In the Studio With Holly Helgeson

Each new season brings a new landscape for my studio. I look forward to the refreshing inspiration that the changing scenery brings me. My favorite time of year is spring and summer. I long for the fresh smell of dirt after the snow melts, the emerging sprouts that force their way through the hard soil, and the critters that wake for an early morning game of tag. With spring comes new life and warm air. It is a time of year when I can finally sit outside on my front porch studio with a warm cup of coffee, a blanket, and my trusty sketchbook. Just as the sun is rising, giving way to glorious colors of pink and blue, and the house is still quiet, that is when I am in my element and my porch studio comes to life. It is my favorite time of day to focus, be inspired and to create.


In the heat of the summer, I find refuge and time to reflect in my backyard garden studio. My visionary husband created a tranquil little pond in the middle of our backyard garden where I love to sit and draw. Surrounded by mighty shading oaks, hundreds of fragrant flowers, laughing kids and a playful dog, I find an abundance of inspiration for my patterns. My designs are greatly influenced by the profusion of textures, shapes and colors that take over my backyard garden studio. Even a great big bouquet of brilliant yellow dandelions from my awesome kids inspires my designs…and melts my heart!

When fall approaches and the days turn chilly, the trees are set ablaze with a multitude of fiery colors. That is the time of year that my studio hits the road. My husband and I love to pack up the kids in the ole’ Astrovan and road trip to various state parks to take in the spectacular display of colors that fall has to offer. I am never at a loss for inspiration while hiking through my state park studio with my family. Dry seed pods, stone paths, fallen bark, babbling brooks, floating leaves, acorns, pine cones…all fabulous finds that sprout creativity in my designs.


Now that I am currently in the deep freeze of winter, my studio space has four walls and is located in my home. That’s not to say that I don’t seek the snow covered outdoors for inspiration. It just means that most of my sketching and designing takes place within my cozy home where I can gaze out the frosty windows at the white sparkly landscape.


My home studio is a room that has always been filled with laughter and inspiration. Formally the “toy room”, my studio has slowly transformed over the years into what is it today. A children’s mural that I painted and a gigantic dollhouse are the only items that still reflect my studio’s former purpose. In its hay day, my studio was filled with shelves upon shelves of toys, books, puzzles and kids….lots of kids and yes they did play on the shelves. At one time, there was even an enormous slide that filled up half the room. But today, with the help of my loving and supportive husband, the “toy room” has been transformed into a creative, cheerful, inspiring, warm, colorful, SUPER FUN place to MAKE ART!

My studio is full of all things that bring me delight. Some of my favorite pieces include a gorgeous old wooden map cabinet that my hubby rescued from a barn; a funky retro aluminum cup set that I use for storage of my markers and pens; a fabulous old drafting table that was purchased at auction; an extensive collection of pencils and pens that belonged to my husband’s grandfather; an ink painting that my husband created; and numerous pieces of wonderful art that my kids have made for me. All of these special things bring me joy, inspiration, and remind me daily of the people whom I love dearly, who support me and encourage my dream, and mean the world to me.


So, as you can see, I am not limited to 4 walls to get my creative energy flowing. In fact, I require a change of scenery…a change of season is necessary to recharge my batteries and continuously inspire my designs.

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4 comments on “In the Studio With Holly Helgeson

  1. Wonderful look into your world, Holly. I appreciate that the seasons mean so much to you— may be different if we had more contrast here. Your house is gorgeous and yes, our spaces ARE quite similar! Clothes lines and all. Beautiful sketches and I like the use of your easel as pin board. Lastly, so glad I’m not the only one who writes on the long side! :)

  2. Thank you for the peek into your home and studio, and your sketchbook- such inspirational images! I do believe I’ll be showing the pictures of your pond to my husband, who loves doing projects like that! Best of luck!

  3. what a lovely tour of your creative spaces Holly! I love your sketches, and your garden, and your pond! I have been really trying to figure out a pond in our tiny backyard and this is quite inspiring! I also love the road trip studio- how awesome. Your map drawers are gorgeous– wow! and i love the pen and pencils you have displayed on your wall- that is so cool. So neat that they were your husband’s grandfather. Your space looks so warm and inviting! Thanks for this- and I look forward to seeing your design-soon!! eek! ; )

  4. Holly,
    what a lovely trip around your working spaces. Your house looks really gorgeous and also all the big and green space around it. The little pond… wow, your hubby really had a great idea!

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