How much time in advance do you know the names of the Nobel Laureates?
This is the most common question I receive but unfortunately I can’t tell you exactly how long time I get due to the secrecy from the Nobel Prize. But I am pretty fast when I paint and finalize a portrait in a few hours.
Why did you draw Nobel Laureates with just bold black lines? Plus, why do you use gold foil? I mean, why did you choose this style?
The graphical concept behind the portraits is to give the portraits the expression of breaking news - a strong and unique visual impression. 2017 the Nobel Prize went through a graphical makeover and it was decided that the main color for the announcements would be gold, preferably gold with texture not just a representational color. I was asked to adjust my blue and yellow paintings, which was the look 2014-2017, to the new golden look. I experimented a lot with different gold paint and fell for the gold foil, a super thin metal foil that you can put on the painting with a special glue. Together with black outlines, painted on a white background I think the portraits has a very strong and exclusive impact.
What year did you start to portrait the Laureates?
I was hired as the art director of Nobel Media and responsible for all visual content during the announcements 2012. This year I made my first quick portrait sketches with a black marker and the reason was that I couldn’t find photos of some of the Laureates to publish on Nobel Prize’s official digital platforms. Some of the sketches where picked up and used by big news media and 2014 I got the job to create a visual style for the official portraits. I came up with the idea of black outlines together with blue and yellow shadows and highlights.
Your paintings are there in the Nobel Media headquarter. Did any Laureate show their excitement or frustration about their portraits? Or anything in particular you remember when ‘confronting’ Laureates after drawing them?
Actually I have never received any feedback from the Laureates. I guess they are too busy the time after they have been awarded the Nobel Prize. • What do you work with when you are not drawing portraits of the Nobel Laureates? I work most of my time with my art in several projects. The rest of the time I create visual content for other clients than the Nobel Prize. For example I do some motion graphics design for the Swedish National Football Team.
What if you get a Nobel Prize? Would you draw your portrait yourself?
Well, I guess so. At least as long as I have the honor to paint the Laureates. The question would rather be in what category I would have any chance to achieve that success.
Any person you want to draw a portrait as a Nobel Laureate?
Yes I have some people that I would love to portrait as a Nobel Laureate but I can’t tell you that. If I did so, people would start to speculate if I have any inside information about upcoming candidates.
Would you like to add anything about yourself that people would love to know?
Well, I really like sports and practice football and kickboxing several days a week. I’m married and have three children, a 15 years old son, 12 years old daughter and a 8 years old daughter.