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Asa Wikman - Drawing and Creating Little Paper Cities

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Asa Wikman is a Swedish illustrator & designer who grew up in the north of Sweden, is addicted to coffee and garden peas, is trying to learn Spanish and getting a purple belt in kickboxing. She has lived in London, UK, for the last 13 years where she works as an freelance illustrator but also a Senior In-house Designer for a commercial giftware company.

Asa

How did you get into illustration?

I liked drawing and creating little paper cities and characters ever since I was very young but my older sisters and my best friend was much more talented and could draw realistic running leopards while I was struggling to draw a simple nose so I never thought that it was something that I actually could do. I was very annoyed with my drawing once when my best friends mom told me that she loved my drawings and that every persons drawings were unique - that stuck and later when I studied animation and was a hopeless case in life drawing and animation and was going for a one to one with my tutors who had worked for big companies such as Disney and they told me that they really liked my unique drawing style and that I should never stop drawing cos I had something unique I was amazed and got such a boost in confidence, without those people giving me those comments and fed back I probably always would have been doodling and making prints at home and never even would have tried to make an career out of it, so thanks for that Rose-Marie and Mike! I think that a lot of people think that some are born creative - yes, some people maybe have more imagination and a bigger need to express themselves in different ways, but we are all artistic and creative, it's something you work on. Artists are like any sportsmen or craft men, we work hard, practice a lot, make mistakes, lay in bed and feel worthless and want to give up and then get up again, there's no creative fairy dust.

Asa

What inspires you?

I am very inspired by life in London. I love this city but it is expensive and hard to live here which makes you push yourself, you have to if you want to survive. And even though the city is changing more and more to a playground for the rich only there's still a great energy and buzz in this city that I haven't felt any where else. People are up for collaborations and making things happen here. I also get inspired by life itself, politics and weird ripped posters in the underground, street art etc. and I am crazy about children's books and collect them like little treasures, I really like the work of Oliver Jeffers & Beatrice Alemagna.

How has your work made a difference?

I am afraid I am not trying to change people's minds or to save the planet, I am basically making more products that we don't really need but what I like is that the last years there has been an increase in use of recycled materials, more environmentally friendly inks, FSC graded paper etc etc. It is a decade late but we are trying to be more responsible and not waste resources. My Tiger with Braces T and the man eating bear has a political message but I don't think most people get it. I am a big fan of nature and of animals and find it heartbreaking what we are doing to our oceans and to the amazing wild life that we have but I have to confess that with most of my work I am very selfish and just like to make wallpapers, t-shirts and prints that I myself want to wear and put on my walls and if other people like them to that makes me happy. I like to make people smile and laugh and when I do, that is my best reward.

Asa

What are you working on at the moment?

I am currently working on a new collection of wallpapers and murals and also planning some upcoming projects and exhibitions with my Bat Country Collective, it's very exciting!


For more info about Åsa and her work visit her blog and website: www.asawikman.com
Asa             

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