• Stina-lead

    Stina Löfgren’s desk

Illustration

Introducing...The beautiful line work of Lapland's illustrating daughter Stina Löfgren

Posted by James Cartwright,

We don’t know many illustrators from Lapland (we only know one) and for that reason (that and her beautiful work) we feel duty-bound to introduce you to the brilliant Stina Löfgren. Stina’s got a real talent fro producing smart, slow-burning editorial illustration that forces viewers to actually engage in the point she’s trying to make rather than taking it all in at a glance. She’s also got one of the most approachable illustrative styles around, developing her intuitive line work with brush and ink, lino cut and traditional print techniques alongside considered digital manipulation.

Stina graduated with an MFA in illustration from Konstfack in 2011 and since then has been freelancing hard in her shared studio, producing work for the likes of The New York Times, Bloomberg View and MTV. She also makes cool stuff with wood.

  • Stina-7

    Stina Löfgren: work in progress

  • Stina-15

    Stina Löfgren: animation frame

Where do you work?

In a studio space called Berga that I share with six other people working in different kinds of creative fields. The studio is located in a semi-industrial area in the southern parts of Stockholm.

How does your working day start?

Usually with loads of coffee, then doing administration of emails and getting myself updated on the news. Visual production usually doesn’t happen until after lunch, after head and hands have had some warmup.

How do you work and how has that changed?

First I try to find an angle that I find relevant, then a form that’s a good vessel for the concept. I try to keep the form dense but at the same time not lose the sense of a personal voice. Doodling has never really been my thing, but I think it’s good/fun to scrabble down different logical connections and come up with short statements that I then make into images (sometimes objects). Depending on the level of reduction, the result becomes more or less abstract.

In the last couple of years I’ve become more aware of and active in the discussion of the context in which visual communicators work. There’s a lot of consumption of coolness and surface-surfing going on, which would be all good if it was accompanied with as much discussion of ideas. It has of course to do with the generally high tempo of consumption. I try to come up with different sorts of survival strategies for this setting. One of them is to embed a sort of slowness, by not using ideas that a viewer all too easily can decode. I don’t want to underestimate a viewer.

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

Hiking, reading a book, eating Chinese food, watching television series, thinking about the bad in the world, on the slopes, fishing, at the gym, on a plane, thinking about the good in the world, tripping over something, laughing.

Would you intern for yourself?

Maybe not for myself since my work is quite scattered and un-linear (read: chaotic), but I think it would be nice to intern for the whole studio. There’s a lot of collective ideas that have been left unmade until now because of lack of time and muscles. It could be fun to be a part of the process of giving these things form.

  • Stina-1

    Stina Löfgren: Toad Sweat Confessional

  • Stina-2

    Stina Löfgren: The Finger

  • Stina-17

    Stina Löfgren: The Finger

  • Stina-16

    Stina Löfgren: The Finger

  • Stina-12

    Stina Löfgren: Keepsakes

  • Stina-13

    Stina Löfgren: Keepsakes

  • Stina-10

    Stina Löfgren: Them And Us

  • Stina-8

    Stina Löfgren: OLM Magazine

Jc

Posted by James Cartwright

James started out as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our two editors. He oversees Printed Pages magazine and content wise has a special interest in graphic design and illustration. He also runs our online shop Company of Parrots and is a regular on our Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Illustration View Archive

  1. New-list

    If our interview with Brown Cardigan as part of our feature on to digital publishing has taught us anything, it’s that you shouldn’t underestimate the power of a GIF. Introducing then Japanese illustrator Nimura Daisuke, who has perfected the art with some of the sweetest, rudest moving images we’ve ever seen. How could you not fall for a shot of a woman flashing at a grumpy man as he looks the other way, or an unfortunate schoolboy leaning over and having the full conents of his rucksack crashing to the floor?

  2. List-14592817705_06714ea8ff_k

    Kevin McNamee-Tweed by name, twee by nature, I’d assumed, casting an eye over these sweetly, naively sketched wee pictures of books. Then I read the titles. One contained the word “shart.” Another proclaims, “It’s Only Your Fault: How to Help Yourself”, while a more philosophical tome proffers the question “who is….BIRD HUMAN?”

  3. List

    Jean Jullien is many things. Artist. Illustrator. French. Recent emigre to New York. It’s Nice That favourite. So hot right now. He’s also the final artist to have a show at Kemistry Gallery’s current east London home before it closes its doors early next year (although as has been reported it has some excitingly ambitious plans).

  4. List-2

    A couple of weeks back a parcel containing the newest issue of The Pendulum made its way through our door, leading us haphazardly but happily to the website of its creator, Liana Jegers. Chicago-based artist Liana is an illustrator as well as a co-ordinator of printed imagery, and her Tumblr is full of snippets of sketches in progress which stand up admirably on their own.

  5. List

    Last week the third issue of Danielle Pender’s Riposte magazine was launched and after she and designer Shaz Madani set such a high bar with the first two issues, we were interested to see how they’d followed up their previous success. The early indications are very good. Although we haven’t seen a copy in the flesh we have had a sneak peek at some of the content and once again the title’s smart curatorial approach is very much in evidence.

