Each month, we are privileged to work with artists from all over the world. Their unique styles and points of view make for an especially diverse sense of inspiration in the art that arrives in our monthly Holstee Membership. From Los Angeles, California to Bunbury, Australia and everywhere in between, each piece of art is a true collector's piece. View past subscription art here

Violeta Noy is an illustrator from Barcelona who makes books, prints and websites. She studied Fine Art at Universitat de Barcelona and recently completed an Illustration MA at Falmouth University. Violeta collaborates with Núria Pla under the name of Tàndem. Lately, she has also been working with Ellie Robinson-Carter on Sophie's Project. She is also scared of outer space and the deep sea. We recently chatted with Violeta about what inspires her, how she became an illustrator, and the story behind this month's Passion Print. 

Q: Where is home for you? 
A: Barcelona, Spain

Q: What is your definition of a successful life? 
A: That’s tricky. I’d say… one in which you're not trying too hard to have one. But who knows, really.

Q: Describe your perfect day. 
A: A combination of good food, good company and not too much stress usually does the trick. It would have to start with breakfast in bed, every window open and good light streaming in. And then maybe going to an exhibition and having lunch somewhere nice. I would probably sneak some work in there, but only interesting work.

Q: How did you get into illustration? 
A: I’m not entirely sure, I think I just stumbled upon it. I looked into a masters program after graduating because I felt a bit green, and found a wonderful one which happened to be about illustration. Then I applied, I happened to get in, I spent a year working my ass off, and somehow became an illustrator.

Q: Where do you find inspiration? 
A: Books, Pinterest, museums. Mostly books.

Q: What's your dream design project? 
Probably an obscure illustrated book for adults (or very precocious children). An interesting female character would definitely be required.

Q: Which designers or thinkers influence/inspire you? 
A: I’ve been reading Gloria Fuertes lately. She’s a queer, feminist, Spanish poet, and she’s wonderful. I also love Sonia Delaunay’s work and Slowdown Studio’s blankets.

Q: What was the inspiration behind this design? 
A: We went back and forth with the team at Holstee, but what started the conversation for the final piece was a speech by Neil Gaiman. He talked about imagining his goal, where he wanted to be, as a distant mountain. And when in doubt about a new project, he would ask himself whether what he was doing took him towards the mountain or away from it.

While the final imagery moved away from mountains, we still kept that sense of looking for, of reaching for something.

Q: At the moment, what is your favorite...
Food: Spicy miso edamame
Song: The Less I Know The Better by Tame Impala

Check out more of Violeta's work here and here and in this month's Passion Kit

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This article is part of our series on the theme of Passion.


Our Themes

Distilled from our Manifesto, positive psychology, the science of mindfulness, and ancient philosophic studies we have identified twelve themes core to living both fully and mindfully. We mapped these twelve themes to each of the twelve months in a year. Together with our community we explore one each month.