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.
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 Löfgren’s instructional illustrations for practical lunges
- Resolute yet playful designs for the If I Can't Dance groups' compilation
- A beautiful portrait of the communities, theatre and blingy pants of South Yorkshire wrestling
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- Jeremy Jansen’s graphic design work bridges concept and coherency
- Michael Craig-Martin: a cool, clean and colourful riot of everyday objects
- Should illustrators be treated like designers?
- Why “cool” stunts creativity: one agency offers its opinion
- Fresh, vibrant poster work from South Korean designer Soojin Lee
- Grey London's thoughtful, powerful and innovative new campaign for Tate Britain
- Colourful masses with a Memphis aesthetic in Mariano Pascual’s illustrated alphabet
- Introducing French design studio plus mûrs and its beautiful poster designs