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Design Inspiration

Behind the Canvas: A Q&A with Artist Krista Johnson

Behind the Canvas: A Q&A with Artist Krista Johnson

What gives your interior design personality, depth, and emotion? For Krista Johnson, it’s art. Good interior design focuses on functionality - but to set the tone, create focal points and harmonize the overall design, you need artwork. Krista's paintings explore the dynamic interplay of color and light in the natural world, with a special emphasis on florals and landscapes. We’re proud to feature her work in our showroom! 

In this Q&A, we sit down with Krista to discuss the inspiration behind her artistic journey, her unique style, and the exciting projects she's currently working on. Read on to learn more!

Once A Tree:  What initially sparked your interest in art, and how did you get started as an artist?

Krista: I have always felt most comfortable and alive when creating art and being surrounded by it. Making things has always been my way of navigating and processing the world. As a child, I explored with a wide variety of materials. In university at ECUAD, I studied in the communication design program, which eventually led me to illustration and then back to pursuing painting as a full-time career.  

Once A Tree: Can you describe your artistic style and how it has evolved over time?

Krista: For many years, I painted very casually, experimenting with different styles, colour palettes, and subject matter. Through daily practice and years of "just showing up," my brush marks became more distinct and recognizable. This is still a constant evolution. With each painting, I learn something new that I bring to the next one, which keeps the process exciting. My brush marks have become more loose, expressive and personal over time, while still exploring some of the same subjects I have always been drawn to - florals and landscapes.

Photographed by Brit Kwasney

Once A Tree: Can you share a memorable experience or turning point in your career as an artist?

Krista: A turning point in my career was participating in IDS West in Vancouver in 2015. It was the first time I showcased my work in a public venue and had the opportunity to discuss it with others. During this event, I connected with Once A Tree Furniture and met Madeleine from Madeleine Design Group. Their support has been essential to my career and has continued for nearly 10 years.

Once A Tree: How would you describe the connection between interior design and art?

Krista: I think art is a fundamental element in interior design as it enhances the visual appeal and evokes emotional depth within a space. The presence of art in interior design can make spaces feel more inviting, inspiring, and comforting. While interior design focuses on the functionality of a space—ensuring that it meets practical needs and enhances daily living—art introduces an element of beauty and inspiration. I love seeing how my paintings are incorporated into spaces and how they resonate with the clients who choose them.

Photographed by: Brit Kwasney

Once A Tree: Are you currently working on any exciting projects or collaborations?

Krista: I am just wrapping up a show at the Ian Tan Gallery in Vancouver. In the studio, I have a couple of commissions on the go. Heading into summer I usually take the time to work directly from life, from flowers and landscapes, and collect inspiration. This July I will be teaching a flower painting workshop on Vancouver Island.

Visit our showroom at 292 West 3rd Avenue in Vancouver, BC to see more of Krista's beautiful work. And if you're an artist who would like to be featured in our showroom, please reach out to to learn more.

  • Post author
    Daphne Nielsen