Mattias Adolfsson is a freelance Illustrator living in Sigtuna just outside of Stockholm Sweden.
He has worked with everything from computer games to children’s books. He has released 4 personal books, The second in line, from the sketchbooks of Mattias Adolfsson, published by Sanatorium won “most beautiful Swedish book” in 2014 and has won several other awards.
What made you want to become an illustrator or artist?
I worked many years in the game industry and when I got tired of that Illustrations was the way out, prior to that I had not really giving illustration that much thought..
What is a day in the life of Mattias Adolfsson like? Tell me about your daily routine.
Nothing to fancy waking up eating breakfast, walking the dog and then if I have to answers mail and stuff like that I’ll do that when I get down to drawing and I draw until the hands start aching or I run out of inspiration. Inspiration most often runs outs first.
How did you find your style? Has it changed since you started?
The style found me when I studied to become an architect after that it’s just been about refining it. But again finding my own style was never anything I gave that much thought.
Where does an idea come from and how does it transform from an idea into a book?
Most often I just start drawing and while doing that ideas tend to come to me, I prefer this to having a complete image in my head prior to starting drawing as the I tend to be disapointed that the image in my head doesn’t reach the one in my head.
Your works are based on strong concepts and direct language in a unique way, do you want to talk about the basis behind your paintings?
I tend not to like to talk about what behind it all I want to keep the mystery especially for myself. For me it’s have been helpful not to dwell too much what is behind the images but I prefer to leave that to the beholder.
What would you say is your strongest ability as an illustrator?
I have a pretty good knowledge on how a lot of things look, making it possible for me to draw most stuff without having to look up things in books or online.
How do you decide what to include and what not to include in the book?
luckily for me, my publisher makes the selection, I think this makes the books more interesting.
You draws many characters every day , how many times do you tend to draw a character until it’s right, and also how do you know that it is right?
I don’t really work that way I draw a character and when it’s drawn I leave it and do not draw it again, if it’s right or not it’s not important, the drawing is out of my system and I do not want it back.
Do you use any special technique?
Please tell us about that . What is the importance of technique?
A very basic technique I draw with a fountain pen and then I color it, at first I was pretty lousy at it but as I kept on doing it I got better. A technique is important but the thoughts behind the drawings are more important.
Do you personally find the process of working within self-imposed constraints or rules helpful to your work?
Who are some of the other artists you take inspiration from?
Mostly from artist from other fields mostly music and authors, I tend not to seek inspiration from artist in my own field. I have found that I get inspired by music artist and how they manage to stand out from the crowd.
Do you have side projects you work on?
My whole career is a kind of side project , I spend far too much on my own stuff.
What factors should illustrators keep in mind when finding ways to improve their work?
It’s important not to listen to much to other artists, everyone has to find their own way, for me it was to draw as much as possible I was really lousy at the beginning but over time I have become tolerable.
I also find it’s important to take everything other artists say with a pinch of salt, every situation is unique.