Mittwoch, 16. Februar 2011

small talk ::: fideli sundqvist

today i had a big "small talk" with fideli sundqvist, which has given me very great pleasure. Enjoy yourself reading and thank you so much, Fideli!

my name is fideli sundqvist and i am 23 years old. i grew up with my family in uppsala, a town barely one hour from stockholm. i have a big brother gustav, one little sister emilia and my parents marie-louise and olle. we also had a little dog named ruffa, who now is in the dogs' realm of death. my parents have free and creative works, so they can dispose their own working time. my father is a historian of religion and my mother is an artist and ceramicist.

since i was little, i have been crafting and drawing a lot. during the last years of compulsory school, i was completely uninterested in these things. but when i was around 15, my interest for images started to grow slowly in combination with my interest for music. when i was 13-14 years old, i received a great interest in music, i started to play in a band and created my own music. the music of some great bands actually turned my life, especially the band bright eyes (from nebraska, usa). the disc envelope lifted or the story is in the soil, keep your ear to the ground were filled with illustrations, carved into linoleum. it was the most beautiful i’ve ever seen!

i could listen to the album and scroll through the small booklet with the lyrics and pictures for hours. thus i came to start making my own images, illustrate moods and dreams. me and my mum took the train to stockholm and bought linoleums, tools, paints and rollers. the motifs were focused mainly on the longing for love. i created series of linoleum cuts under the theme isma and the lighthouse. the images were influenced by the music and lyrics of bright eyes. i created an imaginary person called isma and a place where he lived.

when i was 18 years old i started to study at an art school located on the island lidingö, just outside stockholm. i moved to my grandfather’s basement in a suburb of stockholm and went two years in a school on lidingö called nyckelviken. it is a general art education, including one craft year and then one year with a focus on graphic design and illustration. then i started on konstfack, university college of arts, crafts and design in stockholm, and that is the place where i am studying right now.

at the end of this spring, i will take my degree in graphic design & illustration. this week i will start on my bachelor project which will run all weeks during spring. it will be presented in may at the school exhibition. time has gone quickly. i have experienced a lot during these years. it’s really wonderful to spend your days by thinking on and working with art.

what i have found recently is that i enjoy working with quite wide and extensive objects. i like to sit and draw, cut and build in paper, make more rigorous designs and work with different materials. in exactly one month, my first children’s book will be published in the publishing house opal in sweden. it’s called birre, where are you? and it is about a little puppy dog who gets lost in the big dark forest, where he meets adventures.

the illustrations are done in acrylic paint. it was very fun to make them, and it was actually the first time i painted with acryl. almost always when i start with something new, i am very delighted and this happened when i worked with birre, where are you?.

when i wrote the book about birre, i started with the illustrations. the inspiration for it comes in large parts from my delight in dogs. when i was ten years old, there was nothing i dreamed of as much as getting a dog. i nag and nag and could not think of anything else than dogs. so one day, the parents said: yes! so a little puppy dog (a miniature schnauzer) named ruffa moved to us.

i think that dogs are very fun to draw, in different situations, embarrassed, mischievous, frightened. they are grateful to convey the mood of the picture. the text in the book was written later. i had a vague story in my head, but it was only based on the pictures. i composed a lot of pictures, moving them around, changes places untill i found it in that way i wanted.

one approach that i’ve worked a lot with during the last few years is to cut in paper. i think it is fantastic. i love to get focused and fiddle with the scalpel. i usually listen to lots of audio books and radio-documentaries when i am working. i like to work undisturbed, but also to have people close around me. at school i have found a small computer room next to the kitchen where i sit all by myself. but it is wonderful when meeting other people at lunch or at coffee breaks.

i get very inspired by great music, to move closer to the feeling generated in you when you feel inspired. to sit and draw, cut and make stuff is probably what creates the most harmony for me, the desire to work creates inspiration, new ideas and so on. to scroll in beautiful books, look in the childrens’ books you read as a child, reading novels and watching movies. to look around the blogs, dreaming about new cities and places where you want to travel or live, meet my family and friends, drinking coffee on cafés, looking at people and dogs ... to take a walk make me often think clearer. when i feel a bit discouraged, i usually take my running shoes on and walk briskly out and pretty soon it feels better.

next time i will start a book project, i will probably try to have a clearer picture of the narrative and the plot, and then start sketching the illustrations. the birre-project was great fun, but also very hard to work with. i’ve probably dropped a lot of tears during my work time.

there is one thing for all creative professional workers: you are always so lonely. it’s just one self that can take decisions in the end and it’s up to one self to draw all the pictures and to finish it. it can be very difficult, i think. both to start with a project, coming up with ideas and to get courage to run and believe in it is hard. i love to get involved in images and shapes. there is nothing better, as when you discover new things that you want to do. i love the feeling of being swallowed by a project, to work with your hands, the handcraft itself etc.

good book-illustrations must communicate not only the conditions of the outer world, but also tell something about what is going on inside people. i like images that are filled with moods, either tragic or comic, and perhaps preferably a bit of both. things that makes your heart beat is what it’s all about, i think. to do honest things is the essence. but of course, i can certainly also appreciate things that are more graphical and “nice”, but most of all i love things that concern.

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