Niklas Lundberg is a very young and inspirational designer from Sweden. Kingtutz Photoshop caught up with him and we asked a few questions about his life as a designer. He has some amazing designs and we just had to know the man behind the madness! Check it out
1. Welcome to KingTutz, please introduce yourself. Could you tell us where you’re from and how you got started in the field?
I’m a 22-year old freelance graphic designer & illustrator currently living and working in my hometown Umeå, Sweden. I recently took the plunge for a shared office space, I’m renting from a communication agency down town called “Racer”. I do all my work from here and I love it, beats working from home not to mention all the good people that work here. I got into this by excitement and the curiosity to solve problems with a aesthetic appeal to the outcome. I know this is what I’m suppose to do. I formed Diftype in 2006 mainly to showcase all my personal work but over time it developed into a business and a brand, somewhat synonym with my name. My alter-ego
2. There are so many different elements that you incorporate in your art, from hand drawn sketches to photo manipulation. How do you blend all these styles in a harmonious way?
I love to incorporate different elements and experiment with new techniques, I often try to bring in hand made elements in the mix with stocks or own drawings, whatever is needed to execute my ideas. My main focus is the composition and color palette to make it as interesting and appealing as possible. It feels natural to just place elements here and there and I think that’s what builds one’s style, sometimes I can’t really explain why it just feels right.
3. You help run the amazing ad agency of Ars Thanea. Please tell us a little more about the company, how you ended up there, and your involvement.
You have to reach out. Communities are good for these sort of things, I’m a part of a collective called Depthcore which consists of top artists around the world producing extraordinary visuals. This place is somewhat like a family and you get to know people that I would never have gotten to know otherwise, it can also be people who eventually start a studio of their own. So the main key is connections.
So far all my work have gone through the inbox of my mail and I think they went directly through my site. There is so many ways you can go though, for me the portfolio have always been the main focus and it worked out very well so far.
4. “Filling the Void” is one of your newer designs, it has some amazing imagery so can you please walk us through how you created it and what is the meaning behind the design.
It was created for Desktopography which is basically nature themed desktop images, I wanted to make something industrialized and and nature-catastrophic that looks neat on your desktop. When I made the piece I was thinking “how can I incorporate my style to fit this subject?” since I usually work more flat collage style but It worked out fine and set some new standards for myself. I want to give some credit to the original photographer who is a friend of mine, without his photo it would have been hard to get this done. I’ll share some links below.
5. Are you a self-taught designer? What are the pros and cons to formal graphic education and learning on your own?
I am completely self-taught and proud to be. Sure sometimes it would be easy to have a nice degree in your backpack to show around, but the work is far more important, I focused on that instead and learnt the hard way. There is plenty of good design books to help you out as well. I think whatever works best for you, I’m not gonna say that school sucks it just wasn’t for me. To be self-taught also shows dedication and passion, in my experience it often results in better work. The main thing I missed out on by not getting a formal education is the connections that you make, but if you are dedicated and passionated about your work good things will come to you I am sure.
Hence my brand and alter-ego “Diftype” I strive for a different approach. So I think the most important thing is that you do YOUR own thing.
6. A lot the art in your portfolio like “Losing is a Good Thing” and “Rewind is Death” have a very hand drawn/collage effect to them. What inspired those two pieces and the rest of your hand drawn illustrations?
I like to implement and experiment with different styles and how they can integrate to form something interesting together. Losing is a Good Thing is probably one of those pieces I will only experience once, it came to me so quickly and the whole piece went so smoothly to create. The piece itself was a poster for an art competition held here in my hometown, where young people can create art in any medium they want fitting the theme of the years exhibition. I was also a part of the jury and will be this year as well, so stay tuned for a new upcoming poster.
7. If you could go back in time and tell your old self one bit of advice concerning design what would you say and why?
That is a hard nut to crack, would I want to say anything? If I did would I be writing this interview? I think it’s best not to look back, even if one made bad choices time goes one, in order to succeed you need to focus on the future not the present.
8. Thanks again for providing KingTutz with this opportunity to interview you. Any final thoughts for our readers?
Thanks for having me and be sure to keep an eye out for new work at my site, got lots of interesting things planned for 2010 including a complete make over and lots of new experiments with different styles and techniques including a webshop.
My portfolio www.diftype.com
David Lundmark “Photographer” www.lundmarkdavid.com
Depthcore Collective www.depthcore.com