Stina Persson is an illustrator based in Stockholm, Sweden.
She uses her portfolio with watercolour, cut paper, edgy, photo incorporated, acrylic and ink.
It’s no secret that I am a big fan of watercolour art. I discovered the art of Stina Persson, an illustrator from Sweden who works almost exclusively with watercolours. Her work is really inspiring and very refreshing in the digital design world we’re living in. So, I found an very interesting interview with Stina P., from bloggers.
Interview with Stina Persson
Stina’s work has appeared in many publications including Elle, Flaunt, Marie Claire and Travel & Leisure to name just a few. So here’s a sneak preview of what will be at the show if you’re lucky enough to be in New York this spring/summer and a bit of an insight into her creative process:These pieces are portraying a series of Sicilian women you created for the german magazine, Squint and inspired by the names of the Italian South. So what comes to mind when I think of Sicily is mafia and beauty. It seems to be represented so well with the colors, ornamentation and expressions you’ve used and I was wondering how you model your images. Is it from pictures you study, do you draw using models, or if you could explain your creative process?
– I have both travelled extensively and lived for several years in Italy. For some reason Sicily’s mix of beauty, saints and corruption triggers my imagination. Then a book of Italian names that a friend gave me when I was expecting my first child got that imagination going. Women wearing names like Immacolata, Crocefissa, Annunziata — all southern names, all sweet to the point of sickliness — simply needed to have their portraits painted. When starting on a piece I use picture reference to get structure and pose. But they take on a life of their own almost as soon as the ink touches the paper.
You use use mixed media with your work. If you could in a way take us through that. For instance, the type of paper and paints used in these latest pieces?
– I found a pad of glossy tissue paper the art store and added that to some of the pieces (I use ink for my drawings). I really liked the result and went back to the store to get some more. Of course I had found a pad that had been lying there since the 70s and neither they nor the manufacturer had more. So I had to rethink and really start being creative, I guess. In the end I used all kinds of paper, everything from golden foil to mexican “papel picado” to give these dark girls some color and to add another dimension. And yes, I used parchment cake rounds to create the Sicilian lace head pieces I adore! Creating these collages were almost a sculptural process and something I would like to bring into my commercial work. I’m not sure how much use I will get from the cake rounds though… Some of us, (well probably alot of us readers) look to your work for inspiration, and with that, where do you find yours?
– Thrift shops, flea markets, travels, foreign supermarkets, my children’s never ending imagination, color, fashion magazines, organic shapes and things found in nature, plastic kitchen utensils from the 60’s and 70’s, movies from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, Wong Kar-Wai’s movies, anything Hitchcock, Paul Rand, Reid Miles and his Blue Note covers, Enzo Sellerio (Sicilian photograper), old magazines, Swedish summers in the countryside, garage sales, Tove Jansson and Moomin, Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking, fashion photography by Steven Meisel, Ellen von Unwerth, Paolo Roversi to name a few, Japan, the Italian language, good food and red wine with my husband and friends while listening to Keren Ann, Jorge Ben, Feist and Nouvelle Vague.
Who are your favorite artists, designers?
– My illustrator friend’s Sara Singh, Tina Berning and Cecilia Carlstedt are a great inspirations. Maija Isola and her work for FInnish Marimekko. The early illustrations by Andy Warhol. My teacher Meri Bourgard is one of my favorite artists together with Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka, Alberto Giacometti, Rene Gruau and Jenny Seville. My friend Claudio Concato – a fashion consultant for many of the biggest Italian designers – has the best fashion eye I know. He puts together thrift store finds and makes the most amazing runway looks with what people thrown away.
I noticed on your site you have a “products” section “under construction”, will we be lucky enough to see something soon under that category? If so, what type of products will you be designing?
– I’d love to do all kinds of products though, like pillow cases, T’s, badges and prints. 24 hours a day just don’t seem to be enough, though, but as soon as I get more time…
What was the inspiration for this show?
– These images originates from a series of Sicilian women I did for the German magazine Squint’s Pure issue. The dramatic names of the Italian South–Immacolata, Annunziata, Crocefissa–inspired the portraits. I have spent quite a lot of time in Italy and for me, stories emerge from these names, making the portraits come alive.
How would you describe the way that your work is evolving?
– For this show I’m doing everything as originals. I always work mainly by hand, but usually I use the computer to assemble my images or finish them up. Doing without the computer was harder than I thought, but in the end it was more than worth it: a lot of inspiration that had laid dormant was brought back to life. Ideas keep coming.
It always stays with me, how you explained in your last interview that you don’t like to draw women smiling. Can you tell us about the women depicted in this show?
– I think a smile is such a animated facial expression and the loveliest there is. But depicting it is kind of like painting a sunset. It’s just not the same as the real thing. I think one can tell a lot more with the stare, without running the same risk of it feeling corny. Also working as a commercial artist, I’m told to do smiles and less sinister stares, so this is my chance to do things differently for once. And I do do smirks…
Does fashion play a role in the women that you created for this show?
– Fashion yes, clothes not so much. It’s all about color, proportion, attitude, style, composition, hairdos, make up, naked versus clothed, showing a little or showing it all. That, to me, is fashion.
Are you working on anything new?
– All the pieces for the show aren’t even finished yet! But yes, commercial work is piling up, so I will have to wake up to the real world very soon. But I’d like to continue to do more original work. Maybe something inspired by all the 50s and 60s movies I adore. With their divas and dresses and hats. Maybe even some smiles. Maybe….