This year's Christmas print –House of Holidays by Cecilia Carlstedt

Rudolph Cares headquarters in Valby, Copenhagen, has been the inspiration for this year's boom-bang-colorful Christmas print. We visited the creative mind behind it – Swedish illustrator Cecilia Carlstedt, at her studio in Stockholm – where we also got her 3 best tips for bringing more art into our lives.

What emotions did you want to evoke with this year's Christmas print – and why base the illustration on the House of Rudolph Care?

“From the outside, the House of Rudolph Care building is truly beautiful and impressive – but what makes the house so special is all the warmth and positive energy inside. It's this slightly magical feeling that I wanted to express in the illustrations.”

What does your work with art give you?

“Art opens up the entire range of emotions! It's kind of a meditative, creative focus – a concentrated state of happiness. That certain feeling doesn't always arise, so there can be a lot of frustration in the work as well – but that exact feeling is what drives my passion.”

What is your favorite Christmas tradition?

“I've always loved Christmas, but I actually prefer the days after Christmas Eve. The stress of work this time of the year, and Christmas shopping on top, means that I'm so caught up on Christmas Eve that I’m not present enough to enjoy it. But then, after all the crazy, the calm sets – and I can enjoy family time, lit candles, and leftovers from Christmas dinner – no expectations! Since I was little, we have celebrated Christmas in my parents' summer house. It's a bit cramped – but cozy, with four adults and two children in front of the fireplace – and a Christmas tree we have cut down ourselves.”

What is the wildest thing you have experienced as an artist?

“The craziest job I got was when I was still studying in London. I was out in the city one evening and met an American film producer who happened to need an illustrator for a crazy project in Cuba. They were going to record music composed by Fidel Castro's composer, which would serve as background music for lyrics written by the Pope himself – to then be narrated by famous American pop stars. My task was to document the process through illustrations for an accompanying book, so I was in Cuba twice. As far as I know, nothing ever came of it – but the adventure in Cuba was an unforgettable experience.”

3 good tips for bringing more art into life:

1. I have many paintings – but limited wall space. Therefore, I rotate the paintings I have from time to time.

2. It's more fun to let art dictate the decor, not the other way around.

3. Instead of buying an expensive piece of clothing, treat yourself with some artwork. It's a better investment both financially and for the soul – at least in my opinion.

Cecilia Carlstedt has a degree in Art History from Stockholm University and a bachelor's degree from the London College of Communication – and has collaborated with international names such as Vogue, The New Yorker, and Harper's Bazaar.