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The Amazing Maria Jenje Lundqvist!

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

We have been lucky enough to find out a little bit about Swedish illustrator Maria Jenje Lundqvist who has recently completed the designs for the ‘Tom Fraud Shot Me’ t-shirt. Maria originally studied fashion design in Sweden before pursuing her love for fashion illustration. Since her initial break within the industry Maria has been working with various niche magazines internationally based – creating what she does best!

Over here at F311, we love her edgy drawings full of character and style – and it was this that ultimately drew Tom Fraud to work with her! So making the most of her talents, Maria and our photographer Tom Fraud collaborated to create the not-so-ordinary ‘Tom Fraud Shot Me’ t-shirt design.

We decided to interview Maria to find out more about her work and how she has got where she is today!

What was your initial inspiration to start illustrating?
Being able to work with what I really love was a pretty big deal breaker for me! Illustrating stuff is the best way for me to express myself. It comes so naturally and is one of my big passions in like, so I guess that was my initial inspiration!

What was your thought process behind the Tom Fraud Shot Me illustration?
Basically, I wanted a clean, cool, also sexy cartoon kind of rough feel to it with a sense of humour and edge!

We would love to know a little bit about the artistic process you use to create your artworks…
I think a lot, I let my thoughts marinate for a little while and ‘BOOM’ somewhere in my head I get this vision of what I want to create. I step back again, start sketching and from that point I begin to create what will become the finished product. That’s how I do it.

We noticed that a lot of your sketches are focused around the face – what is it about the face that you enjoy sketching? Do you have a message behind your illustrations?
There’s just something about portraits and facial expressions that I really love and can’t get enough of. This combined with fashion at the moment just feels so right to illustrate. The only message I want to send out is beauty.  I want to create beautiful things.

Who else have you worked with in the past?
I’ve mostly worked with european fashion magazines and scandinavian designers/companies such as Glass magazine, Ligature magazine, S magazine, Danish designer Peter Jensen and Swedish fashion company Gina Tricot to name a few of them. I finished by B/A in fashion design in Stockholm, Sweden 2011 and since then I’ve been working as an assistant designer along side my illustration career.
…and what projects have you worked on that you feel have really challenged you as an illustrator?
Basically I think illustrating another person’s visions regarding design and shape is always a fun challenge!

What exciting projects are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I’m working on a t-shirt project for a shop in China and illustrating articles for different magazines – mostly English, American, Swedish fashion magazines. I also want to do an exhibition soon so it’s one of my future projects!

For any up and coming illustrators/designers out there, what advice could you give them to succeed in the industry?
NEVER EVER GIVE UP! Stay strong! Fight for what you love!

Is there a specific direction you are hoping to take your work in in the future, or are there any brands you would love to work with?
I really love the marriage between music and fashion, especially punk and grunge. I hope to keep on doing stuff that touches these landscapes like album covers, posters, t-shirt prints, magazines, fashion illustration etc. I love brands that work with these elements so clients like Vivienne Westwood, Heidi Slimane’s Saint Laurent, Gareth Pugh or Dries Van Noten would be really sweet!

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