INTERVIEW GRASHINA GABELMANN
IMAGES JOHAN THOERNQVIST
The randomness of the internet somehow led me to Johan’s website and I’m damn glad it did. His illustrations of mini people living in beautiful houses on daffodils, mushrooms and fire hydrants caught my attention so much I had to interview him. So I did. Here you go…
Where are you from and where are you living?
I am from Helsingborg in Sweden and this is where I live.
Did you study illustration?
Nope, I am a self-thought illustrator. But I did study design at Hyperisland (http://www.hyperisland.se) and I have been working as a web-creative for a couple of years. First at an agency and then forming my own company with a couple of friends (http://www.gertrud.se ). So, I think that gave me a lot of the skills I needed.
You have a very distinct and instantly recognizable style. How did it develop? Was it gradual or did you always draw on photographs?
On my first image I drew when I first got my Wacom (http://www.snarlik.se/33/) I started out with a picture as a reference and then I just left it in. I felt I really liked the style so I kept doing it. Recently I have started to do illustrations without the photographs but I almost always use textures and stuff like that from photos.
Where did the idea to incorporate your drawings on photographs come from? Any inspirations?
Not for the drawing on pictures part. But as for my style I would say movies like Les triplettes de Belleville, Comic books and games like Samorost and Machinarium (http://amanita-design.net/samorost-2/ , http://machinarium.net/demo/) has been a inspiration.
A lot of your drawings have very detailed drawings of buildings. Do you have an architectural background or any plans to head into that direction?
Nope, I just like buildings.
You have an online shop and seem to be doing pretty well. What is your advice for young, upcoming illustrators who want to make a living with their art?
I don’t really make any money on my online shop. But I have started doing Illustrations for clients (there is one in the latest issue of Wired : http://www.snarlik.se/wired-illustration-johan-thorngvist/ and some others coming out soon). I would say just to keep at it, try not to draw for anyone else (except if you get paid for it) and set up a online portfolio.
What are three things that distract you most when you are trying to work?
Other kinds of work (I also do programming, and animation), Facebook and when the sun is shining.