Rugs, paintings, posters, calendars, bags and more! What Micke Lindebergh’s been up to lately
The Sydney-based illustrator shares his delightful range of floral-inspired works and explains why “Snoopy taught me that anything is possible.”
- Jyni Ong
- 5 March 2021
- Reading Time
- 3 minute read
Much has changed since we last wrote about illustrator Micke Lindebergh back in 2019. For starters, he’s worked on more paintings in the last year, developing his signature style of vibrant floral pattern with a painterly twist. He’s also tutoring part-time on a visual communication course in a Sydney university, where he resides. “I have learned so much during that time,” he tells us of the new adventure, “teaching has made me realise lots of things about my own practice that I never really thought about before.” It's one of the best parts of the job, watching ideas come to life before him.
A few years ago, we met the illustrator to discuss his first solo show in Asia titled Flowerpot at Hong Kong’s Odd One Out gallery. Since then, he’s worked on a myriad of different projects including one for The Sydney Opera House, plus Studio Moross and The Powerhouse Museum. “When the Sydney Opera House asked me if I would be interested in making a kids bag collection with them it took me about three seconds to reply with a giant YES!” he says with a chuckle. Selecting Micke for his colourful sensibilities which sing with a sense of joyful fun, the task at hand challenged the illustrator to take shapes and elements from the building and the surrounding area, and creatively interpret it into a bag design.
As he lives a mere 25-minute walk away from the cultural venue, Micke enjoyed many an afternoon wandering down to the opera house to draw interesting qualities on the giant steps outside. Distilling his playful designs into a few finished pieces, Micke and the opera house decided on a colourful geometric set of patterns to be applied across backpacks, purses and drawstring bags. In other work, Micke has been fortunate to encounter his dream job, involving a rug design for Marrickville library in Sydney. “I’ve always dreamed about designing the seats on the buses or the underground, so to get the opportunity to create the rug design for a public space in such a beautiful building was mind blowing.”
The project saw Micke collaborate with BVN architecture and Designer Rugs to finalise the design and consult on the colour palette. He started out, however, taking out some fine nibbed Posca pens and sketching out a few thoughts of the what the rug could be. The final design isn’t that different to these original sketches; the sense of rhythmic freedom still intact but executed with a refined elevation on the tufted rug. And there’s plenty more in Micke’s portfolio. Recently, he’s worked on a calendar with Kentaro Okawara and Kris Andrew Small – an annual project which has now become a tradition for the three contemporary artists.
They first worked together when the Tokyo-based Kentaro came to Sydney for an exhibition. But with all the travel plans in place and with no hopes of working physically together for a while, Micke says, “it was extra nice to make something together, and it made us all feel more connected to the world.” The pair additionally created a poster together in the midst of lockdown last year and Micke says of this fruitful ongoing partnership: “I love working with him, he is a genius.” With busy past times, the future is also bustling for Micke. With a new exhibition Flower Show at the Sydney gallery 93 Bourke Street, Micke is busy painting for the show opening in April 2021. He’s also working with a Japanese brand to do more textiles, and learning how to woodblock print.
Rugs, posters, calendars, bags! It’s certainly been a multi-disciplinary couple of years for Micke. It’s allowed the illustrator to constantly learn and challenge himself in a new way to deliver such a variety of outputs. “It’s all about imagination and problem solving,” he adds. And working with textiles and interior design has allowed him to stretch these ideas further. “This may sound silly,” he goes on to say on the art of working inter-disciplinarily, “but I think I was exposed to the idea for the first time when I went to Japan. I went to the giant Snoopy shop in Harajuku and you could literally bring Snoopy into every aspect of your life, hyper product design!” He saw Snoopy furniture, clothing, utensils, car seats, sculptures, books, prints, sweets, food and so on and so forth. But importantly, Micke finally goes on to say: “Snoopy taught me that anything is possible.”
Take part in Sara Andreasson's free Virtual Studio with Today at Apple
The Swedish illustrator will discuss how she has built a reputation for depicting bodies that don’t conform to traditional beauty norms, before working with participants to create their own bold compositions.
Monday 8 March
Micke Lindebergh: 'Kentaro X Micke Collaboration Riso Print 2020 (Copyright © Micke Lindebergh, 2020)
About the Author
Jyni became a staff writer in March 2019 having previously joined the team as an editorial assistant in August 2018. She graduated from The Glasgow School of Art with a degree in Communication Design in 2017 and her previous roles include Glasgow Women’s Library designer in residence and The Glasgow School of Art’s Graduate Illustrator.