Sunday, 27 November 2016

Interview with Ingela P Arrhenius

Art and design have always played a big part in Ingela P Arrhenius' life. Before her career as an illustrator took off, Ingela worked as an art director in Stockholm. She's since been commissioned for creating print patterns for fabrics, wallpaper, stationary as well as posters, product design, home accessories and toys. She's passionate about retro style, typography and colour. She lives in Stockholm with her husband and two boys.

BWB: You are renown for illustrating a huge number of different animals. Are there any you struggle to illustrate in your signature style?

IPA: Any animals? No. I love to draw them all. The only struggle is when new clients want me to draw animals and I don´t want them to clash with earlier work. Then it feels I have to re-invent myself over and over. 

BWB: Animals is your first animal alphabet book, is this something you've always wanted to get published?

IPA: I have, for some strange reason :) , never thought of that. Maybe because there are so many all ready. 

BWB: Do you have a favourite picture book?

IPA: My favourite picture books are old ones. I love the work of Hungarian Károly Reich, Swedish Olle Eksell, the American coupe Alice and Martin Provensen to mention some. When I was a child I loved the books by Richard Scarry, especially What Do People Do All Day. I could look in it for hours and if I see it today I remember all the feelings and thoughts I had back then.

BWB: What inspires your beautiful colour palettes?

IPA: Old children´s books, patterns, fabrics, etc. I can do hundreds of versions of colour combinations before I am done. I love it.

BWB: There are illustrators the world over that are inspired by your work. Who in the illustration/design world inspires you?

IPA: I would say the people I mentioned above. I like to get inspired by work from the past. And it has always been like that. When I look at my work from art school in the early 90´s it pretty much looks the same.

BWB: Your work can be found on anything from wooden toys to colourful plates. Which do you prefer designing for?

IPA: Everything! If I like the product and think my design would fit for it I get inspired and want to get started. Right now I get a lot of request and have to look close at the companies so I really like what they stand for. But wooden toys are something special :)

BWB: What picture books can we expect from you in the future?

IPA: More work for French Marcel & Joachim. Board books for Nosy Crow that I am working on right now. And books for the American market but they are the contract-stage so I can´t say anything yet.

BWB: Can we expect to see you in London/UK anytime soon for any exhibitions or publicising your work?

IPA: I hope so! But nothing planned right now.

Thanks to Ingela for taking the time to answer my questions. Check out more of Ingela's fab work on her website here. Animals is her latest book with Walker Books which is available to buy now!

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