Having globe trotted for the sake of her art from Brazil to England to Chicago (among other locales), Linn Olofsdotter has found home in Portland, OR. Contrary to the old saying, location isnâ€™t a big factor for Linn and her creations. She recently took time off for the holidays and has halted all projects for a relaxing artistic recuperation before the New Year. She did take pause and make an exception from her vacation, however, to speak with Format Magazine about her eclectic travels and future creative endeavors.
â€œI never liked pink when I was younger. I think Iâ€™m making up for it now.â€
Format: Your pieces are lovely; pink seems to be a dominant color, such as in Violet Garden. Theyâ€™re mainly feminine pieces, how would you articulate this theme?
LO: I think the points of those pieces are to be more feminine. That piece was made while at Modernista! for a t-shirt and Violet Magazine is supposed to be kind of an edgier magazine for mothers and parents. I definitely think theyâ€™re more feminine. I tend to use [pink], I donâ€™t know why, but pink is something – I love pink, Iâ€™m drawn to it. When I get a chance to use it I do. I think itâ€™s because I never liked pink when I was younger. I think Iâ€™m making up for it now.
Format: A lot of artists seem to gravitate to Brazil, why choose Brazil to start your motion graphics studio?
LO: My husband is Brazilian. [It was] more a matter of where we were going to relocate because I was right out of school, out of university, and we needed to decide where to move to, and it would have been hard to live in America due to visa. We were in Rio de Janeiro. Itâ€™s a very intense city, it was hard because we moved there with nothing really and moved in with his mom. [We] worked so hard seven days a week straight, didnâ€™t really do anything else but work. We eventually got a place by the beach.
I can really work from anywhere, and I think thatâ€™s why we moved to Portland. I donâ€™t really get any work from Portland at all, we just heard it was a wonderful city and we went out here to visit a couple of days, and thought, â€œyep this looks good.â€ Reminds me a lot of Sweden and [is] a lot more relaxed. I think itâ€™s much much better living than anywhere else. [Most of my work comes from] Europe I would say, I have an agent in Amsterdam and one in Stockholm, they bring me the majority of my work.
Format: Who have your biggest influences been, or is your talent more â€œhome-grownâ€ due to how you fell into your profession?
LO: I donâ€™t know if itâ€™s been so much of an influence, I try not to look at other artists; it stresses me out more than influences me because there are so many amazing artists. I donâ€™t really draw well, I just have a certain style. I guess it was seeing more illustration out there and that it doesnâ€™t have to be a picture perfect image. Thatâ€™s when I realized thatâ€™s what I want to be doing.
Format: You have an amazing portfolio, having worked with Absolut, MTV, etc. Do you primarily work with companies or customers with private collections?
LO: Definitely companies, my work is very commercial. I do get requests from private people, but I donâ€™t have time. I would love to do that. The last year or two Iâ€™ve just had so much work so I really havenâ€™t had time to do that. I do have limited editions of prints that I sell, but I havenâ€™t done any commission work for a private person.
Format: Where did you go to school for advertising?
LO: I began in Stockholm, thereâ€™s an ad school. I just took a foundation course in graphic design; thatâ€™s what made me interested in graphic design. I went to England and took a one-year course there and enrolled in a bachelorâ€™s course in Nottingham and they had a really good exchange program through Chicago.
Format: Dark Seductive Fruits is beautiful; it affects stained glass. How did you come to create it? Predator, your self-portrait, seems to have bird and reptile influences. Thoughts behind that?
LO: [I] just used really strong contrasting colors and itâ€™s really about the shading within [Dark Seductive Fruits]. Just the way I had it shaded kind of harshly around the colors, and then to have super bright colors on the inside which makes them pop so much more. They really wanted something dark and musty and still really bright. Predator is supposed to be an owl. I wanted to be an observer.
Format: How much would you say your husband influences your work?
LO: He has had a lot of influence. Not style-wise, but just encouragement. If it wasnâ€™t for him I probably wouldnâ€™t be an illustrator. I thought Iâ€™d do art direction, but he saw my doodles.
Format: As an artist which direction would you like to head?
LO: More work! Iâ€™m currently on holiday so I said no to all work over the holidays. I just really needed a break, Iâ€™m just planning to continue but would like to start painting in oil as a side project, of course, and then just continue. I just hope it continues to go well and I continue getting jobs. [The business] can go very much up and down, Iâ€™ve been very lucky to have so many fun projects last year and I hope it continues this year.
More Info: http://www.olofsdotter.com/