• Hero
Art

Introducing...The wild and native illustration and design of Iceland's Siggi Odds

Posted by Liv Siddall,

The title of this article suggests that Siggi Odds’ work may be slightly weird, which some may think is a little harsh. But the weird thing about his consistently brilliant work is that it is not inspired by Iceland, the country where he currently resides, it is actually inspired by the native Canadian artwork of his childhood home in Vancouver.

From record sleeves to altered photographs, from beer label designs to more sculptural work, it’s actually quite hard to pigeonhole Siggi into a genre – he’s kind of gone and created his own. To find someone who is as much a brilliant and daring artist as he is a commercial designer is an absolute joy, and we’re absolutely sure he’s on set for bigger and better things. So, without further ado, here he is…

Where do you work?

I live and work in Reykjavík, Iceland where I work as an art director at an agency called Jónsson & Le’macks, but most of my independent design and illustration work is created in my home studio space (pictured).

How does your working day start?

A shower, a banana and then a quick walk in the brisk wind to the studio. It’s only a ten minute walk or so, but even in the darkness of winter the hard northern wind will really wake you up. I usually grab a cup of coffee on my way. I start my day off going through my favourite blogs and twitter and answering urgent email and then after another cup or two I turn all that off and dive in to work.

Where would we find you when you’re not at work?

Swimming and steam bathing in my local pool, Vesturbæjarlaugin, working on my electronic music project, Japam, eating out, having beers with my friends, watching Frasier with my girlfriend, dreaming of a beach.

Would you intern for yourself?

Yes, I would totally trust myself to intern for me, I would ask myself to take care of some well paying, less creative, long-term projects, so I can get on with doing more fun illustration projects and vinyl covers and the such. But then again, I probably wouldn’t agree to that so no.

Inspiration?

I have phases, periods of time, where I’m very interested in something specific, for example space, time, leaves, rocks, history or dinosaurs and I will try to connect everything to that conceptually. For instance, I recently completed a project in which I immersed myself into the idea of a fourth dimension, and how to translate that into three and two dimensions. 

Aesthetically I am obviously heavily influenced by aboriginal art, as well as some mid-century masters such as Matisse and Arp. But I also take influence from more modern sources, fashion and textiles for instance, as well as photography. I am always interested in images that both complicate and simplify at the same time.

  • Siggi

    Siggi Odds: Workspace

  • 3

    Siggi Odds: Siggi Odds:

How do you work and how has it changed?

It depends on the project of course, as I do everything from one-off illustration projects to art direction and full on branding projects. But they all have this in common: I usually start with lists of words and sentences that I think are important to the project, illustrated with random sketches, thoughts, shapes and potential ideas. A conversation with somebody about it is usually also beneficial. 

From then I usually try to take a break from it and most of the time, the actual idea comes when I’m not in front of it, when I’m walking or in the sauna or going to sleep. Then when I have the idea, I usually do a round of rough sketches and then dive into the actual execution, where the projects can sometimes take drastic turns. 

I would say that my way of working has changed from sometimes diving too soon straight into sketching or even starting the actual execution too early from the first thing that pops up into my head, into allowing the idea to be formed organically and setting in. That has made me more confident in my ideas and therefrom the execution as well.

  • 1

    Siggi Odds: Holiday Calendar

  • 5

    Siggi Odds: Eymundsson Pseudoscience

  • 7

    Siggi Odds: Illustration for Víking Sumaröl

  • 8

    Siggi Odds: esign and art direction for the album Fearless by Legend

  • 10

    Siggi Odds: CD cover for Kron Kron, Reykjavík’s premier fashion boutique.

  • 11

    Siggi Odds: Illustration on a photograph taken on a foggy night on a black beach.

  • 13

    Siggi Odds: Cover art for Mesópótamía, by Icelandic band Sykur.

Ls-300

Posted by Liv Siddall

Liv joined It’s Nice That as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our editors. She oversees itsnicethat.com and has a particular interest in illustration, photography and music videos. She is also a regular guest and sometime host on our Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Art View Archive

  1. List

    Highbrow folk like us often find the traditional emoticon can struggle to express how we really feel. We don’t ALWAYS want to convey that we’re blindly happy, crying with laughter or horizontally-lipped and nonplussed. Sometimes, we need something a little more creative. Thank the lord, then, that Hyo Hong has come up with just the solution, in the form of the multifaceted (in its truest sense) Cindy Sherman-icon.

  2. Art-belikov-int-list

    I can’t tell you a whole lot about Lithuanian artist Art Belikov other than he’s 24 years old and, er, Lithuanian. And that all his images are fantastical digital creations. But in spite of the lack of background information currently available to me I’d just like to say that his work is extraordinary. He’s a maker of 3D rendered images depicting scenes borrowed from late 90s sci-fi; all “vintage” cell phones and games consoles, cans of mysterious energy drinks and designer bottled water. There’s a 666 in his URL too so you can be sure he’s a cool guy! When we finally track the man down we’ll ask him some questions about what it all means, but for now just drink in the eerie beauty of his digital creations.

