Emily Grandin is an illustrator from Sweden. Her projects focus on the adorable characters Zoe and Dante, but she also developed some new characters while participating in Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo). With tradeyourtalent she speaks about exploring fantastical spaces, the unforgettable experience of taking part in the Sketch Book Project and why she doesn't really feel like an "artist from Sweden".
Your work looks really multifaceted. How come?
I don’t know, I guess it’s because I just draw what I love. My illustrations are filled with the things I want. I want to explore fantastical spaces and go on adventures, on the way there will be patterns and details and there will always be room for despicably sweet rabbits. I could bring up my studies in geology and architecture which have definitely played their part but when you get down to it, what I find irresistible is looking at something mundane and thinking how can I add adventure to this?
You are participating in the Sketch book project. What does this project mean to you?
I enjoy seeing how creativity thrives in the confines of limits, if for no other reason than to see how it drives people to stretch those limits. Some told stories, some took their books apart in a metamorphosis of sorts and some just filled them with all the delightful things that were littering their imaginations in a multitude of mediums. And to think it all started with a simple empty sketchbook! Beyond the obvious reasons like exposure, projects like this are great because at best they’re mini workshops, and like with workshops it’s an opportune way to find and connect with fellow creatives.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
When I was little I treasured the cross-sections in Barbapappa and Stephen Biesty's books, I would stare at them for hours. Later frank Miller and Tove Jansson’s art entered my life and I thought I want to draw like that. These days I still eye a lot of books but my resources of inspiration are more than I could justly name not least of all the wonderful wealth of art out there on blogs and digital portfolios.
What's it like being an artist in Sweden?
I like this question, right away it strikes me I don’t really feel like I’m an ‘artist in Sweden’. I assign much of my freelancing to the internet and the extraordinary ways it allows me to feel the pulse and connect with my market on an international level. That I live in Sweden feels like a footnote.
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