The series LOOK WHO MADE IT is designated to create a space where I introduce and interview creative minds that I admire. People that work in the creative field, as Makers and Doers.
This week I interviewed Maja Säfström, illustrator and creative mind behind Majasbok. She just recently made a book called “The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts” that is not only too cute but full of interesting facts. Besides that Maja does beautiful illustrated cards and posters that make you laugh. My favorite is this one.
Read the interview below on what drives her, how she got the idea for the book and what hardships she had to overcome to be where she is today. (And do follow her on Instagram! It’s worth it.)
1 | You just wrote the book „The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts„ what drove you to do so?
Oh actually, it was a happy Instagram coincidence ! I had posted a drawing on Instagram of an octopus with some facts about them, and a few days later an editor from Ten speed press (Random house) contacted me and asked me if I wanted to make a whole book with amazing animal facts!
2 | How are you working creatively? Tell me more about your working process.
I work mostly with a pen on a paper. Sometimes I have a clear idea of what I want to make and sometimes I try out ideas with a pencil. It is so much fun and once I have set the shape or the motive, and it is time to fill in the details, it brings me to a state that i would say is close to meditation!
3 | Where do you get inspiration for your illustrations?
I love to look at beautiful photos or other artists works. Instagram is such a great place for inspiration, and I love how my feed has been shaped by the accounts that i follow, it is such a sweet spot, full of friends!
4 | Who or what is your biggest influence?
I am not sure, it is different every day! Sometimes it could be a photograph of nature, another day it could be a beautiful plant, or a water color work by Carson Ellis, or a painting by Hilma av Klint. I am influenced and inspired by people who are dedicated, and who have worked really hard to develop a skill that they really master, and that they seem to love.
5 | What do you love the most about your creative business?
Oh, I love the way I have connected to people around the world with my illustrations. Every time someone writes “that drawing made my day” that comment makes my day!
6 | What were the first steps you took to be where you are today?
Drawing with my grandmother in her kitchen since I was so small I cant even remember!
7 | Could you give some practical tips to someone who’s just starting out or considering becoming an illustrator?
Find what you love, and just do it!
And don’t stop when you reach an obstacle, practice practice practice, in the end, when you see your development, it is so rewarding!
8 | Were there any hardships that you had to overcome? How did you manage to do so?
I can have a problem focusing sometimes, and doing things in the right order. I tend to start with the most fun task instead of the most important. I am constantly working on getting better at that!
9 | With what did (do) you struggle the most?
I used to be an architect and that was a struggle! I really didn’t like it at all. Now that I can work full time as an illustrator, I think nothing is a struggle compared to having a job that doesn’t match you!
10 | What’s next? Any plans on new projects?
2016 is so full of fun projects! The biggest one is actually a second book in this series about animals! I think it will be released next year!!!
Aren’t the illustration of Maja the cutest?! If you’re interested in the book “The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts”, you can preorder it online here.
Now I want to get pen and paper out and see where that leads me – probably to a bin. But hey, practice makes perfect, Maja said.
Now. Carry on!