1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
My name is Tomas and I am an artist/ illustrator based in Stockholm, Sweden, where I live with my girlfriend and our daughter. Originally I’m from Avesta, which is a small town, more to the countryside. I work as an artist and illustrator, but also as a museum host at the modern museum of art here in Stockholm. I enjoy making art, by myself and together with others, for example I’m a member of Stuffed collective and Jorans Livs. I am a skateboarder and a cyclist. I like to walk around beautiful gardens with my family. I am more of a morning person, I like to drink a beer now and then. And I worry about the environment and that people buy so much stuff.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
I’m a really analog artist, I like woodcuts, the feeling of paper in my hand, a pair of scissors, glue. I want the feeling of creating something physically. At my studio, we are currently setting up a screen printing space and also a letterpress. We have a small wood workshop as well so it’s all good! In my work I try to find connections between shapes, colors and expressions. I think that the blank space between it all is very important. I like to think about the gaps as places in space that aren’t created with a meaning. So I like to give that to them. And also I like to work with coincidence. To find a piece of paper that is already cut out or something. I hope that the observer can feel the joy and inspiration that I feel when I make my work, when they look at it.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
That’s a tough one, I try not to have a favourite medium, I want to do collages, wooden reliefs, prints, sculpture, whatever that fits for my ideas.
But If I should chose something particular I would say vinyl stickers in monotonous colors. With this I work without glue since it’s already there. It gives me a more direct feeling to my work.
4. What is your artistic process like?
Usually I start with choosing color. Maybe two or three, i like to work with few colors in my work at the moment. If I do collages with paper I select the format, and look for a nice piece of paper to start with. I search for paper cut outs, or something that gives me an inspirational feeling. And then it begins. Sometimes I start the day with some quick studies in my sketchbook. It kind of depends on what i have in mind at the moment. Maybe I want to do a postcard collage, or begin a sculpture or something bigger. But yeah, that’s how I usually work.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
Well, I really get inspired by the DIY art scene, collective processes. I like to listen to artists when they talk about their work, to see other artists creative space, their studios, and also when artists show versatility in their work. Such as Ekta, a super good artist from Sweden, I like Hans Arp and his ideas about working together with other artists) and Sophie Taeuber, David Shrigley, Chris Johanson, Rosie Whylie, Frank Höhne, Jonathan Lasker, Soeren Behncke. I like outsider art, folk art, Philip Guston. I find inspiration by skateboarding and riding my bike around town. And also watching my daughter getting to know the world.
And talking to close friends.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
Huge role! Through my work as a museum host i’m always learning and discussing with people about art. For me almost everything I do is art, Skateboard, bicycling, work etc. but when I started skateboarding, I also started to see the world with different eyes, looking for spots to skate and such, and that way of seeing I also apply for my art, for the way I look at art, experience art. It constantly open my eyes, giving me new friends and connections.
7. Where did you study?
I took my bachelor at Konstfack, graphic design & illustration, but I’ve also studied different pre art schools and art history at the university.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years? Working in an agency?
No agency in the regular meaning, but I see myself working more with others, collaborating more on different projects. Maybe have more exhibitions abroad. And maybe teach in my field.
9. What about in ten?
Puh! Long way to get there, but same as above, and maybe living somewhere else in Sweden, having more commissioned work, doing more residences. I would really like to do more residences actually.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
First thing that comes to my mind is to gain new contacts with people around the world. To explore the world through my art and others. I do it to find balance within me. To feel joy!
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
Pancakes, fried herring with mashed potatoes, vegetarian sausage stroganoff with rice.
12. Favourite book?
Ouf hard one, but I’ve just ordered Soeren Behnckes book “sorry no image available” so that should be an instant favourite, I like swedish authors like Martin Luuk and Torgny Lindgren, but David Byrnes book, “bicycle diaries” is really great, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book “the thing around your neck”.
13. Favourite genre of music?
Indie pop/ rock. At the moment I’m really into Majical cloudz, I listen to the song manhattan by Cat Power every day and the song Birch tree by Foals.. And the swedish band Radio Dept is supergood. There is so much great music.
A dear friend of mine, Gudmundur, always gives me shivers with his take on music. Usually when I’m in my studio I play Mos def and talib kweli. Ok a few others: Archy Marshall, Kurt Vile, Animal collective, Frankie Cosmos. And of course Bob Hund. Bob Hund is the best out there!
14. What are your hobbies?
I like to ride my bicycle and my skateboard. Me and my family has an allotment where we grow vegetables, so I really like to work with that. See stuff grow, get dirty.
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
I see myself as a librarian or a teacher. Or a mailman maybe.