10 Questions with Stina Persson
We love the bright and bold style of internationally acclaimed illustrator Stina Persson. Her work could be seen around the world in fashion magazines, galleries, private homes and advertising campaigns. Her recognizable style still continues to surprise and impress clients such as Veuve Clicquot, L’Oreal and Vogue.
Hi Stina, great to have you here!
1. Tell us something about yourself.
I was born in a tiny university town in southern Sweden in the seventies. It was a great time for a creative kid with lots of freedom and nothing ever on tv, which suited me perfectly. At 18 I left Sweden and lived in Japan, Italy and New York for and didn’t move back until I was 31 and pregnant with my first son. Now we have three boys and a cat and live in a sunny apartment in a leafy neighbourhood in Stockholm. I still miss the sweaty New York summers, the Italian cappuccinos and the Tokyo street watching though. And I will never ever get used to the darkness and the cold.
2. How did you get started as an illustrator? education etc.
I went to art schools in Italy and later majoring in illustration in New York. But I have been drawing forever.
3. How would you describe your style?
I like it to look beautiful but never perfect or slick. Striving to be timeless yet modern. Sometimes my work is bright and colourful but I also love the power of a black ink line on white paper.
4. What’s your technical/creative process?
I work quick and do lots and lots of drawing until I get it right. The client often wonder how long it takes to create as certain image, and the actual piece is often done rather quickly, it is getting there they are paying me for.
5. Who or what inspires you and your work?
We have a house in the middle of the forest and nature is a huge inspiration. I also love older movies from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, for their colors and imperfections. And thrift stores! Whenever I am stuck I leave my studio for some thrift store hopping, that always brightens my mood and inspires. And coffee for fuel.
6. Which brands do you work for or do you love to work for?
Oh… I’ve had a lovely collaboration with champagne brand Veuve Clicquot which was fun, and recently Vogue UK and their stellar Creative Director Johan Svensson. I’d just love any good collaboration!
7. What is your favorite thing in the world to illustrate?
I love draw the female body, portraits but also inky patterns or edgy collages.
8. Name 3 things you can't live without?
My family, coffee and heat (yes, I know I live in the wrong place!).
9. Any new creative plans for 2018? expositions? books? collaborations?
Oh! So many. But maybe I jinx myself if I tell them all… I mainly want to focus on collaborations, big or small. And pushing my work in new directions.
10. Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists?
"Keep at it. Look at fine artists for inspiration rather than other illustrators. Don’t fear changes"
And for every good piece of art there are 50 crappy ones. That makes me feel better whenever everything I do looks horrid and I feel like I have forgotten how to draw. Then I can look around at all the messy pieces and know that I am actually getting closer to something better and more interesting. Painful but necessary, at least for me.