Recent work and a few words about pricing and mentoring

Recent work and a few words about pricing and mentoring

It’s been way too long since my last update, but I have good reasons: I’ve had so much work the past 10 months!

During the Autumn 2018 I started work with a film project, and it is still not finished, although the ending is in sight now. I joined a team making five short films about medieval times in Finland, Ostrobothnia to be more precise. I’m illustrating the films, and as soon as they are out on the web, I’ll tell you more about them.

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Helena and the bear. From the first film in the series.

In January I joined an amazing company called MiTale, where I will be doing Narrative Design. We are continuing the work with a speech therapy application, that we started already in 2015. But we are also cooking up some other very exciting narrative games, playing around with mixed reality, and visual storytelling is our focus. I’ve found my creative home and my team, and finally I get to realize my dreams about working with visual storytelling and games.

Parts of our team took part in the Energy Hackathon in Turku last weekend, and we got an honorary mention, especially for the narrative design of our game concept and presentation! This felt very encouraging for the future.

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Taru, the main character in our game concept at Energy Hackathon 2019.

I am also particularly proud of being part of a book project: editing, illustrating and designing the book We see you. The book contains texts by thirty writers with different backgrounds and their experiences with being refugees, asylum seekers or being engaged with volunteering or human rights. The book was published in the end of March 2019, and the other two editors and I are now doing interviews and visits at events talking about the book. I hope the book will spread out and be read by many.

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Book cover, We see you, Schildts & Söderströms 2019.

For me personally it is very important that my work reflects my values, and currently human rights and the climate crisis are the two most important challenges we have. All of my work is connected in different ways to these two issues.

I am still welcoming new projects, and especially if you are interested in collaborating with MiTale. If you are interested in working with me as an illustrator, I am interested in hearing about your project. But since I have no acute need for more work at the moment I only take on very special projects, and they also need to be well financed.

I have also updated my pricing (and I still believe being open about it is the best way to go!): My hourly wage for illustration, graphic design, writing or consultations is 75 euro / hour (+ 24 % VAT).

When it comes to talks and workshops it is now possible to book me through Läscentrum/Lukukeskus (information in Swedish)!

However, if you are a young aspiring artist, feel free to contact me! I am open to mentoring, and love to help people out in this tough business… I try to answer all requests, and also if you are in Turku, a lunch meeting is a fun way to pick my brain 😉

And as always, if you want to contact me, send an email to jennykwiik@gmail.com

Have a great summer!

Illustrated history

Illustrated history

In April I finished one of the most extensive illustration jobs I’ve done so far, the book Piga, klockare, inhysing, lots, by the author Carina Wolff-Brandt (book in Swedish, published by Vingpennan). It finally arrived from the printers’ in the beginning of July and is now for sale!

The book is part historical fiction, part fact, about the life of people in the archipelago of Southern Finland during the years 1669-1809.

I begun work on the illustrations in August 2017, and by the end of April the amount of images landed at around 70. They are all graphite drawings, and then digitally assembled and colored. The original drawings are for sale, so if you happen to read the book and wonder about some of the drawings you can ask me about them by sending an e-mail (jennykwiik@gmail.com) or sending a DM on one of my social media accounts (Instagram @kiiwyn for example). Some of them are already sold, so act fast if you’re interested!

I feel very proud to have been part of the team making this book. The text is fantastic, a very engaging mix of fiction and fact, that paints a vivid image of the people of the archipelago. My task was to imagine places, people and object that are in some cases not pictured anywhere. For example a coast line in the 17th century will look very different. This was a very cool challenge, and I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to work with historical illustration. I really hope I will have the chance to do it again!

In the book there are also animals and plants, and this has also been a dream of mine, to have the chance to work with images of flora and fauna. A fantasy I have is to get the opportunity to illustrate a book on botany or similar.

The graphic design is also stunning! Made by Tuire Aho (Anno Design Oy).

Anyway. Cheers to our new book! I’ve received tons of wonderful feedback, and all I want is that as many people as possible see and read this beautiful book.

Those who do not move, do not notice their chains

Those who do not move, do not notice their chains

That is a quote by Rosa Luxemburg, and since I saw it last year I have been thinking it is very descriptive of my attitude towards life. I move on and I need to be free. I also keep creating new things.

It’s time for a blog update, enjoy because they don’t come very often, haha!

