Hey there and a warm welcome to you!
It's close to the end of the month and today is actually the beginning of the month of Þorri, the coldest and most wintry month of the old Icelandic calendar. The Þorri is also the month we do the Þorrablót, which today centers around celebrating our old traditional foods (and alcohol) here in Iceland. The food is all very weird and a lot of it is very vile....and that's not my opinion only👀 But enough of the food talk, although I could monologue about food all day, in this first newsletter I'd like to tell you about what I actually do as an artist, on a day to day basis. The reason I want to talk about this is when I talk to people, face to face, about what I do it often is hard to explain, in short at least. Also people I know from before are often surprised that I no longer work as a police officer, but I last worked in the police over 7 years ago👮🏻♀️
First, a bit of an intro into. Last year was actually the 10th anniversary of my decision to quit my previous career, go back to school to study computer graphics and study to be a digital artist (more about the how's and why's later). Then, after graduating in 2015, I struggled with deciding between two possible directions I wanted to take. One direction was to continue to train in 3D art pipelines, as I had done at school and the other one was to go back to the basics and train to work in illustration and concept art, or 2D art. The main difference between these fields is that they require very different skill building paths, both very time consuming and specialized. At first I made the mistake a lot of people make in the beginning, just tried building my skill set in both of these fields. That of course failed and in early 2017 I finally decided on concept art and illustration. I loved working in 3D but drawing, painting and visual storytelling had always been my passion. YAY! Passion won the day!
Looking back now I do not regret taking this path and for the past 6 years or so I’ve been able to earn my livelihood as a concept artist and illustrator. I am very proud of that achievement!
So what is my work as an artist on a day to day basis? What do I do all day? During the past 6 years my day to day job has been in the amazing team at Parity Games, as a concept artist, illustrator, and sometimes game designer (hit the link to see what we are making there!). A typical day for me at Parity centers around developing and creating the look of the game we are making as well as monitoring and making sure we, as a team, stay true to our visual goals and needs. I design, draw and paint almost every day, creatures, characters, environments, storyboards, story moments and props. My job is also to find visual solutions to various problems such as how the visuals for effects, such as spells, have look and present themselves in the game and how game areas could be designed etc. I have enjoyed working in various fields before but this is the most fun work I've had, but also the most challenging.
Aside from my work at Parity Games I have also worked on various illustration commissions, my first one in 2015. I’ve gotten my feet wet in children’s and teen’s book illustration and I am extremely proud to see my artwork in books on the shelves of bookstores now, the latest one being the cover of Hrím, the young adult novel by Hildur Knútsdóttir! I’ve also worked on various smaller scale commissions, private and business.
Last and not least, I am always working on developing my own art! That is where my heart lies and what I (almost) always find motivation to do, even after a long day at work🤗
My biggest plan for my work as an artist this year, is to find ways to make my art available, in print and other ways. We'll see how that goes and more about that later.
To close this January post on a cold January a the beginning of Þorri, I want to share my newest completed illustration from 2024. I call it "The Undergrowth" and it is a tribute to mushrooms and all the shapes we can find out there in nature, all around us. You can also check it out on my social media.
I hope you have enjoyed getting to know me better as an every day artist and if so happens you have any question, don't hesitate to ask in comments or contact me 😃
That's it for now!
Until next time, be safe and carry on dreaming ❤