tirsdag 31. mai 2011

fredag 27. mai 2011


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(A rainy day doesn’t stop this houseboat owner from making a tropical haven filled with inflatable flamingoes.)

tirsdag 24. mai 2011




Yesterday we closed the sketches for 21 short stories for “The Book of Comfort”. What an intense way of working! First I got seven stories to read, then first round with deadline for sketching and storyboarding, and then a week later round 2 with final sketching. Then seven more with the same procedure with intense work for two new weeks, and then the last seven was finished yesterday. There are about 5 or 6 drawings for each story. Now all the sketches and layout for the book are done, time to start making the watercolor and ink originals. What a sense of accomplishment!


Silje Nes, the graphic designer for this book, laid out all the sketches with the stories along the way, so that me and the editor could see what needed to be changed. And also seeing the sketches with the text from the early beginning gave us lots of new ideas to work with.

(Silje is also a musician, so if you like “plinketiploink” like Mum, sigur Ros and other within that genre you might like her sound:)

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I’m going for a short vacation in the near future before starting the final watercolor and ink drawings, any tips on must-sees in Amsterdam? I have found a cafe called “Kitch” that needs visiting, and I have chased town where the best textile markets are. Now I’m looking for restaurants and shops that are themed or have some kind of special look, and other sights that might amuse us. Found a house that is only a meter wide as well:) 

Have a good afternoon:)

søndag 22. mai 2011



First sketch up for the “Ologningan”-creatures.



Last time I illustrated a text from Karl Seglem it contained lots of fantasy creatures that he had given made-up names and I was free to the design as I liked. This time around he has done the same, and it was so good to read his text, I knew almost immediately the visual style and feel of the story. The main charcters are a gnome and some kind of bird that radiates heat, and they live on top of a blue mountain. I want everything on the mountain to be blue, the plants, stones, ground, and small creatures, except from the radiating birds. I have tried to make them look like fireballs or at least very hot. I got the text this friday, so I haven’t had too much time sketching on it yet, the characters might still change significantly. 

I play Final Fantasy from time to time, my favourite being FFIX which I just bought for our PS3. I couldn’t use the the old disks from PS2 anymore, but they just re-released them digitally for PS3 and I was thrilled! When I played a bit in my first break today I realized I had drawn the flame-birds like the fire bomb-fiends from those games. Of course, I don’t know how inventive one can be when it comes to drawing round creatures with flames, but at least mine has a beak. And green legs.Smilefjes som blunker


I’m finishing up all the sketches for the 22 stories for “Trøysteboka” today, and starting the sketches for the cover, endpapers and other small design elements that we need for the book. So, break nr. 2 is over, back to work.Smilefjes

torsdag 19. mai 2011



Today I’m working on a story, more a poem really, by Atle Hansen. I fell completely in love with it when I read it. It’s about a girl who has her first crush, and writes the boy’s name on a secret note in a secret place. The poem describes her being filled with the whole notion of this secret, nobody knows, and most importantly, HE doesn’t know. I won’t reveal the ending completely, but it takes quite a surprising turn and doesn’t end up the Hollywood way. But she still comes out as a winner. Love itSmilefjes 

For the setting I’m using the authors description of red flower-dresses, and making that dictate the world around her. The flowerpattern go from the red dress into the air around her, and I’m using the flowers to reflect her changing moods.

I’m also making the illustrations for two worlds, the one she is in in all her blissfullness, and the one we see her in reality. A little bit like Calvin and Hobbes when the tiger looks different when Calvin sees it, than when his parents are around and it changes into a stuffed toy. The dress also changes style from a schoolgirl look to a romantic ballet dancer style and back again during the story.


Now back to work, I have this and four more stories to finish sketching before meeting my editor this evening.