Last Spring I finished work on the Literature game I was working on with a writer and a programmer, and a larger team of experts and support organizations. The game itself will be launched next month, so I will write more about it later. I have been using this experience of co-creating a serious game for my Master’s thesis in Service Design, that I hope to complete this Autumn. The thesis writing got delayed because I simply had too much work and big changes in my personal life in the Spring to focus on it. But now it is moving onward.

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A visualization of the thesis process

I also have a new studio and work space from July onwards. It feels amazing to have a large room all to myself.. white walls to fill with ideas and works in progress. But the funny thing is that I currently mostly work digitally, so I still sit cooped up in one corner of the room with my laptop. I hope I can take time to paint more at some point and really use the space that I have now.

My current large project is illustrating a history book. So far the work and collaboration with the writer, AD and editor has been amazing and so much fun. But also hard work. The past week I have put in hours on creating an old 17th century map. It really brought out my perfectionist streak when it comes to visual design…

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Searching for the right style for the history book – some fictional parts of the text bring out nature and animals…

 

Meanwhile I am also doing the layout of another easy to read adaptation of the Moomin books, and drawing simple illustrations for a web based language learning material.

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I also really enjoy drawing in this simple and colorful style 🙂

And as always some exciting and very secret projects are bubbling under and moving along in their own pace in my mind and together with some awesome people (usually it’s writers). What I have noticed over the years is that what I really love about illustration is that it is collaborative. I get inspired by others, by meeting new people, and forming new work partnerships. They shape me and push me into new directions, and I hope they feel the same excitement I do when we work towards creating something new together.

So. Moving forward with renewed energy and passion for my work.

Concept Illustrations – My Little Light

Concept Illustrations – My Little Light

Last summer I worked on illustrations for one of my personal projects – an art game/visual novel-kind of thing. It has been on a break the whole of autumn, but I took some time now to finish up 10 of the images. The project is still very open and developing organically. I’m not sure what the end result is going to be, but I want the story to be a branching narrative, where the reader can choose between different paths. But I think I at least have the visual style ready. For now, the project will take a rest again, and I will see when I have more time to develop it further (since I have some very exciting other projects this Spring to focus on). The next task would be to finish the script completely. And I noticed that while making the illustrations, I felt a need to change the story too. So the two elements of text and visuals are going to develop together.

February update

Hi!

I’ve been a busy little bee, the last couple of months. Juggling a staggering amount of projects and searching for new ones at the same time, is time consuming and not very easy at all. But things are looking up, and the future looks bright!

On the studies side, I’ve completed 15 ETCS in Service Design courses last autumn, and now I’m in the middle of a course called Marketing Skills. I’m mostly focusing on developing my company brand in the course project. Very fun and interesting work! Later in the Spring I will attend a class on Future Research – and area that has interested me for a long time. I’ve started writing my Master’s thesis for my degree programme, and my working topic is “Drawing the Future of Illustration”. In the thesis I will focus on my own artist brand, where I want to develop it, and how I see the future of my business.

And then work work work…

My work illustrating an easy to read adaption of the prize winning fantasy novel Maresi by Maria Turtschaninoff has been very fun and challenging. I am also doing the graphic design, basically the whole visual layout of the book. I would say I am a bit over halfway done with it now, and the work is due to be finished for printing in June. It will be published by Lärum Förlag in August 2016.

The Speech Therapy Application demo that I’m doing script and graphics for, is soon finished – it is final crunch time at the moment. It will be showcased in the ICT-showroom in March. This work has been an absolute joy, especially the collaboration with the wonderful team! The app and game has raised a lot of interest, which is expected: the idea to make fun games for kids to play, while doing speech therapy is brilliant. There will also be development of technical innovations in the app. I’m very happy to be part of the project, and am hoping to be able to keep developing the app with our awesome team!

And Underworld Kitchen is also under active development again. I’m doing ten more characters, and once again I get to tinker with pixels, and I LOVE IT! I’ll also be doing some environment concepts for the game.

I’ve been teaching comic book drawing on Thursday evenings, and I’m really enjoying coming up with new exercises and experimenting on the students… I’ve been teaching academic subjects for many years, but now I really think I’ve found what I really should be doing when it comes to education. Teaching a more practical subject, like drawing and comics, is just so much fun! And I feel I can really develop as a leader, facilitator and interaction designer at the same time.

Exciting times. The light is returning in the North and life goes on.

