Who or what made you want to become an illustrator?
I loved drawing from an early age, and was encouraged by my parents. In school, I was scolded for always drawing during class, so there is some irony that I am making a living doing just that. I started selling work at 16 years of age, and have never looked back.
Did you attend art school or undertake any other formal artistic training?
Yes, I graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Illustration from The Glasgow School of Art in Scotland. It was a four-year program, in a vibrant art school where I rubbed shoulders with silversmithing and photography students to mention just a few.
Where do you currently live and where did you grow up?
I live just north of Copenhagen. I grew up in Danish countryside, and also lived in London and Scotland. I love the English-speaking world, but feel primarily Scandinavian.
Who or what have been some of your major artistic influences?
So many. I love the Danish illustrator Ib Antoni, with his wonderful twist on a midcentury modern geometric style. These days, scrolling through Instagram is like drinking from a firehose - there are so many talented artists out there.
What was your first commission as a professional illustrator?
I've drawn for a living since I was 16 years old, and I honestly don't recall my first commission. But I fondly remember illustrating Danish school books while I was still in art school.
Talk us through the process of creating one of your latest illustrations or books.
I research a lot - drawing sheet after sheet in pencil, in order to understand the subject. After that I draw a bunch of thumbnails, and work them up in size iteratively on the light box. At this point, I'll submit a colour rough to my editor or client for feedback. After edits and corrections, I pencil the final, scan it into Photoshop and work up the final piece in line and colour.
Take us behind the scenes and describe your studio / workspace.
My shared studio space is way cozy. Reference books line the walls, and my picture frames get recent work rotated into them regularly. My lightbox is the cornerstone tool, as I am most loose and creative in pencil on paper. I love music, and work with tunes playing on my desk monitors or headphones.
What’s the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?
"Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard" - that old saw has been stated in a number of ways, and reminds me in a world where the idea of 'talent' is sometimes overvalued, to put in the hours of necessary practice. Or to rework a finished piece to make it just a tad better.