In the outskirts of Stockholm, a Swedish artist named Malin Rosenqvist weaves intricate tales through the medium of illustration. With a background in animation and a passion for storytelling, Malin's work reflects a deep connection to literature, culture and the power of visual narratives – oh, and there's a hefty amount of colour and texture involved, too.
Malin's journey began in Sweden, where she initially studied animation at the Royal College of Art Craft & Design before embarking on an MA in animation and illustration at HSLU in Luzern, Switzerland, in 2010. Since then, Malin has embraced the life of a freelance illustrator, crafting stories and imagery that captivate audiences worldwide. Inspiration for Malin is like an elusive muse that strikes at unexpected moments; it's a force that can be found in the serendipitous alignment of thoughts and ideas, whether it emerges during the quiet solitude of a walk or while immersed in the creative process.
Otherwise, the artist draws inspiration from a variety of cultural forms, including books and music. Books, particularly reading, hold a special place in Malin's heart. In a recent piece titled The Metamorphosis, Malin references her love of the printed form.
"At the moment, there's a really big discussion about a decline in literacy and reading skills among youths in Sweden," she says. "This got me thinking about my childhood and teenage years and what some of the factors led to impactful reading experiences. One of them was probably a really good reading list made every term by our English literature teacher. Those lists had a lot of books on them that really affected me in different ways."
As a result, the piece is inspired by Franz Kafka's iconic novel of the same name – and features a haunting transformation of the character Gregor Samsa, who turns into a giant insect. The illustration not only evokes the essence of the book's narrative but also the claustrophobic and surreal atmosphere of Kakfa's world.
Malin's creative process is meticulous and thoughtful, beginning with an array of pencil sketches on paper that serve as the foundation for a narrative yet to unfold. The final image is cleaned up on a light table and transferred onto heavyweight paper of 220g – using a 0.5 pilot g-tec pen, which lends a bold and distinctive quality to the artwork. "I plan the drawing so that I draw as many parts as possible separately," she says. "That way, I'm still flexible and can move things around after scanning and change the work with colour in the final illustration in Photoshop."
Next up, Malin plans to get her head down on many ongoing personal projects – like a picture book currently in the works. Additionally, the artist is eager to create more book covers for the publications that have left an indelible mark on her life.
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