  6. List

    German illustrator Nadine Redlich just keeps going from strength to strength, her catalogue of exuberant characters growing day by day. Though there’s no doubt at all that Nadine’s masterful at creating truly cheerful chappies, there’s a growing number of creatures in her portfolio who look like they’re ready to hibernate for winter, staring out at you blankly as though they wish they’d been left to sleep. Of course there’s also the belligerent mountain, the cherry at the end of its tether and that creepy fellow with the giant aubergine who I can’t help but find menacing, resulting in an altogether impressive cast of characters in a portfolio we can’t get enough of. If you want even more, Nadine’s got a comic out with Rotopol Press that you can get your hands on here. Now, back to enjoying that dog on the chair…

  7. List-tatiana-bruni_-the-drunkard_-costume-design-for-%e2%80%98the-bolt%e2%80%99_-1931_-courtesy-grad-and-st-petersburg-museum-of-theatre-and-music

    We’re no ballet aficionados, but we wouldn’t usually associate drunkards, typists and factory workers with the grace and poise of the discipline. However, as these beautiful gouache painting by Tatiana Bruni show, there’s much more to ballet than tutus and swan lake, with her angular figures, bold colours and sometimes grotesquely postured characters. The paintings show costume designs for Dmitri Shostakovich’s 1931 ballet The Bolt, and are going on show at London’s Gallery for Russian Arts and Design alongside a series of period photographs. The ballet itself was bold and striking in its use of real hammers, machine-inspired choreography, aerobics and acrobatics, and the costume images are equally as dynamic, inspired by “the aesthetics of agit-theatre and artist-designed propaganda posters”, according to the gallery. The sense of movement is palpable, whether in the graceful billowing dresses or the staggering legs of our brightly-coloured drunkard, working against the geometric rigidity of the style to beautiful effect.

  8. List

    Josh Cochran is one of those illustrators who, even though he’s been around for ages, still manages to keep his work endlessly fresh. His fantastically atmospheric, often surreal illustrations, keep going from strength to strength, building in textural complexity and narrative devices. Perhaps that’s the result of his nomadic lifestyle moving between Taiwan, Los Angeles and New York. Or perhaps he’s just got an endlessly inventive mind and creative spirit. Either way, he’s a talented dude.

  9. List

    A cute little one-eyed book reading a cute little two-eyed book greets us on the site of designer and illustrator Julia Boehme, offering an irresistible invitation to delve into her portfolio, which perhaps unsurprisingly, leans toward all things bookish. The wee anthropomorphised tomes also star alongside pretty girls reading books in some great work for Hungarian University of Fine Arts, for which she’s produced a small brochure explaining the four arts libraries in Budapest. Cuteness is very much the order of the day throughout her work, but she manages to stay just the right side of sickly. We love the simple, tongue-in-cheek Wes Anderson aesthetic of the Year Book project from 2011, which acts as another excuse for us to post some ludicrous, large-specs-based portrait photography.

  10. Main1

    Art and music go together like warm Yorkshire puddings and gravy, everyone knows that! But it’s even more delicious when the artist and musician love each other so much that they collaborate again, and again, and again. Such is the nature of Norwegian duo DJ Todd Terje and artist Bendik Kaltenborn. Bendik’s been cracking out spectacular designs, posters, comics and illustrations for years and has spent his time of late designing album artwork for the wonderful Todd. Now I’m not saying no one would listen to Todd’s music without such appealing album artwork (if you’ve ever seen him live, you get the feeling that a lot of people love his music a LOT) but with sleeve artwork as good as this, how can people not buy it? Here’s to two good friends who are making a living by feeding off each other’s talent (Todd recently made special songs to accompany Bendik’s book!) and long may they continue.

  11. List

    One of the best things about working here at It’s Nice That is when one of our colleagues tips us off to a creative superstar we hadn’t previously heard of. It was yesterday that our art director Jamie McIntyre casually dropped the name 44flavours into conversation and when I got round to checking out their work today it’s fair to say my flabber was ghasted.

  12. List-14210867127_06c7643fbd_b

    There’s an endearingly open, experimental feel to the work of Barcelona-based illustrator and designer Joan Casaramona. Across his online platforms he’s more than willing to share every step of his process, showing sketchbooks filled with his dabblings in paint, collage, print and animation, offering a charming insight into his strange and multifarious inspirations. We were especially drawn to his works looking at wee Napoleon, rendered at times as a rather hirsute figure; at others like a little devil. For us his work is most effective when in primary colours that remind us of Fredun Shapur’s little characters, but one monochrome work really stood out – the great little GIF below where a woman joyfully strips off, baring all before taking her little black dress and wrapping herself up in it to form a tiny black ball.

  13. List

    There were poignant scenes in Berlin yesterday when the city marked the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the wide-ranging ramifications it had for the city, the country and indeed the world. Unsurprisingly such an historic milestone inspired various creative projects, from the terrific 8,000 balloon installation which ran the length of the old wall to Airbnb’s animation about reunification and remembering.