31 May 2013

Working in a bureau

Since  I've soon worked here for 3 months I thought I would sum up the past weeks for you.
I applied to this agency in november last year. I made a portfolio with graphic design elements - I had to  do this from scratch because I didn't really have material from before to apply with.
No "professional" experience in the area and educated 2 years in photography, 4 months in graphic design and 3 years in industrial design. Aiming for commercial was a wild card, but I wanted to give it a chance.

I started to work in march.
We're about 28 people at the office and amongs us we're 6 graphic designers, 3 art directors and 2 copyrighters. The remaining employees are finding clients, keeping the contact with clients and calculating costs (retail consultants and project managers). We're lucky we have them because it's tricky to do the design-part while you have to keep the contact with the clients and manage with money.

Our agency mainly works with retail. That means that we create things that pop up in the store when you wan't to shout out about a new product, competition or campaign. Where does the customer look when she's in the store? How to you get her attention?
For every client we have a project group consisting of a retail consultants, project manager, art director, copyrighter and graphic designer.

Example: Let's say a mustard company had created a new flavor. They contact us so that we create commercial for the grocery stores (not the shopper) so that they buy this new product and make room for it in the shelves. Once the store has accepted it we have to make the shoppers see it. It can be anything from a little shelf pop-up to an "tasting-event".

When the project group meets this is what everyone does:
The retail consultant knows what the client wants (and has in some cases found the client) so it's his or her responsibility to inform the rest of us of what has to be done.
The art director makes sketches of ideas and possible solutions.
The copy righter has to come up with the phrases that will be associated with the product ("because you're worth it") and every other text that appears on any unit.
The graphic designer puts it all together. A lot of work in Photoshop and InDesign (sometimes illustrator). In my case I also get to photograph and illustrate.
The project manager has various task depending on the person, but they mainly keep the contact with the clients, send them all the files, make presentations, calculate costs, call the people who need to be called.

For me, the tricky part is still when it's about exporting all the units for print. If you're a "normal" person not working with prints every day you're used to blaming the printers when your photos look all wrong in color and light. But with time you learn that there is a looot of things you have to change and fix before you can print. Color profiles have to be right. Dpi has to be right. You have to know which colors are "unprintable" and need special pantone colors. You need to know how it will be printed, where it needs to be cut, if the material is shiny or matte.
A lot of time the problem is that the photos given from the client is very low in resolution and doesn't print well. But many times there are no photos at all (especially when it's a new product) so we have to fake a package in photoshop.

Haha, ok, I don't know if you followed, but I'll write more some other time. I can't fit everything in one post. This can be part one :) Our office is on the left side of the street by the red car on the second photo.

26 May 2013

Know what makes you happy

In life, we're surrounded by people who have strong opinions about what we should do and what would make us happy. We even convince ourselves what we think would makes us most happy.
We often make vague plans for our life already when we're around 15 years old. We know pretty much nothing about the world but somehow we convince ourselves that our view of a happy life is realistic.
For instance, we might think that working as an architect and living in London would be the coolest thing. Or perhaps working as an art director in a fancy bureau in Paris.
It sounds good. It has to be good.
We see our lives as a large period of time. We don't bother to think about how each day of that period would be. But; we will always only live one day at a time. When you start dreaming about your dreamlife don't forget to think about how one day would look. If you were super successful, would you have time for family and friends? Would you have time to take a long weekend in a cottage by the sea?

It's all too much about what we do. And too little about what we feel.
When I grow up I wan't to be happy. That should always be the goal number one! But we make up these rules in our own mind that we stick to like superglue and then when we've achieved those goals we feel empty and confused.

I once saw a theatre actress talk about her life. All she wanted was to get bigger parts. To play in more important plays. To become something more. And then she got that amazing part were she was the lead and they played in front of a huge audience. But when she stood there, taking in all the applause after a show, she simply felt nothing. The feeling she had created in her mind all her life didn't show.
The smaller and simpler things we appreciate in life, the happier we'll be. And like many stressed out successful young girls say, it doesn't matter how much money or how cool your job is, health is always number one and nothing can be valued higher than being happy for what you have and appreciating the things you do have instead of constantly thinking about the things you want.

So, what I want to write (because unfortunately I have no photos or illustrations to show) is that you shouldn't underestimate small goals and doing things that don't have that much "prestige" in them. Also, above all, show respect to family and friends who might have chosen a path that doesn't sound very impressive.
And those who say you should do more and that you should do better, take a look at their life first before you evaluate if you should bother their criticism. Some people claim to have the answers to what I should to with my creativity... but I won't let that get to me. I know myself. I don't have a desire to become rich and famous. I believe that you only feel truly happy when you still have to struggle for things in life. When you can have everything you feel like you have nothing. You will become like a lazy lion at the zoo. You wan't to be the hungry lion in the wild, hunting for your food :)

Aim for happiness, not fame :)

20 May 2013

Waking up in the forest

On sunday I woke up in this green cozy world.
It's been a while since I slept in a tent.

I've been trying to plan a new illustration but it's going exceptionally slow this time. A new world with new characters doesn't come to easily after all... :(

11 May 2013


Hellu hellu,
I hope you're taking good care of yourselves during the weekend.
When the weekend arrives I like to visit the forest, eat something nice and draw if the inspiration is there. When it comes to food I really think that fresh baked bread, pickles, artichokes, cheese, prosciutto and serrano ham is something of the best you can eat. Yum yum yum :)

P.S Free shipping in my shop until tomorrow if you use this promo link

08 May 2013

More of mum

Some more old photos of my mum :)

I love when she had crazy curly bangs!
Also I love the striped tights on striped couch kind of thing.

06 May 2013

Levi Pinfold - Black Dog

Black Dog by Levi Pinfold

Levi Pinfold is one of the few children's book illustrators that really puts time into details. His books are so beautiful and he chooses the best colors :)
Levi has published the book Django and Black Dog. Check them out!

01 May 2013

Fox riding moose

1st of May! Who of my readers have got a warm green spring and who are still with snow outside?

I recently drew this fancy little fox who's riding a moose. Did you know that a Swedish king once wanted to make an army where the soldiers would ride on moose? It's true. It didn't work though. These animals aren't very easily tamed...heh... I feel that that's rather obvious. But you know Kings... they're all like, give me 200 tigers and a giraffe with 5 legs!!! Now! I'm BORED!

The print can as always be purchased on Society6.
I've had a few emails where people wonder about Society6. I sell between 30-40 items per month and since people buy more stuff (like iphone cases and pillows where I can't control my profit but always get 10% (instead of actual prints where I decide the profit)) my earnings are not very high. However, I think it's such an excellent service that I don't really mind the low profits. At least I have a real job too :)