Had the pleasure of creating the cover art for Blue Magazine in Japan and also do an interview, along with an art feature. Scroll down to check out the interview.
Blue Magazine art feature
Blue Magazine Interview
Please tell me about your background.
I grew up in a place called Saltsjöbaden (means salt sea bath), it is a very beautiful area outside Stockholm right on the water and close access to the forest and the archipelago. The Stockholm archipelago, with thousands of little islands is a very special place to me. My parents have a house on one of these islands called Möja where I spent all summers growing up. Möja has one road, and everyone is driving around on three wheeled mopeds with a tray in the front. It is still one of my absolute favorite places to go to relax and re connect with family.
After high school I did to one-year full time at an art school in Stockholm. We got to try all different kinds of mediums like oil, acrylics, photography, sculpture, just experimenting and no homework or pressure to perform.
In 2002 I moved to Australia and the Gold Coast to combine university studies (Product Design) with surfing. In the beginning we were six surf obsessed Swedes sharing a old house by the beach all studying and trying to surf as much as we could.
Why did you start making art?
Because it is fun! I liked drawing more than most from a very young age. I always took extra art classes as electives when possible in school, and also did art school on my free time after school some years. I had a homemade cartoon series called Jerry Bib with one of my best friends growing up.
I think I just always liked drawing, not sure why, but it really enjoyable to draw.
What do you inspiration drawing art?
I get inspired from a lot of things in everyday life, things I see when I surf, travel and do whatever. And today with all the social media it is alos easy to follow very inspiring people doing cool stuff from all over the world.
Drawing in itself is also inspiring. It is one of the few things that I know that takes me into the flow, where I stop thinking about time, emails, deadlines, and to do lists.
How did you start activity in Japan?
I got invited to the Greenroom Festival 3 years ago, before that I had never been to Japan, but now I have been there 6 times working on a bunch of super fun projects all over the country from Hyuga in the south, to Niseko in the North.
When did you start surfing?
I started surfing when I was 15 years old (23 years ago) on an island called Guernsey. It is one of the English Channel islands, and the neighbor island to the more famous island Jersey. I was there for 3 weeks on a language course to learn English. After school I attended a surf school and I fell in love with it right away. We drove around the island in an old defender full of surfboards and I liked all of it - looking for waves, the smell of wax, sitting in the lineup, and off course the thrill of gliding on the face of the wave.
After that I started to surf in Sweden. Sweden get’s great surf occasionally, but most of the time you surf in onshore conditions, short period wind generated swell.
After high school me and a good friend bought a turquoise VW buss that we named Åke (Swedish name that kind odf means “moving”) that we drove from Sweden down to the French Atlantic coast and surfed as much as we could. Åke was not the best bus mechanically and had to be push started almost daily. One time we had to push it off a ferry. Very funny memory.
What is your country of birth?
What is the attraction of Australia and Stockholm?
They are both places that I love and consider home. I still have my family and some of my best friends in Stockholm. It will always feel like home. Sweden have some beautiful nature
Australia is also a very beautiful country. I like that you can be outdoors a lot here, and it is always really close to untouched beautiful beaches. I feel like Australia was almost designed for the road tripping surfer.
How many people play surfing in Stockholm?
Not sure, maybe a few hundred… But probably more these days, I could be very wrong.
Which do you like country?
I love both!
What kind of animals do you like?
Favorite bird is Pelican and the Kookaburra. I love how Pelicans fly along the waves, gently touching the surface and surfing in their own way.
I also really like bears.
What kind of foods do you like?
I love Japanese food! I really like going to traditional Izakayas and have Japanese friends order everything. I pretty much love all Japanese food, sushi, and ramen. When I was working down in Hyuga we got obsessed with strawberry Daifuku.
Apart from Japanese food, I really like traditional Swedish food. My favorite dish is cooked by my mother and consists of boiled summer potatoes with dill, oven roasted salmon, and a lemon cream sauce, delicious!
Another favorite is the Mexican food in Southern California.
Please tell me your favorite artist.
Lars Lerin is a Swedish watercolor artist that I really admire.
Please tell me your favorite music.
Kings Of Convenience
How do you spend your days off?
I pretty much work everyday lately, I cant remember when I had a full day off, but on the other hand, I pretty much do something fun everyday, and if the surf is good, I go surfing, so I would not change it. I also work a lot because I think my work is fun.
When I have time off, I love to go camping, looking for surf. I am working on converting a camper van right now and it will be ready in a couple of days, it is a Renault Master that will have a bed and a little kitchen, and I am really looking forward to exploring the coastline in that one.
Growing up in Sweden I had 3 different VW vans, and I really think travelling in a van is the best way to travel, so I cant wait to have one again.
What do you think about Japan?
I love Japan, it is my favorite country to travel to. I love the food, and I think it is very special that you have such fun surf in the south and amazing snow in the North, great combination!
