Behind the Celestial collection: Varpu Kronholm


We like to think of our newest collection as our littlest baby, and as they say, "It takes a village." For this project we were fortunate to have been able to work with one of our favourite print designers from across the pond. 

Varpu Kronholm is the London-based designer and artist who was handpicked by Walnutte to bring to life our creative vision for the Celestial collection. When we were first introduced to Varpu, we knew immediately that her style was the perfect fit.

Varpu Kronholm at work

We always love getting to know our artists because it lends insight into the designs that are ultimately transformed into wearable art. So we sat down with Varpu for a Q&A session to highlight the artist and individual behind our Celestial collection of silk scarves.

What three words would you use to describe your style as an artist?
Diverse, intuitive, bold
Where do you find inspiration for your art?
Everywhere really! Obviously internet is the easy option but I go to exhibitions and galleries whenever I find the time. Most of the time though I find inspiration on simple things around me, you can often find me stopping on the street to take a snap of a beautiful texture on the wall or an interesting shaped shadow.
Which is your favourite design from the collection?
That’s like having to choose your favourite child! I like them all for different reasons. For me the most wearable would probably be the Champagne Moon but I enjoy a flash of colour too so the Cosmic Rush comes very close.
You're currently based in London, but you grew up in Finland. How has experiencing different cultures influenced your designs?
It’s just more influences to take in and filter. Growing up in Finland I’m obviously influenced by the boldness and hand drawn quality of Marimekko prints. Living in London on the other hand is just a constant flow of inspiration, there’s always so much art, design and culture to experience. It’s a bit like being a child at a sweet shop.
You studied fashion design but have shifted focus to textile prints. What precipitated the transition?
After graduation I was working as a fashion designer in the industry. Although it was interesting, a major part of the job was technical drawing and compiling instructions for factories which didn’t quite fulfil me from a creative perspective, also I found out that a full-time office job wasn’t my thing. I wanted to go freelance and print design has always fascinated me so I simply decided to give it a go.
Walnutte is guided by its mission to bring joy. What brings joy to your life?
My friends and loved ones, music, food, training, dancing - the simplest things are often the best.
What other projects are you most excited about in the coming months?
I’ll be starting on an exciting collaboration soon so watch this space! I’m also hoping to find the time to get the sewing machine out and create some exciting things using my own prints.
What advice would you give to designers who are starting out in this industry?
    Might sound cliched but stay true to yourself. I’ve spent way too much time on designs that I thought would be commercial and easy to sell but actually I’ve attracted more interest from designs that I did simply because I wanted to. If you’re really fascinated by something there’s a high chance that someone else out there is fascinated by it too.
    And just for fun, a lightning round:
    Your favourite colour: Lately I’ve been loving teal.
    Song lyric that best describes your state of mind at this moment: “Feeling ok this morning / and you know / we’re on a road to paradise / here we go!” Talking Heads - Road To Nowhere
    How you take your coffee or tea: I like a strong builders’ tea with a little splash of milk - needs to be browner than a brown envelope.
    The word or phrase you say most often: Probably “fair enough".
    Current hobby: I’ve got quite a few, currently concentrating on gymnastics.
    Languages spoken: Finnish, English, some Swedish, used to study a bit of Russian and Spanish but forgotten most of the little knowledge I had.
    Dream travel destination: A rain forest anywhere or some Tibetan mountains. All around the world would be the ultimate dream destination though!
    A fear you've conquered: I’ve only half conquered my fear of cycling in London, made some progress though.
    A food you'd be happy to eat every day for the rest of your life: Does super dark chocolate count as a food?
    Final verdict on socks and sandals: Depends on the socks and the sandals!
    Varpu's artwork has been licensed for many types of products, including wallpaper and fabric, and of course it can be found on our Celestial collection of silk scarves. Her art prints are available here. Learn more about Varpu on her website and on Instagram.

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