XXY Illustrator Takeover: Krister Selin
XXY Illustrator Takeover: Krister Selin
Finnish Illustrator Krister Selin studied for his BA at Bournemouth University, gaining a first class degree when he graduated – and it’s not hard to see why! Krister uses both traditional draftsmanship and modern technology to create his beautiful hand drawn illustrations.
Krister’s work is regularly featured on Amelia’s Magazine, where his intricately rendered fashion imagery are usually the headline piece. His considered pen strokes and stunning use of colour give his work an edge that many illustrators aren’t able to achieve. In contrast to some more stylised work, Krister is a skilled portrait artist, and much of his work is figurative focused.
Social media and Photoshop are key tools in Krister’s trade, which he uses to great effect in both creating his gorgeous works and promoting them himself. His delicate portraiture and garment illustrations are a far cry from the cartoons he drew as a child, but it’s clear that Mr Selin is well on his way in his artistic career.
Tell me about your first memory of drawing:
Can’t really remember my first memory of drawing to the honest, I do recall that I was totally into drawing characters from He-Man, Moomins and Disney films when I was younger. I used to draw lots and lots on airplanes when we travelled abroad and it was just second nature to me.
What inspired you to become an illustrator? Who are your illustration Heroes?
I have always been interested in art and since the age of 13 I’ve always been to schools that specialize in art and design. I think the illustration spark hit sometimes during the 90’s when I discovered comics like X-men and G.I.Joe and wanted to draw characters from it and create my own comics.
I think my heroes would include Finnish artist Helene Schjerfbeck as well as more contemporary illustrators such as Richard Gray, Tara Dougans, Kustaa Saksi, Laura Laine and Kris Knight.
Do you have a favourite commission so far?
Every project and commission is great, I always look forward to developing my style further and approaching every project with fresh attitude and challenging myself.
What’s your ultimate career aspiration?
My ultimate career aspiration would be to do what I love. I never want to loose the sight of it. Illustration for me as a career is a journey and I feel grateful to do what I love as my job.
How do you think Instagram (and other social media) has affected your career and work itself? Is it a help or hindrance?
I think social media has been a great way for me to reach out and connect with other creatives and discover new work. Also it is amazing to actually meet the people you have been sharing ideas with after meeting them via social networking sites. It is even better to see in your calendar for the day that you will be having Face Time/Skype coffee with someone in New York or in Austria as an example.
Where and when are you most productive and creative?
I am most productive in my own studio in the evenings. The room has a magical feel to it when the sun is setting and it is much easier to concentrate for the work at hand. I love the fact I have my own designated space for my work, no TV’s or super comfy sofas to distract me.
What are your preferred mediums to work with?
I have always loved pencils and biro. I’m not either afraid to experiment with unconventional materials and always want my work to have a tactile feel to it. I feel it is very important to me these days because my work used to be more digital and I feel that I have gone back to my roots, enjoying traditional methods and drawing in general.
Do you have a routine process when you are producing work? Where do you start with a drawing?
I do lots of little thumbnail sketches to see the overall feel of the composition. Then those would be scanned to the computer and proportions tweaked. After that I would produce the original artwork by pencils and paints, scan it and enhance the colours and do some minor tweaks to the image.
I always tend to start with drawing the face and eyes, it always helps to maintain the overall feel for the image and set the mood for my drawing.