What is surfing for you?
It is so many things for me. It made me move to Australia from Sweden, so it obviously have a huge part in my life. I really enjoy the actiul glidfing on water part of surfing, but what I really think makes it so special is all the things that comes with it. The search for good waves with friends. The anticipation of a good swell. All the beautuifull places and scenery you get to experience from the water. Just yesterday I had a really fun session on my local break and trhere was a turtle in the lineup, how amazing is that by itself!
Surfing has made me many friends, given me the best trips and inspired what I do for a living, so it is almost everything.
Please tell me about your dream.
I have many dreams. To start I think the life I am living right now is a dream come true. To be able to create art for a living is super fun and something that I am very grateful for, and never imagined would happen.
When it comes to travel dreams, I would love to take a few months and travel from North to South of Japan and surf all the way, try all different kinds of food and meet fun people along the way.
I also have a particular spot in Salomon Islands that I am keeping an eye on.
About you moved to Australia, How did you choose to university in Australia?
When I got home from travelling in Portugal for a few months, my friend Camilo who I was travelling with decided to move to Australia and the Gold Coast to study. I did art school in Stockholm for a wile but after hearing his stories on the waves and everyday life in Australia it was too hard to resist. I choose Griffith University because they had a product design degree that I thought sounded fun, and it was the most affordable University also.
Please let me know about the aurora depicted in your work. Have you seen it only once?
I have only seen it once while doing ski touring in northern Sweden with my dad and brother a long time ago. It was amazing. We skied for about a week between this mountain huts that you have to warm up with a fire and no electricity or phone network, so you can relax for real.
One night it was really clear and there the Aurora was.
You can see a change in the touch of your artworks, but why is that?
Not sure. I think it is just the evolution of lots of practice and trying new mediums and techniques.
The atmosphere of your work is very influential of Stockholm. Is it fixed your style?
I think growing up in Sweden and spending a lot of time outdoors there had a lot of impact on me. My family has always been into the outdoors and going skiing, hiking and ice skating on frozen oceans and lakes was always a part of my life growing up as a kid.
I also competed in Orienteering for a few years and you get to see some amazing nature and forests that way.
Now when I think of a forest and trees I imagine Swedish looking pine trees and Swedish looking mountains.
Are you doing designs, but are there any ways to divide between design and art?
For me, design has a specific purpose and goal and needs to communicate a certain message that either you or the client has decided beforehand. Art in my perspective is free to be whatever the person looking at it thinks it is. The most fun part of creating art is to just start drawing and see what happens, a lot of times it changes into something else completely different from what I had in mind when I was starting.
Sometimes mistakes can make the best art. When I started dabbling with watercolors, I had this painting drying on our balcony at night. From inside the apartment I could see a Possum jumping up on the painting and flipping it over. That actually created a really cool effect on the sky and I like to think it is one of the only collaborations with a Possum.
Please let me know me about your painting materials water color,copic pen,etc…）
I use a lot of different stuff. I started with just black / white ink illustrations, then I wanted to try some colors so I got some Copic pens, then water colors etc. I think it is just an evolution and I just started trying some bloc printing.
Would you like to try technique next?
I would like to try some animation this year. I also want to get back into making big canvases using acrylic. I did a lot of acrylic work on canvases maybe 10 years ago, and it is really fun and something I would like to get back into again.
Why are you surfing many of your artworks?
I think it is because I love surfing and everything around it. Nature, the ocean and surfing are where I get my inspiration.
You like surf is very much and feeling is better?
I think sitting in the water on a surfboard is so nice. The ocean is so beautiful when it is offshore, and then when you get a fun wave it is just a bonus.
I think it is pretty magical that these waves are created from storms far far away and then the elements organizes the waves into clean ridable lumps of water that we can glide on.
Please tell me about your favorite camping and snowboarding. And you have some of picture?
The best snowboarding I have ever done by far was earlier this year in Hokkaido.
My favorite camping trip I did with my girlfriend Stephanie 15 years ago. We drove from Los Angeles all the way down Baja Mexico and camped and surfed along the way. I love the landscape there with red soil and cactuses meeting a wild ocean.
We also got really fun uncrowned waves along the way.
Another really fun more recently trip was in Galicia, Spain with my good friend Camilo (same guy I went to Portugal with 20 years ago). He has a mobile home that fits his whole family, and I rented a van and explored Galicia for a week. It is a beautiful area with so much good surf and food.
I’m interesting your atelier. Have you an atelier photo?
I work from home, so my studio is just a second bedroom and not very impressive. We (me and Stephanie, and our two cats Rocky and Paprika) just moved to a new apartment, so it is a bot of a mess right now.
Please let me know about ”Save Ocean - Save Beach”
Moe from Greenroom Gallery reached out and asked if I was interested in this project, and as someone that loves the ocean it was a easy choice and something that it is an honour to be involved with.