PS. The graphic designer for the book suggested I listen to Bjork’s “It’s oh so quiet” while working with it, since I had already drawn the girl dancing through the story. Ha ha, of course! It' fits SO well with the tempo of the poem! As an old Bjork-fan I’m surprised I didn’t see it myself.Smilefjes (Betty Hutton’s version of the song here. She has such a cute voice.)

onsdag 18. mai 2011


….One day late. But yesterday I was far too into my drawings to remember that I took these pictures for the blog.

I’m sharing office with Katapult Media and yesterday’s lunchbreak I visited them on top of Mount Fløien with some soggy celebration food. It was our national day yesterday, and they were timelapsing the crowds in the city centre.


I don’t know many countries that have as insane and tacky celebration of their national day (except USA), and it suited me fine to spend some of it far far from the crowds. Don’t get me wrong, I like celebrations, insane and tacky, but this year I was not participating in the procession like I normally do, and if you don’t, you are stuck at some sidewalk and can’t really get anywhere in the city centre while the whole thing is going on.

This week’s monster is “The Lonley Drummer” that I believe sat outside my house for the last few weeks practicing his drumming for this national day. 

lonely drumer

tirsdag 17. mai 2011


orange01orange03  orange02 Tirsdag 17 mai rolf 06

I had to change the look of a whole family for “Trøysteboka”. I didn’t feel my “brightly coloured mushroom people” really fit the story I made them for, and the dad looked like he had a poo on his head that was supposed to be an acorn.

Now the family have a new look, I’m making them circus/harajuku style, with a little dash of my own craving for mixing patterns and colors that would render a stylist insane. (And make Elton John jealous). These are only the first sketches, I’m staying at my office for the rest of the evening drawing for the book:)

mandag 16. mai 2011


There’s an article about me and my agent here. (in Norwegian)


Aslak from VISP, me, and Rikke Helgesen.
Photo: Silje Stavrum Norevik/Byavisen

I have been thinking for quite a while about getting an agent or someone to help me with landing jobs and doing the administrative part, so that I can concentrate on giving my best effort in what I produce.

In Norway the whole agent buisness is generally looked upon as a bit fishy, and artists end up doing everything themselves and become burned out wrecks at the age of 35. I’m not going there. I love my job, and I see too many talented people within graphic design, music and film industry that work their asses of and get ME or fed up with the whole buisness. It’s sort of expected that to keep costs down we have to be everything from our own cleaning staff to accountant, agent and art director. We spend most of our time trying to balance the administrative and the creative, and when you are deeply concentrated about a certain project for a client there is no room for future planning.

I’m in that situation right now, I have several months intense work ahead of me for Skald Forlag, and it has been worrying me that I have no (paid) plans for what I’m going to work with after I finish in August, before the market season in October-Desember. I can’t rely only on my eplashops because in this period I don’t have time to make much drawings except for the bookprojects, I’ve said no to all other assignments, and the funding we got for the collaborative ipad-book will have to stretch from now until until August since I’m working on the two books simultaniously.

And the fact that if I want to land better paid long term projects, I have to do a little more that just stumble into it, as I have done so far.  I have been very lucky that assignments so far have come to me, but it’s almost always “Hello nice to meet you can you deliver this yesterday please?”. Which means I can never really plan anything because I don’t know if I have no assignments next month or if I’m completely overbooked.

So for my project “A4-life, I want afternoons off", I have now aquired an agent! This won’t mean that I’ll work less, but probably a lot more efficient knowing that another hard working person is helping me deal with the planning. Then I am a bit more relaxed and can concentrate on what I’m supposed to do.


søndag 15. mai 2011


This weekend we’ve been teaching the hopeful youth at the youth club “1880” in Bergen how to make jewellery and other fancy stuff in polymer clay. As an example I made a pair of hula-sunglasses. (That I later wore at our Eurovision-party Saturday.)

Making oranges and lime and cooling them down ready to be cut…


Making the pineapples…


…and later glueing the whole thing together and photographing them on top of my new pink ukulele that I got as a present at the party.


Now I just have to learn how to play itSmilefjes

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