At her sketch table at Sandberg’s office, Sara Bergqvist creates new fantastic worlds with her brush. Worlds that then decorate walls around the world. We asked some questions to our Head of Design, where she tells us about her creative process, inspiration and what wallpaper has in common with tattoos.
How did you become a wallpaper designer?
That I would work with wallpaper has not always been obvious. But, that I would have a creative profession has been a dream as long as I can remember. I recently found notes from when I was 12, where a friend interviewed me for a school project. When asked what I would like to be when I grow up, I just answered a designer. Then I probably thought it was the fashion industry I would end up in but after giving it a little more thought during high school I soon came to realize that it wasn’t really for me. When I was studying at the University of Gothenburg’s School of Design and Crafts, I was thinking a lot about which area that was “mine”. When I then found Sandberg I thought, wow, this is a company I should aim for! Someday maybe I could get a job there. I never thought I would get it so fast! A few weeks before I graduated I saw an ad about a design job and I was awake all night (because it was the last application day) and prepared my portfolio, borrowed a scruffy car from a friend and drove to Ulricehamn! And I got it! I can still barely grasp it.
What’s the most fun part of your job?
The fact that my daily tasks are so varied. One day may consist of meetings with new collaborative partners, production prints and sketching of new designs. It is incredibly educational and fun!
From where do you find your inspiration?
Often I find inspiration when I change the environment. If I am planning a pattern with flowers, it is difficult to just sit in front of the computer and look for pictures. I usually gain more inspiration when I go on a walk and see what is growing around me. Often, inspiration can also come from quite unexpected directions. Perhaps it is a staggering dandelion in an urban environment that gives rise to an idea and not a fully flourishing meadow.
Which part of the design process is your favourite?
It varies quite a bit from time to time, depending on the type of pattern I work with. Sometimes it is best to sketch and think out a direction, sometimes it is to sit down and listen to music and paint large originals and sometimes it is to colour the pattern based on how the rollers are.
Describe your interior style.
My interior style is not so much driven by trends but more by history. The furniture or gadgets I like most in my home are the ones that come from my grandmother, the ones I have received as gifts from friends or the ones that are little ugly flea bargains. My style is not so scaled-down or typical Scandinavian, but more layers in layers and focus on cosiness. And plants! Maybe I like plants a bit too much. They are everywhere and unfortunately, I can’t take care of them as I should. But I think that once I have a house, I want a wild garden that needs a bit of work.
Do you have any favourite wallpaper?
I have favourites for periods, all of which I guess. But I like the pattern Malin and I have done that ever since I designed it. Now, however, I am eager to do some new colour schemes!
What is your best tip for someone who wants new wallpapers?
Don´t be anxious, everything will be good! It may sound like a strange tip, but I think that if you go with your guts, then you will like it for a long time. Sometimes I think we over-analyze and think that the wallpaper should fit perfectly with the sofa, pillows, paintings etc. Then the choice can instead be a little flat. It’s fun with designs and I think that wallpapers are a bit like getting a tattoo: if you get one it’s easier to choose one more!
What are you looking forward to right now?
Right now I think a lot about houses! I live in an apartment and have never owned my accommodation. I am dreaming of an old charming house near both forest and the ocean and of course with a large garden! Does that mean I have grown up?
I am also thinking a lot about our upcoming launch. It is a colourful and happy collection with a cool collaboration! I want to show it now! I always feel that way because I work so far ahead of time. I want to show what I’m sketching right now, but those patterns won’t be released until a year from now!
Do you want to recommend anything?
Is it too obvious to recommend wallpaper? Of course, I am very biased but I love how wallpaper gives a room a personality! Otherwise, I would also recommend calling more often to your loved ones. My family, I’ve been told, is a little special when it comes to telephone contact. We call each other very often but it is so wonderful to have such close contact. You don’t always have to talk about something important for a long time, maybe just say hello and ask what the day has been like.