May has been a very busy month and I just couldn’t find the time to sit down and write even one blog post earlier… I’m absolutely not happy with this! When I started I had quite a lot of time on my hands but in the last couple of month courses, traveling and commission deadlines … Read more
It might look like I’ve been totally absent from prints and patterns for the last month, but as they say, less activity on the website doesn’t mean there is less creativity or work going on as a whole – on the contrary! – I’ve been busier than ever with so many projects I hardly had … Read more
KAFFE FASSETT To describe the influence of this man and the central place he holds in British textile and design history wouldn’t be possible in a single blog post as this one… It’s not an exaggeration to claim that he started a revolution in the world of handicraft as he challenged old traditions … Read more
One of the things I enjoy the most is to share my sources of inspiration with you! I’ve been featuring one favourite artist a month since I started this blog and I would love to continue doing so because I constantly fall in love with new ones! I just thought that I wanted to change the concept … Read more
As you might have noticed there has been a lot of activity going on here in January! Page by page we have redesigned the website to reflect the aesthetics and ideals that influenced Dot Oddity in 2016 and will be more pronounced in 2017. It has been an intense process and planning period, but somehow the new design grew organically as … Read more
Half way into the first month of the year already!!! Time is flying and I really have to get serious about my resolutions… Still, January is a month when I try not to stress too much and enjoy the extended New Year period, tuning in with my inner voice to get grounded and confident with … Read more
Here we are – at the threshold of a new year. I think everyone of us share both fears and expectations every time we write January 1st in our calendars. For the lucky ones of us hopefully more expectations than fears, but for a lot many less fortunate a new struggle to survive another year will … Read more
God Jul as we say in Swedish or Merry Christmas to all of you! I wish you a wonderful holiday with your dear ones and some extra moments for just enjoying the simple little things… In the end that’s all that counts.
Today is one of the most loved holidays of the year in Sweden – Saint Lucia! A huge tradition where young people dress in white and sing traditional songs (read more in this post, and get your hands on the recipe of traditional Lucia bread!). Most importantly, one person is chosen to take the … Read more
GUDRUN SJÖDÉN This post is a very special feature – you might say it’s about a contemporary, inspiring artist in the series “Beauty will save the world” AND a cover of a “Scandinavian Pattern Pioneer” in ONE (making up for the lost post of last month)! This artist and textile designer is an outstanding source … Read more
INGELA P ARRHENIUS The amazing artist of this month, is deeply connected with some of my favourites covered earlier on this blog, and I find it so cool to put her work forward as a brilliant example of the perfect, I mean PERFECT, blend of everything I love: 50’s design, retro style, children’s books, cute … Read more
This is a pattern loved by generations of Swedes since it was released by Rörstrand in the 50’s! I have so many memories seeing Mon Amie (My Friend) on countless tables of family and friends from my childhood until this day. It’s a reference for everything related to outstanding pattern design in Sweden and nobody … Read more
JON KLASSEN When I sat down to plan this month BSW portrait I was looking at my list of favourite illustrators, pattern designers and artists so far… and found… there is not a single guy represented! WHAT?! How could not even one male artist spontaneously pop up in my mind when listing my top … Read more
Finally we have to bid summer goodbye and welcome the fall! After one of the longest summer seasons in years it’s time to embrace the splendour of leaves on fire and glittering frost mornings. At last we can put the big pot on the stove and start making all those delicious pumpkin soups and ratatouilles! … Read more
Dot Oddity 1 year today! To be very precise, this is the day where Dot Oddity’s domain name was registered, one year ago. That was such a special day for me. I had been searching names for my dream project for about ten months (at least!), knowing that it had to be a special one to make the … Read more
Actually I did some previous versions back in April but now I picked it up again, trying to spice the colourway somewhat. We’re having fabulous summer temperatures in Berlin and I guess that those who are lucky to have a garden still can enjoy it to the fullest! I have some extraordinary parks close by … Read more
