If you though I was the only illustrator making miscellaneous things out of matchboxes,
think again. I discovered Malin Koort's matchbox olympics and was mesmerized by her
tiny detailed craftsmanship (and photography skills)! She also makes other wonderful
illustrations which all together makes her this months 5-questions-interview chosen
- Can you tell a little bit about who you are and what you do? My name is Malin and I recently graduated from Konstfack (University College of Arts, Crafts and Design) in Stockholm where I’ve been studying graphic design & illustration the last three years. Now I’m working as an illustrator and artist here in Stockholm. I’ve been doing different kinds of work, book covers, editorial illustration, furniture patterns, stamps, posters and a lot of personal projects. When I’m not in a drawing-mood I build characters out of paper. I’ve just started a project building olympic games and stadiums in matchboxes and photographing them with a macro lens. I think of it as a new way of drawing for me. I usually listen to music all day long, drink a lot of coffee and surround myself with ideas on post-it’s and all kinds of material. I collect miniatures and plants.
- What or who inspires you? I’m very inspired by things and situations that are happy and sad at the same time (like.. graduations, or someones trip of a lifetime, child-stars, sundays, aging, nostalgia..) odd characters, people eating out alone, food, cookies, music and movies. I get a lot of inspiration from my childhood and the books I read as a kid (both story-books and picture-books). A couple of authors that have been especially important to me are Astrid Lindgen, Eva Bexell, Barbro Lindgren, Roald Dahl, Åke Holmberg and Lennart Hellsing. When I first went to art school and really started drawing I was living with my friend Pone who is a huge fan of Botero. For a long time I was very inspired by the posters in her room and I think it still shows a bit in some of my characters.
- What does your work proces look like, any specific techniques or combinations of techniques you prefer? Right now I’m very in to building with paper, but I’ve had a couple of favorite techniques, first mostly ink-pen, then for a couple of years I only did pencil-drawings, after that I was kind of tired of drawing with a pen and I started doing digital collages, scanning color dabs and cutting out shapes with the mouse using the pointy lasso in photoshop. Regardless of the technique I love doing a lot of detail, like making patterns on clothes or drawing leaves and grass. I think the most exiting time is when you're just starting out with a technique because you’re constantly surprising yourself. I don’t sketch (for me that would be kind of like reading the last page of the book), I usually start by writing a lot, making mind-maps and writing down any idea that comes in to my head, then I go and buy some new material, even if I already have what I need, but just to get that “fresh”-feeling. Then I’ll just start and when I get stuck I go on walks, watch 80’s movies, water my plants and talk on the phone with my sister.
- How do you promote your work and do you have a 'best tip'? Actually I’m trying to get better at this myself. I guess my best tip is to start blogging, it’s a great way to spread your work and connect with other artists. It’s also like keeping a diary of your work and the blogging in itself can inspire new projects. Otherwise I think the best thing to do is just to work hard and be personal in your work, and not worry to much about being trendy or about what others will think of it (even though it is hard sometimes).
- What would be your dream assignment? Ever since I was little I’ve dreamt of doing the illustration on the back of the milk-carton (the swedish milk-cartons always have an illustration on the backside illustrating a recipe or a story). Another dream assignment is to illustrate a childerns book. Also I would love to get to work with ceramics. But really I’m still very happy to get every assignment that comes my way and to solve very different and new problems each time!
Thanks so much Malin, for your time!