  3. Jessica-brilli-int-17

    If when you close your eyes at night you dream of tying a silk kerchief over your carefully curled ’do and hopping in a classic Chevy to sail down the West Coast, you might find yourself as enamoured as I do with the work of painter Jessica Brilli. She favours endless-seeming roads and vintage cars for her expressive oil paintings, and she’s got recreating them on canvas down to a fine art. Her landscapes are dream-like in their expansiveness and colour palette, while her portraits seems to hark back to an era when a Chevy was still commonplace and kerchiefs were still pretty cool. And a little picturesque fantasy never hurt anybody, eh?

  4. London-is-changing-intlist

    Public art project London is Changing makes Londoners uncomfortably aware of the truths we’re perhaps trying to ignore: that our city is morphing beyond recognition, that creativity is at risk, and that for many people, it’s simply becoming unaffordable.

  5. Bensanders-potdealer-3-int_copy

    While keeping himself busy with postmodern Howard Hodgkin-esque painting and collage work, Ben Sanders is somehow finding the time to paint funny faces on ceramics. Cutting through the “worthy lifestyle” pottery trend with googly eyes, zigzag nostrils and creepy grins, Ben has stamped his sense of humour and aesthetic all over these thriving succulents’ homes.

  6. Olafur-eliasson_little-sun-int-1

    A “giddy joy” was described as the feeling evoked by the artwork of Olafur Eliasson when we interviewed him for last year’s Autumn edition of Printed Pages, and with his monumental, often participatory pieces, it’s not hard to see why. From his incredible 2003 Weather Project at Tate Modern to its portable, socially-conscious, tiny counterpart Little Sun(which “produces clean, affordable, and portable solar-powered lamps to areas of the world without reliable access to electricity”), his work is a glorious, utterly original ray of light shining on the sometimes impenetrable art world.

  7. Christian-marclay-vinyl-factory-int-1

    In another brilliant feat of creative engineering that bridges the gap between music, art and design, a project at the White Cube gallery in London’s Bermondsey sees musicians including Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore perform a composition for Christian Marclay, which is recorded and pressed on site by The Vinyl Factory Press. The press is housed in a shipping container, and the artwork for the record – also created on site – is designed by Christian and printed by Coriander Press, in a series that feels like cottage industry, DIY ideas brought into a slick, art-world setting.

  8. Lynda-benglis-int11

    “Think of bayous…crawfish…sea creatures…metal…tieing shoelaces…not knowing what to do sometimes and just doing it.” This is Lynda Benglis’ bizarre monologue, with which she ends the introduction to her new show.

  9. Brechtvandenbroucke-the-fame-main-int

    Brecht, after five years of admiring your work I can happily say that I can spell your name without looking. And I can tell you that even though I’ve spent years admiring the skill of your painting, I can finally say that I think I actually get it. Over time, Brecht’s erratic artworks have become increasingly crowded with characters, pop culture references, logos, and his trademark long-limbed creatures.

  10. Antoinecorbineau-6-int

    It’s my personal opinion that some of the most exciting creative work starts life as a side project to distract from commercial jobs. Such is definitely the case for Antoine Corbineau, a French illustrator and designer who has worked on a plethora of projects for commercial clients, drawing up large-scale, intricate scenes of characters interacting in an enormous, often map-like style. Potentially even more alluring, however, is Antoine’s painting work. It’s distinctly less bright, almost realist in its approach, depicting familiar domestic scenes and landscapes interspersed with small but resonant human activity. His attention to minute detail – the foliage of a plant, a picture frame, the icons on a computer screen – and his accuracy in creating scenes that you could swear you’d seen before makes this body of work oddly enchanting.

  11. Sethbogart-ceramics-home

    Seth Bogart is quite the Renaissance man. The frontman of San Francisco-based band Hunx & His Punx is also an artist, producing paintings, drawings and ceramics; a video director; a photographer and a fashion designer. He has collaborated with Yves Saint Laurent and has his own store, Wacky Wacko, for which he also designs installations. Seriously, this guy.

  12. Ellakru-painting-7home-int

    Latvia-born Ella Kruglyanskaya now lives and works in New York, depicting cartoon-like friends and “frienemies” out-and-about in large-scale oil paintings and murals. Ella’s work is packed with bawdy humour, exaggerated forms, exuberant mark-making and interactions. She describes her intention as “pictorial events… [that] aspire to an unspoken punch line” – the content, references and line-work all filtered through comedy.

  13. Anniedescarteaux-collage-7home-int

    Annie Descôteaux’s work is confident, engaging and straight-forwardly slapstick. The Montreal-based artist works with installation, drawing and collage and has seen her work exhibited and discussed at conferences on colour theory. In equally impressive outings, it’s also appeared in Bloomberg and Pica magazines, among other publications. Annie’s collage work is well-balanced with clean lines, sharp colours and discreet humour; each piece littered with raw steak, fried eggs and shuttlecocks.