Working process: Petra Börner for Wrap

Swedish illustrator Petra Börner is one of the talented contributors to our current issue of Wrap – ‘Nordic Lights’. We have long admired her style, and are naturally drawn to the warm and affable feel to her work, but also how her strong graphic silhouettes make her pieces really stand out.

Whilst she was busy developing her superb illustration ‘Hot Winter’ for Wrap, Petra very kindly documented her process in order to give us all a unique insight into how she works and the sorts of techniques she uses. You can see her photos below, as well as reading some extracts from her interview with us for Wrap issue six.

Where do you work from, and what’s a typical day like?

My studio is at home, and I sneak up there when I shouldn’t. I try and get up at 6am and tiptoe past my daughter’s room. I love being the only one up in the morning, but I find it hard to work in the winter. I work non-stop all day. I usually feel there is not enough time in my days. It’s challenging to concentrate with looming deadlines, but fun working on various projects. I don’t mind when it rains as I find it easier to focus inside by space.

Can you describe your style of illustration and creative process?

I don’t know. Sometimes I think my work is perfect, and somethings it’s really sketchy. It depends on my mood what I like and what I hate about it. I can’t sleep when things are half finished , though it’s GOOD to let things take time. I’m also lousy at leaving blank space in my work. Sometimes I use layers of cut paper (as with my artwork for Wrap), and this process can be laborious and definitely old fashioned. I feel like a dinosaur doing it!

Tell us about your illustration for Wrap, and how it reflects Nordic life in the winter months?

I like the woods. The forest is a significant symbol for Nordic heritage. The tales I’ve grown up with are about life in the woods and I spent my childhood days charging through them in a sweat. I’m from the south of Sweden where winters are filled with rain and snow (sleet) so the idylic white winters are not on my mind. I like the mysterious darkness and low, warm sun that sometimes hits the trees; deer standing still by a winter lake, and the silent threat of a wild boar ready to charge.

Above: Petra’s piece ‘Hot Winter’ for Wrap issue six; Below: examples of other works by Petra using her cut paper techniques – from top: ‘Autumn’, ‘Rose Hip Hide’ and ‘Winter’

To read our full interview with Petra order your copy of Wrap issue six ‘Nordic Lights’ through our online shop

See more of Petra’s work at