The workspace in Annika's Paris apartment
... and she agreed. Annika is a Swedish artist living in Paris. Her first range of fabrics Accessory Dreams was released by Kokka late last year and as soon as I saw the fabric images I knew I had to stock Annika's fabrics. They have a whimsical quirkiness about them.
Bags made from Owl fabric
How did you start out in your artistic career? Were you always artistic and involved in art as a child?
Yes, I did draw a lot and it came very naturally. I got hugely inspired by comics, cartoons, fairy tales, clothes and beauty; I grew up on a farm in the Swedish countryside where talk about art was non-existing! Actually, that was good for me because it made me being eager to do this.
I studied at fine art schools for some years in my 20's and learnt about a lot of techniques in drawing, painting, print especially but I started to get hungry for getting published and I thought that illustration would be so fun to do and I worked really hard to get assignments in Stockholm and also in New York.
What inspires you in your work?My own imagination first of all I would say to 80%. The rest is clothes, very much my own ones actually and my background, travelling, flowers & nature.
What are your favourite mediums to work in?
Thin ink pens, and then I also really like goache which leaves a dry covered surface and one has to be fast as it dries so quickly. I also paint in oil. I really like to make sketches in lead, it looks so alive then like a drawing of a person or animal could jump out of the paper.
Is your fabric range for Kokka your first? If yes are you planning some more? (I hope so)
Yes it is my first and I would love to do more! I have so many ideas that I would like to realise. With Kokka, they printed the colors exactly how I wanted and the materials are so good quality. I love how they turned out!
Do you sew? And if yes what types of things do you like to make?
Actually, I have sewn a lot and I began making my own outfits as a teenager sitting up late nights creating some original pieces to say the least. I especially love hand-sewing fine detailed work nowadays. I plan to buy a sewing-machine soon because I hand-sewed pretty much everything else here in my home!
Some of Annka's painting - I love the platesWhat advice would you give to someone who wants to start a career in art and design?
To be passionate about what you do, work much, and for myself I strive to learn new things and use my imagination a lot. It is really important to have a strong portfolio.
Sometimes it is not easy and the job does not work out the way one wanted. It can be so hard to be creative just that deadline-day but amazing work can come out in the end from that dark moment.
The market goes up and down also, I had some extra jobs in my career like teaching, working as a waitress..
Of your own work what are you loving right now?
My own oil paintings on trays, and the Kokka fabrics of course. Lacoste L!ve has releasedscarves and t-shirts with a pattern I did are quite cute. I also really loved having my illustrations printed generously for a whole cosmetic line that I did for korean Etude House.
If you could meet another artist alive or dead who would you like to meet?
Oh wow.. right now I can think of the Swedish artist John Bauer would be interesting to talk to about his world of beautiful forests, trolls and other beings.
Thank you Annika. If you would like to see more of Annika's work she blogs at http://www.annikawester.blogspot.com/
Agent in Tokyo: contact Keiko Hidaka at CWC: www.cwctokyo.com