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Part II. Mattias Adolfsson the Illustrative Storyteller
Like all good illustrators, Matias is a storyteller with paint and ink. The joy of working with folk like Mattias, Angel Dominguez, Bernhard Oberdieck, Nick Harris, Sarah Davis and others, is that they can load layers of meaning into a single picture adding dimension to the text. They are also able to add illustrative subplots of their own that augment the main plot and add visual interest. The other joy, and I speak here as a writer, is that their very doodlated sketches and ‘just for me/ for fun’ works speak, story positively oozing out the edges. I have episodes of total right brain escapism let loose with Mattias’ tantalising takes on everything and anything and more. Many of the Wacky Wordages on my blog or available for teachers and students and others via www.sharing-books.com, are the result of such episodes of creative indulgence.
and more characters…
Jennifer: The comic book element is present in many of your blog posts, you mentioned a course in comic writing/creation. What brought on that deviation? What are you ambitions in venturing into that genre?
I’m not a big comic reader (I used to be though) but I’d like to do some kind of comics/book soon. My priority has to be making a living though, so it’s hard finding time making something like books and comics on my own time without the monetary backing.
Jennifer: The sense of story in your works is strong. Do you have plans for your own children’s picturebook? What about a darkly humorous graphic novel? [You keep tantalizing us with hints of projects underway.]
Mattias: I have a problem with too many ideas at the moment, I need to focus on print and leaving the web perhaps, I spend far too much time doing internet things. Maybe a yearlong web sabbatical would do the trick.
Characters in current book project, “Improbable Adventures…” :
Jennifer: I find your work inspiring in a dangerously right brain way!
Do you find the drawings evolve themselves from the end of your pen and do their own thing or do you try to control them?
Mattias: I often say that the drawing kind of evolves rather than being planned, but when I look at the drawings I do, or rather, I can see certain themes, I guess that my right brain does know what it wants to draw…
Some of Mattias’ ‘right brain inspired’ series :
Jennifer: Do you get many approaches from the corporate world? I mean if I were Mojo, I’d want you to design my logo! What are some of the more oddball commissions you have had?
Which commissions do you enjoy the most?
Mattias: I get some approaches but not enough and far too few are oddball, I’d love to do textiles or pottery (not sure about the right name for this). The strangest was doing fashion Illustrations for an English magazine (I’m totally uninterested in fashion). The best commissions I’ve done are when I get a free hand (surprise)!
A variety of output….
Jennifer: There is a great ‘new’ interview with Mattias on Design Taxi for the curious. So, Mattias, having barraged you with questions, which one that you DESPERATLEY wanted me to ask, have I left out? Now is your turn!
Mattias: Do you sometimes fret over if you are too much of an illustrators’ Illustrator and may be not have a very commercial style? The thought has occurred to me lately. I’m trying to get commission work and maybe an art sales rep, but it’s hard and very time consuming.
Jennifer notes: The mechanics of earning a living with art and literature require, especially in in the early stages of ‘breaking in’, other work which seems constantly to threaten to rob that precious and closely guarded creative element, ‘time’, and yet the art/literature is the raison d’être and the other, the ‘intrusive’ work, merely essential if the writer/artist is to do something as mundane as eat.
More variations of Mattias’ output:
And, just to show Mattias does not just do humorous work, but very delicate and detailed pieces as well, I have included the flowers at the end of the interview.