Kai Nodland’s illustrations are of the mystic persuasion. They have no little amount of charm with their intensively detailed, symbol-rich, cosmic-like compositions. They are also wonderful feats in mark making and exploration of media – from sketches to paintings the level of detail is a signifier of the artist’s evanescent imagination and wonder.
As a young creative Norwegian working in London (referred to in his circle of friends as “that German fella”) we were keen to reach out and hear more and so, what with our new Introducing feature well underway, Kai very kindly shared his sketchbooks and answered our set questions…
Where do you work?
I tend to work from home in my room, doodling uncomfortably on a low coffee table even though I have a perfectly good desk. The desk of course serves far more important duties such as holding my laundry, bills, various cables and an easter egg.
How does your working day start?
Firs, coffee. Followed by chilling with the cat on my lap on the balcony. Then, cat hair remover. Finally, inspiring tunes on my laptop. Only then can I start work.
How do you work and how has that changed?
My work usually starts as a sketch that then become a more refined drawing. This is followed by scanning and manipulating the drawings digitally. Sometimes I cut out images and add them to the drawing, which is more often than not done digitally. I used to think that using digital techniques was cheating but I have come to embrace them now – digital or analogue, a tool is a tool.
Another thing that I’ve started doing is jotting down little unplanned on-the-spot stories. I find I can get very inspired just by letting the creative part of my brain make a stupid story. Then, later, I can make parts of it into some sort of drawing or painting.
Where would we find you when you’re not at work?
If I’m not sitting in the same spot laughing at funny GIFs on the internet, I’m usually at a café getting the coffee jitters or at a local pub getting drunk. Sometimes you can see me cycling around London on my old beat-up bike. And occasionally I’ll do a stint at Print Club London.
Would you intern for yourself?
Yes and no. On one hand I have interned a few times so understand how not to do an internship, so I would like to think I wouldn’t let the intern do pointless menial tasks, although I think the power could easily go to my head. And also, I think it would be weird to intern in someone’s bedroom…