The Danish embrace a concept called “Hyyge” (pronounced “HU-ga”). It loosely means an experience that gives us a feeling of social coziness. Sitting in Iowa City’s Java House, with your hands wrapped around a steaming hot latte and chatting with good friends, as it gently snows outside? That’s hyyge. Lounging back in soft comfy chairs at FilmScene, watching the latest Oscar Shorts? Hyyge. Drinking wine and viewing an art show on a chilly evening? That’s hyyge, too! Hyyge has to do with ordinary comforts elevating our daily lives, in small but pleasurable ways. Often, winters elements enhance hyyge.
Cozy is hyyge’s English word cousin. Capturing scenes of Cozy is a fine challenge for an illustrator. The colder season brings a unique sense to an illustrator’s palette that highlights cozy elements of our world; soft natural light, fire-side glow, plush fabrics, warm drinks and cuddly animals.
The images presented at the exhibit have achieved a feeling of coziness for many viewers. They were created for various applications in the commercial art and published book world, and also for my own enjoyment. May they give you a window into my sense of hyyge and coziness.