasion, a fan has told me that my artwork helped lift them out of severe depression. Others have said that my work has inspired them to pursue their own passions and creative goals. To connect with another human being through my own creative passion is one of life’s greatest rewards.

If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self – what would it be?

Now in my older age, I wish I could go back and visit my younger self and instil the confidence, appreciation, and gratitude for the opportunity to live a fortunate life here on this planet. It’s harder in today’s world, but if you have a dream, if you have a passion, I’d say do your best to pursue it with all you’ve got.


Explore Moments from Schim Schimmel by downloading the Momentful app today on iOS and Android.

Interview with Milkyprint

We sat down with Mongs, the artist and illustrator behind Milkyprint, to discuss creative processes, what keeps her creative, and what it was like to see her work in app for the first time…


What’s your background and how did you become an artist?

It’s hard to pin down exactly how I became an artist, but I’ve been drawing since I was a kid. I went to a local art college in Singapore, studying graphic design and eventually found a career as a graphic designer. It was only in 2016 that I returned to illustration.

How would you describe your own work?

Fun, positive and relatable!

Who are your biggest influences?

My biggest influence is my faith in God. He inspired both hope and humour in my work.

Where do you seek inspiration?

Quite often, I get inspired whilst taking a break and sitting down with a cup of coffee and reading. Other times going for a walk will also help. I really enjoying playing with words though and my favourite subjects are usually animals and food, or inanimate everyday objects. 

What keeps you creative?

Checking out the work of other artists on various platforms including Instagram keeps me creative. It’s great to see all the different types of work out there. I also find that searching for particular words or puns can create little sparks of creativity.

What do you do if you ever find yourself stuck in a creative rut?

Taking naps certainly helps, or simply getting away and doing other activities like exercising or meeting family and friends.

Talk us through your creative process

I don’t have a fixed creative process. Sometimes ideas pop up randomly, or I may be inspired by things I see during the day. Often, I’ll google words or phrases, and then try to visualise them as funny drawings. 

What memorable responses have you had about your work?

People often say seeing my work makes them happy. That makes me happy too!

What’s the one piece of equipment in your kit your couldn’t live without?

Can I name two? My iPad Pro and Apple pencil. No doubt about it.

If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self – what would it be?

Don’t give up on your passion.

How did you feel when you first saw your work published in the Momentful app?

Absolutely delirious!

Which is your favourite Moment of yours that’s available in app?

The four different cheese Moments are fun!


Explore Moments from Milkyprint by downloading the Momentful app today on iOS and Android.

Interview with Jennifer Hines

We sat down with illustrator and lettering artist, Jennifer Hines, to discuss her inspirations, creative processes and what it’s like to create Moments…


What’s your background and how did you become an artist?

I’ve always loved creating. My mother is also a very creative person, so art was always encouraged and came very naturally to me. I studied art in high school, before going on to study creative writing at university, however I quickly learnt that I couldn’t live without visual art and new that I eventually wanted to go back to it.

How would you describe your own work?

Colourful, fun, whimsical and playful.

Who are your biggest influences?

I love the work of Mary Kate McDevitt, Lisa Congdon, and Lauren Hom. They all have a very playful and fun aesthetic, using lots of colour and lettering in their work.

Where do you seek inspiration?

Everywhere! I take walks, which always spurs some ideas. I also enjoy visiting to art museums and traveling to see new perspectives. In my spare time I also read a lot and am often inspired by good food and recipes!

What keeps you creative?

Doing it regularly, but also taking time off. I always get ideas when I’m thinking about something else, so it’s good to spend time perfecting my craft, but also taking time to do something entirely different.

What do you do if you ever find yourself stuck in a creative rut?

I often take a break and try not to feel guilty about it. There’s often the assumption that to be a good artist you must draw every day, but that isn’t true. Spending time reading, watching a movie, or handing out with friends all feeds into your creativity, so permission to take a break is essential in my opinion.

Talk us through your creative process

Thankfully I have so many ideas, I never really have an issue finding something to draw. Usually, I’ll create work on my iPad in Procreate, which feels just like drawing on paper.

I tend to start out with a pencil sketch to perfect the layout and styling. I might even create multiple sketches or use different layers so I can move and resize things to ensure I get the layout exactly how I want. I’ll also conduct a lot of research around the subject so that I have some references.

Once I know what I’d like my sketch too look like, I draw in the outlines using a textured brush in a colour a bit darker than the intended colour of the object. I use a lot of layers so that I can move or recolour things if needed. I also like to add a little bit of texture and shading. Most of my work includes lettering in various styles as well. Finally, when I’m all done, I bring the Photoshop file onto my computer to do any last touches, before hitting save.