Sanalanka – Speech Therapy Tool

As of October I’m doing story writing and graphics for an application project called Sanalanka (“Word Thread” in Finnish).

The goal is to create an interactive book for tablets. The app will have researched speech therapy methods baked into a fun and engaging story with minigames that develop childrens’ language and speech. It will first be made for Finnish speaking children aged 0-3 and 4-6 (two levels). There are four programmers, three speech therapists, three graphic artists involved, and the project is also a Turku University IT student project (Capstone). The prototype is due in March 2016, and the app will then be developed for the open market.

The game studio that will publish the app is called Red Nettle Studio, and I will also do other collaborations with them. Here you can read more about the app. And soon we will go public with our Facebook page. I’m very excited to be part of this project!

Fairy tale girls

Fairy tale girls

In my last blog post I said I have more good news. And I sure do!

I got a grant from The Finnish Association for Illustrators, that I’ve been a member of for eight years already. I haven’t applied for their working grants before, and in April I got the idea that my Goldilocks illustration could use some company. I already had a contact to a publisher who publishes easy to read books for all ages, and so I pitched them a story book with my illustrations. The fairy tales I’ve picked out will all have a girl protagonists. However, another author who knows more about easy to read texts will do the writing.

So in September and onwards I’ll be focusing on fairy tales! I’m so excited about this, it’s a dream come true. Ever since I was young I’ve adored classical fairy tale illustration, especially artists from the Nordic countries: John Bauer, Hans Arnold, Theodor Kittelsen, Rudolf Koivu, Kay Nielsen, Björn Landström and Tove Jansson of course. Now I will have a chance to make my own mark among these giants.

But the summer is all pixel art and games (I’ll update you on progress soon! Some awesome characters are forming as we speak). Goldilocks will have to wait a few months more…

Goldilocks is already available as a print: Check my Society6-shop!

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January: Storybook characters and Doctors

I’m still on maternity leave until the end of February, but I’ve done some projects during January.

First there’s Daleks for Doctors. The idea came from a facebook-group I’m in, Geek Women Workout. A member wanted a T-shirt with Daleks saying “Exercise! Exercise!”, so I decided I needed to make those tees happen. All profits will go to Doctors without borders, as the idea was not mine, and I’ve been waiting for the chance to do a charity project.

Here’s one of the prints:

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And the print is available in my Society6-shop! Chop chop and go shopping!

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Since I’m with a very mobile 8 month old baby right now I can’t do a lot of digital stuff at the computer, so I’ve done mostly graphite sketching while the baby is on the floor exploring. A series of storybook characters have emerged! Here’s Goldilocks:

Goldilocks, graphite pencil sketch (2014)

She, and Snow White, Cinderella, Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel will soon get the full on digital treatment. Stay tuned 🙂

Exhibition film

This is the film that was shown in the Turku Public library all of September 2014. It has texts in Swedish and Finnish, and no sound because of the environment it was shown in.

Digital Magi 2014 from Jenny Katarina Wiik on Vimeo.

I really enjoy making these simple iMovie-films. There will definitely be more of them coming, since presenting illustrations in this way gives me the opportunity to tell stories while showing the images.

Autumnal activities (portrait series and exhibition)

Time for an update! Besides being with the cutest baby ever, I’ve started editing my book manuscript and working on an art project when I have the time (which of course is almost never, but I can find a few minutes of time for art every now and then).

The new project is actually not that new, I’ve had it on my mind for a long time, but in the form of a diffuse inspired feeling. I’ve taken a lot of photos of my oldest daughter when she plays with clothes and scarves, and felt like painting or drawing her.

During summer I made this pencil drawing on paper:

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Then I got the idea to try acrylics (that I’m not so used to using, source of inspiration: Maija Hurme) and paint a year old Instagram photo that I’m especially fond of:

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And now I’m trying Kyle’s brushes (Happy HB) on Photoshop for a very fine pencil line:

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I’d also like to paint some very large scale acrylic paintings of these same poses, and really explore them. What feelings do the different techniques and sizes create? This is a playful project of exploration! We’ll see where it goes. I’m hoping to create a body of work around this theme that could be used for an exhibition.

And speaking of exhibitions: right now I have a ten minute film of my digital fantasy illustrations rolling in the public library. I’ll post the film here in October when the library exhibition is over! Here’s the flyer (in Swedish):

digitalmagireklam