• UO Studio Visits: Kate Zaremba

    Dancing avocados. Matisse-inspired shapes. Rows of zebras. Pointillist florals. This and more are the wheelhouse of artist Kate Zaremba, whose prints and removable wallpaper we’re loving right now.
    Photos by Emma McAlary

    Can you share a bit more about yourself?
    Funny enough I was a child actress. So I grew up in Oklahoma but also lived in New York and LA as a kid. Theater sets and sound stages were my playground so I suppose it was inevitable I would grow up to create backdrops for people.

    How did you get started in design, and in particular designing wallpapers?
    My focus in art school was textiles, but I've always been a paper person. So as I was learning surface design and weaving I was also creating sculptures and installations out of cut paper. I went on to work for Jonathan Adler who is a master of interiors. The unique and storied objects he creates continue to inspire me. Wallpaper seemed like a melding of my life experiences, I want to make things that enliven a space, that provide creative energy and inspiration for its inhabitants.

    Can you share more about how a design idea starts? What inspires the different prints/patterns? 
    An idea for a pattern can really pop up out of no where or sometimes it's in a museum looking at works of art or it might come out of playful experimentation in my studio. You can't force the creative process so I always have multiple things in the works. Some designs take longer than others and some are formed in a momentary sketch. 

    What’s a dream artist to collaborate on a wallpaper design?
    Oh gosh I have a lot art crushes but someone who comes to mind right away is the Berlin based tattoo artist Daisy Watson. I came across her work on Instagram and I can't get over the artwork she creates. Also, Monica Ramos!

    What patterns do you have in your own house?
    I have All The Hands in my bedroom, Damask and You Shall Receive in my dining room, and Swansy Noir in my little dressing nook. Ya know, like the space just outside of your bathroom.

    Can you share some of your best tips for styling with your wallpapers? 
    PLANTS! Everyone should have plants in their space. I find that especially in a space with wallpaper there is something about potted or hanging plants that beautifully balances a patterned wall. I also like to hang a framed artwork along with a tapestry of some sort. The variation of something framed and something with a little texture adds a dimension that makes for a dynamic and artful space.

    What’s next for you?
    I love creating costumes and sets. I called up all of my friends last year with an idea and together we a stop motion video called Serious Whimsy. I really wanted to bring my patterns to life in a quirky fun way and create the sets and costumes. Right now I'm dreaming up my next big project — this time working with a choreographer. I realized a long time ago that if you've got an idea of something you really want to make then you just have to make it come to life. No one is going to do it for you.

    Shop Kate's work at UO
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