Harmony Willow is an illustrator in Brooklyn, NY. True to her name, Harmony loves creating artwork that connects with people in a positive, healthy way. She strives hard to include everyone in her work. When she is not working or drawing she loves discovering new parts of her environment, hanging out with her two cats, Poe and Isla and sleeping. Check out her book of inspiring yoga illustrations here.
Mache is honored to partner with Harmony Willow Hansen to create unique custom designed yoga mat storage tubes and we are thrilled to introduce her to you and learn more about her inspiration and process!
Mache: Thank you so much for this interview, Harmony! We would love to learn more about your background in art. Can you tell us a little bit about how and where you honed your skills?
Harmony: I found creativity as my self-expressive outlet for as long as I can remember. There isn't one time or place or period in my life where I learned how to draw or develop the skills I have today. It's always been a part of my identity, to practice and grow as an artist. I was the kid that always took extracurricular art classes, designed the sets of the plays my friends would put on in their backyards, drew blueprints for my dream homes and outfits I wished I had. I went to college for Theater Design and always loved the drawing and painting classes. I found my way to my current work by investing in an iPad and playing around on Procreate. Living in NYC, I didn't want to have to bring journals, paper, or writing utensils all over the city. I bought an iPad and started drawing on the subway or as a way to kill time between appointments or activities. Very quickly I had a lot of illustrations and was encouraged to put them online and you know the rest!
Mache: Where do you live and how has it informed your art?
Harmony: I am currently living in Vermont and between jobs. I lived in NYC for the last 5 and a half years but left in January of 2022 to travel for a while and take space for myself. When I was in the city everything sparked my creativity. I lived in a little studio apartment in Brooklyn, so my home wellness space was pretty much my entire apartment. I did my home workouts in my "living room" which was inches from my "bedroom". I tried to keep my space as tidy as possible because if it was a mess I usually couldn’t focus. Now that I am in the country I am finding that I want to draw gardens, chickens, vegetable stands, mountains, and local businesses. My art right now seems to be more organic and free.
Mache: What motivates you to be an artist?
Harmony: This is a hard question to answer. I can't pinpoint a specific reason other than that it's who I am. I am constantly thinking about things to create, projects to start (or finish), saving color pallets I like, and growing my inspiration toolbox.
Mache: Where and how do you find inspiration?
Mache: What is your favorite medium and why?Harmony: My favorite medium is cut paper. I don't do cut paper very often anymore but I loved the detail of the things I was creating. It's something I want to get back into.
Mache: When is your favorite time of the day to create and why?
Harmony: The morning for sure. I was up with creativity flowing. I think it's because the world hasn't seeped into my brain yet and distracted me. I try to get a lot of personal work done in the morning but the window seems to get smaller and smaller as I get older and busier.
Mache: Describe your ideal creative environment.
Mache: How do you manage a work/life balance as an artist? How does your own health and wellness affect your art?Harmony: If I am not taking care of myself mentally and physically there's no way I am able to create. Everything is connected for me. If I am eating poorly, sleeping poorly, communicating poorly with myself and others then the whole ship is going down. I am terrible at finding balance. I work every day from the moment I get up to the moment I go to bed. Since I have been home I have been spending a lot of time with my parents which have been really nice but I find myself working while we watch a family movie or tv show. It's a goal of mine to not work on the weekends and stick to 8ish hour workdays but it's not my current reality. My mental health has struggled a lot over the last few years- just like most everyone else I know. I put a lot of pressure on myself for a while to be present online and it just wasn't healthy for me. I try to limit my time on Instagram and have come to the mindset that social media isn't everything. I want to grow as an artist and business owner and I am happiest when I am creating- not stressing over statistics. Worrying about if I am on the right path or if I am doing enough- has definitely blocked my creativity so I work daily to find as much balance as I can.
Mache: Why do you think art is important for the human spirit?
Harmony: I think art ignites imagination and connects us to our inner child. When we are young anything feels possible with art- anything is possible.
We want to thank Harmony for sharing her thoughts and process with us. If you would like to learn more about Harmony Willow Hansen, you can visit her website here. Check out her collection of Homi Yoga Mat Tubes she collaborated with Mache on to create the ultimate functional art for your self-care space!
In The Garden Yoga Mat Tube featuring a diversity of beautiful yogi bodies in rich and vibrant color. This clever yoga storage tube is designed as functional, sustainable decor to elevate your props and keep your workout space tidy and within arms reach.