9 Questions with Annika Holst, Graphic Designer and Illustrator

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For our “X Questions With” series, we’re speaking with talented individuals from around the world who have inspired us with their creativity and passion. If you have a story to tell or someone you’d like to see profiled, let us know in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter!

1) Please tell us a little about yourself.

Name: Annika Helene Holst
Age: 29
City/Town: Aarhus
Country: Denmark
Places Travelled & Lived: Besides Denmark, I have lived for two years in the Netherlands, and I have travelled most of Europe. But I still have to experience the rest of the world, which I look forward to!
Education: Bachelor degree in visual communication
Occupation: Graphic designer at a design agency
Creative Works:  You can visit my graphic portfolio at www.annikaholst.dk, and hopefully my website dedicated to illustration will be online soon at www.annikahelene.dk

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2) Your illustrations are often incredibly intricate – How did you develop this “curlicue” style?

My work of tangled lines, details and swirls is what my hand does when I let go and just draw. It is very meditative, and I fully relax when I have pen and paper in my hands.

At some point I decided to improve this technique, and practiced to make the line work more precise and interesting – and it is still a work in progress!

My motifs can be concrete or abstract – but always with curlicues, which have become a trademark in what I create.

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3) Outdoors-y themes, such as animals and trees, seem to be quite prevalent in your work. Are you drawn to this sort of subject matter for any particular reason?

I grew up in the countryside on a dairy farm in the north of Denmark, surrounded by wild nature, animals and my parents’ huge garden, which might have inspired many of my motifs from an early age.

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4) We love that you show the process and steps that go into your sketches, as well as the final results. How long, on average, would you say each piece takes you to complete?

It is easy to lose track of time when you do something that interests you, and I have never timed my creative process. Sometimes I start blank and see where it goes, sometimes I have an idea in my head or sometimes I sketch until I feel a connection to a motif that I want to work with. But, on average, I think idea development and sketching take an hour or two and the final drawing also takes a few hours depending on size, level of details and the number of breaks or interruptions. 🙂

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5) Has anyone, or anything, in particular inspired your creativity and artistic passion?

I can mention other artists I look up to and who inspire me: Christel Marott, Marco Mazzoni and Vincent van Gogh.

6) Do you have a particular style or medium you prefer to work with?

For a while now my favorite medium has been black ink fineliners, because it is possible to achieve a very high level of details and a precise result. Most of all, I have come to learn how important different kinds of paper are to getting the result you want. I prefer a smooth surface and a high density.

7) Other than drawing, what are your passions in art or life?

My other passion in life is music. I used to sing and play a lot, but nowadays I enjoy going to live concerts, and I am a volunteer at an indie music festival in Aarhus.

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8) We saw on Instagram that you recently got a Paperblanks® Grolier as a new art supply – have you filled it up yet?

My boyfriend gave me my Paperblanks® journal for Christmas, so it is very special to me, and still rather new, with many blank pages which I cannot wait to fill in with creatures and curlicues.

9) Any advice you would like to share with aspiring artists?

Learn to comprehend, interpret and understand your gut feeling – and stick to it – when it comes to drawing, and life. 🙂

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About Paperblanks®: At Paperblanks®, we believe that art should have a place in all aspects of life. That’s why we follow the artist’s way in everything we do – creating, crafting and releasing designs we believe have the power to touch people. For more about Paperblanks®, go to our website at paperblanks.com.

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