Oskar Lindvall is a Swedish illustrator and graphic/digital artist. He recently won Jester Jacques Gallery’s first competition, which was to design a background to be digitally downloaded for smart phones or computers from their online shop.
Co Owner Karen Shidlo caught up with the artist to ask him about his work.
How did you get into art making? Were you always creative as a kid? How did your childhood lend itself to you becoming a professional artist?
I think I was fairly creative, though mostly on the football field… I grew up in the country side, with a lot of free time to play sports, climb threes and do my own hikes in the forest. My first artistic influence was my uncle who worked, and still works as an art-teacher. He made me realize that you could actually make a living of painting and drawing. I now work as an art-teacher myself, and make very little money on my art. My hope off course is to increase my revenue from artwork, and in the future maybe work 50% with teaching.
Did you begin your art making by painting? How did you transition into collage, mixed media and digital work?
Painting was actually never my thing growing up. I mainly did drawings inspired by comics, mostly sport-comics or MAD magazine. But I also loved doing cut and paste-collages, which I later brought in when I finally started painting some time after ninth grade. My early paintings where very mixed media-influenced, and I also did a lot of pre-studies for my paintings in photoshop. A lot of time the pre-studies where much better than the actual painting =)
Do you still paint? It is a very different style than your collage work.
I actually haven´t painted in almost two years. I don´t have any space, or time to do oil paintings unfortunately. But also, when I paint I tend to get really overambitious which can be really crippling artistically. I really only have one or two paintings that I am totally happy about.
Some of my material are my own drawings and paintings, but also a lot of press images and royalty free pictures from the internet. Artistically I am inspired by the energy of Basquiat and the political humour of the Swedish 60´s and 70´s artists, such as Christer Themptander, who is truly amazing. I demand you to look him up!
Is there significance to the donkey? You use him a lot!
The donkey came to life when I was designing a photopolymer print inspired by mexican master Posada. I really liked it and have since used it in a lot of my work. I especially like the half dead versions which resembles the medieval paintings of the black plague, the message from them being that no matter your status in life you can´t cheat death.
You enjoy using pinks, yellows and blues. Is there a reason for using a limited colour palette?
For some reason cadmium yellow is always my first choice, maybe it´s because it takes a really powerful image to match it. But recently I have tried to work with other colours, while maintaining my own style.
What is your favourite way of working? What tools and mediums do you enjoy best?
Drawing combined with photoshop is definitely my weapon of choice at this moment.
I think a lot of my work is about human vanity, consumerism and right wing propaganda. Pretty standard leftist stuff =) But I try to use a lot of humour and optimism in my satire. I am far from a cynic. It´s important to remember that all our challenges aside, today’s world is actually better of and more peaceful than ever in the history of human beings.
Tell us a bit about the downloadable design you created for Jester Jacques Gallery. What was the idea behind it? How do you feel about people being able to download it and have it on their devices?
The design is kind of a redesign using my beloved dead horse and creating a pattern. Using the shopping cart as a symbol of vanity is maybe a bit too obvious. But I hope you like it and feel free to use however you want!
Lastly, what is coming up for you in 2013? Any exciting projects?
As for right now I participate in the spring exhibition at Liljevalchs in Stockholm. I also have a solo show in my home town Norrköping in september. And I am always looking for venues and new ways to show my stuff (wink wink!)
His amazing background comes in 3 colours and each can only be downloaded 30 times, so be quick! Go to www.jesterjacquesgallery.co.uk/shop to download this!