What memorable responses have you had about your work?

Usually giggles at my dumb dad jokes and puns, but they make people smile, so I keep drawing them.

What’s the one piece of equipment in your kit your couldn’t live without?

My iPad (and Apple pencil). If it broke today, I’d be grabbing a new one right away!

If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self – what would it be?

To trust the process. I didn’t know that I would end up where I am now. Sometimes I’ll find myself questioning the past, or previous decisions, but in the end, I know that my journey to get where I am was important. I learned a lot that still feeds into my work today. Plus, there will always be time to do more and re-explore

How did you feel when you first saw your work published in the Momentful app?

Warm and fuzzy!

Which is your favourite Moment of yours that’s available in app?

I’ve always been partial to ‘Slay Your Doubts’, both for the fun colourful nature of the piece, but also because I can always be reminded to focus on the positive and not fall into self-doubting.


Explore Moments from Jennifer Hines by downloading the Momentful app today on iOS and Android.

Interview with Grimm Inc.

We sat down with Ileana Grimm, the hilarious artist behind the Canadian gift company Grimm Inc., to talk inspirations, creative processes and what really makes her tick…


What’s your background and how did you become an artist?

I am a self-taught creative. When I graduated University, I sold hand-painted T-shirts to pay back my student loan and as it turns out, I was quite good at it! Off the back of that success, I decided to start my own gift company and 33 years later the well has not run dry.

How would you describe your own work?

Both my art and its style has changed a lot over time, but if I had to describe it, I think I’d call it humorous pop art.

Who are your biggest influences?

B. Kliban, David Shrigley, Bruce Eric Kaplan, Andy Riley and Chris (Simpsons artist)

Where do you seek inspiration?

A lot of inspiration comes from listening to the radio. I hear the words and see a different direction visually in my head. I also make myself laugh a lot, thinking “wouldn’t it be funny if…”

What keeps you creative?

Is beer a suitable answer? Just kidding. I don’t know any other way of being. I create all day. With paper, paint, pens. The list goes on.

What do you do if you ever find yourself stuck in a creative rut?

Paint or draw without reason. I find removing the pressure of it being for an audience gives me a sense of freedom.

Talk us through your creative process

Firstly, I’ll ask myself “what’s the topic?” and then, “why is it topical?”. After that it’s a case of identifying which parts are laughable, and whether it’s something that many can relate to and how I can convey why it is funny with as little detail as possible.

What memorable responses have you had about your work?

Two that stick out are “your art makes me happy” and “there is not enough happy artwork out there”.

What’s the one piece of equipment in your kit your couldn’t live without?

A cheap hotel pen.

If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self – what would it be?

Paint more. Don’t worry about how much you weigh. Buy stock in Apple.

How did you feel when you first saw your work published in the Momentful app?

I’m proud that my art can make a difference to someone’s day and help them feel special and cared about.

Which is your favourite Moment of yours that’s available in app?

The Moment titled ‘Licked Me Back’, where the dog is saying to his owner “it would be nice if every once in a while, you licked me back.”


Explore Moments from Grimm Inc., by downloading the Momentful app today on iOS and Android.

9 moments for nature lovers

From hikers to gardeners, and eco-warriors to house plant obsessives, there’s a Moment for every outdoorsy type.

With the Momentful app, you can send a little dose escapism to a friend, invite someone to join you for a walk, or even send an eco-friendly birthday card! Explore the full collection by downloading the Momentful app here.

Can nature inspire creativity?

We all know that spending time outdoors and embracing nature is good for both our physical and mental health, but what impact can it have on our creativity?

Throughout history, nature has been a source of inspiration for many creatives. From retreats in remote locations, to artist-in-residence programmes held in stunning landscapes. But okay, we know what you’re thinking: that’s all well and good for landscape artists, but how can nature help to inspire me?

In recent years, studies have found that spending time outdoors is one of the best ways to get your creative juices flowing.

Getting outdoors doesn’t just help us escape the stresses of daily life – but it’s also a wonderful way to relax. Reconnecting with our environment can have a profound impact on our mood and behaviour – helping to reduce anxiety and stress, as well as increasing our attention span.

Wandering outdoors can also boost our positive emotions – such as feelings of awe, wonder and contentment. All of which have cognitive benefits, which are directly associated with creativity.

And so, the evidence keeps piling up: nature is good for you. So, here’s a thought: the next time you’re feeling unmotivated or lacking imagination, why not pop outdoors? You might just find your creativity will soar with every step you take. But don’t worry – unlike Sting, we won’t be watching you.

Image credit: Helena Nilsson