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, Instagram or Twitter!
Today, we’re chatting with Linda Tjagvad Kristiansen, a self-taught art journaller who has a passion for doodling and mixed media art. Keep up with Linda by following her on Instagram: @l.tjagvad.
1) Please tell us a little about yourself.
Name: Linda Tjagvad Kristiansen
City: Denmark, Thuroe, Fyn
Places Travelled: I haven’t travelled a lot. But doue to my hubby’s work as a navigator I have been with him on his ship and sailed to China, USA, Malaysia, Japan, my favorite place Singapore and other places, too.
Passions: I love to read, mostly fantasy I think, like Beautiful Creatures, House of Night and the Twilight series. I also knit a lot and work/play with fimo polymer clay. I love cooking and I have a passion for makeup. I have found that these are all ways to be creative and have fun, ways to express myself.
Occupation: I don’t work due to chronic pain, mostly in my back and lower back but also in several joints. This is why I took up drawing in a book, because it is easy to have in my lap, when sitting on my couch.
Favourite Quote: “Seize the day”
2) We saw on Instagram that you’re a pretty avid “doodler.” What inspired you to share your drawings on social media?
Actually, my hubby thought I should share my artwork with people other than just him. It goes without saying he’s my biggest fan. But I like this new kind of platform to share my work and get feedback.
3) Many of your doodles are quite intricate, like the adult colouring books that are so popular right now. Do you usually leave them in black and white or are you tempted to colour them in?
Yes, for many years I just left them blank, partly because they were not as good as I would like. Now my doodles have become closer to what I prefer. But sometimes I actually like to go back to a page I didn’t like and then color it. And often it comes alive and suddenly I am satisfied. So I quickly made a few pages for the purpose of playing with colors. That has been kinda fun.
4) How did you develop this style of drawing?
I don’t think I have really found my own real style yet. Not with doodling. I get inspired by a lot of YouTubers and pick elements and incorporate them in what I do. I love patterns and just let my hands flow on the paper. I started with zentangle patterns and mixed them up with doodling. And that makes me happy. It gives me a calm and satisfying feeling.
5) Do you have a type of marker or another drawing instrument you prefer to work with?
I have tried a lot and keep buying new pens. I prefer black ink pens and the paper in Paperblanks books takes most pens nicely. My favorite is the PITT artist pens with Indian ink from Faber-Castell. They never bleed through the paper and are really black and permanent. They’re also my fave because they have a whole line of tips from thin to very thick plus a range with brush pens and a lot of colors. I love to color with markers and Copics bleed through the paper, but not the PITT artist ones.
I usually draw with a fine tip and I often draw with three tips in hand which gives me the option of really small detail work.
Micron and Staedtler do really nice pens too and I often switch between them. The ink stays put and that’s a must for me when I move my hands quickly. I always gravitate towards the thinnest of tips to test a pen.
Recently I started coloring my pages with two types of color pencils: the Polychromos from Faber-Castell and the Inktense from Derwent. The Inktense “dry” works really well for me. They do have the option of adding water but I don’t do that with my Paperblanks books.
I usually draw with ink to challenge myself but sometimes I do use pencil first to make sure I can achieve what I’ve visualized.
6) Why did you choose Paperblanks for your art journal?
I was looking for books to draw in with good paper and I found Paperblanks. I like nice things so it gives me great satisfaction to sit with a beautiful soft book in my hands and create what I love. I found that I can’t just sit and not draw. I need to create and if I can’t do anything else I can usually draw. But of course on my good days where I have time and feel good I go to my craft room and paint and do something in my art journal (mixed media). And, no, here I don’t use any nice books.
For drawing I haven’t found anything that works as well as Paperblanks for my own purpose. I love the smooth paper and the watermarked paper. They’re also my daughter’s favorite.
7) Has anyone (or anything) in particular inspired your creativity and artistic passion?
I don’t really know if anything inspired me to start drawing. I have been creative since childhood, always drawing and painting.
But I did take up zentangling and doodling after watching some YouTube videos years ago just for fun and relaxation. Sometimes I recreate patterns I have seen and just see where my hand and mind take me. Love just to let my hand flow and do swirly lines and build up with patterns and small lines. But when I paint I just like to play with colors and don’t really pay attention to much else.
8) Is there a subject matter that you are particularly drawn to work with?
I would like to work more in my art journal (mixed media). It gives me so much pleasure to play with colors and fun little knickknacks or die cutouts. On canvas I have always used other items for fun and dimension. But now someone has given it a name and made a “thing” out of it.
Canvas takes up too much space so I really love doing mixed media art journals. I love that I can use ordinary acrylic paint and Neocolor II or distress inks and mix it all up. And if you don’t like it, it just gets a new coat of gesso to start all over. You can use all kinds of old scrap papers or little useless things you’ve collected or whatever you fancy. Make your own stencils, use stamps, fabrics, all sorts of things.
Another thing I might want to try is brush hand lettering. In my teens I did a lot of calligraphy and it’s not much different. And with the right program it can even be done on an iPad with a pen. It looks so amazing.
9) Do you have any advice for other journallers hoping to mix it up?
The only advice I have for others who want to do an art journal (mixed media) is to just do it. You don’t need any fancy things. Just an old book, some glue, papers, even newspaper or magazines you already have and some sort of color. And then just have fun. I would get some gesso though. It gives a really nice base to work on and some tooth to the paper. Then you can easily just use cheap acrylic paints and such on top. And if you need some inspiration look at YouTube, there are many easy and fun tutorials to get ideas from. Some even use household items only. You can always build up your stash a little at a time, just finding things around you, and save up for the quality items. Just remember to see things in a new perspective, such as most flat things can be used in an art journal in mixed media… it’s what it’s all about. Old buttons, pieces from a broken necklace or something like that, price tags from clothes, string, old lace and fabrics. Anything to build up texture and interest on the page.
And then I think it’s important to remember that practice does make perfect. I only post things on IG that I’m satisfied with. Not everything turns out how you would like. Most often it’s also the process that gives you the most pleasure. I get really calm and relaxed when I’m being creative.
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.