CORALIE BICKFORD-SMITH The other day, this gem landed in my mailbox! It’s just one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever seen since Tove Jansson’s “Who will comfort Toffle” from 1960. From the textile cover to the end paper, the design is thoughtful and well crafted – each spread a piece of gorgeousness revealed! … Read more
MELISSA CASTRILLÓN First Friday of the month and time for a new favourite artist in my series “Beauty will save the world”! Meet Melissa Castrillón! Encountering her work first time was a serious WOW! experience… I was completely speechless and amazed by the exquisite skills and the imagination of this artist! Melissa is living … Read more
Today I visited the Textile Art Berlin, an annual event where textile artists and suppliers exhibit together. Aside the beautiful art pieces created by a range of artists and designers there were also many opportunities to renew your stash of fabrics, laces, block prints, dyes, pencils etc for future extraordinary creations! It’s easy to fall … Read more
Do you know Swedish dumplings – Kroppkakor? This is a very traditional dish, mostly eaten in the south of Sweden, particularly in Öland, Gotland, Småland and Blekinge. It’s a potato-dumpling filled with onions and pork, served with butter, cream and lingonberry jam. Smitten with illustrated cookbooks, I just love drawing food, vegetables, fruits and anything … Read more
the idea of fame… The perception of what makes a person a “real” artist is connected with the myth of the “lonely genius”, which emerged when craftsmen first strove to become respected members of an elite. At the dawn of renaissance the concept of the individual began to emerge in Western Europe and replaced the importance of … Read more
Making animals for a client of ecological children’s wear! I can’t share everything yet but I hope I will soon… Have a nice day everyone!
CLARE CAULFIELD Could it have been this one… or one of Paris… or was it that one of a busy street corner in New York?… I don’t know which one first caught my eye from this fantastic artist, but since then I’m in love with everything Clare Caulfield does! It’s impossible to describe the moment … Read more
I’m working and watching these little guys buzzing around my flower pots in the balcony… It’s so nice to see them foraging from flower to flower. The sound is so relaxing… Enjoy you too, wherever you are, and try to discover the everyday miracles going on just in front of us! Happy Thursday!
Luckily, there are many strong role models for Swedish female designers and artists. Here are four women that completely changed the road map of Swedish textile design! I encountered their names early on in my art education as their influence on what we consider typically “Swedish” is groundbreaking. Back then, I didn’t really contemplate the … Read more
The weather this May has, to say the least, been very unpredictable… I’ve worn light summer dresses one day only to take a wintercoat the next! After freezing in the cold winds yesterday I could actually enjoy my flowers in the balcony today. I need to draw a LOT of flowers, I really didn’t draw much … Read more
LOTTA KÜHLHORN The artist Lotta Kühlhorn could almost be featured under next week’s subject, pattern pioneers, as well… Since her début in the ’80s, she has worked her consistent colourful retro style into the very hearts of the Swedish people and now holds the place as the Queen of graphic design and illustration. Few contemporary … Read more
This is the reason of late nights and grey hairs before I went to Stockholm! I put together a lookbook to show potential clients… There’s a first time for everything, right… I soon learned that you should not attempt doing your first ever mockups a few hours before you have to run to the … Read more
A miraculous May day in Stockholm! I strolled through the Old Town and by the water where already people are fishing! Ended the tour in Kungsträdgården where the cherry trees are in bloom! Happy Wednesday!
This is where I’ll be next week! I’m packing to go to Stockholm, my hometown! I could write so much about this city! I was born there and spent most of my life in this town. Not until I was abroad for longer times I realized how special this place is and how it has … Read more
Playing around in the toy box! Theme for a new pattern? Happy Wednesday!
happy sewing… I will admit one of my greatest defeats up to this day… I’m fairly stubborn when I set my mind on something but there is one area where I feel utterly hopeless. The other week I got a very nice message from another textile designer ending “…Happy sewing!”. I’ve always had a sweet spot for textiles and … Read more
This pattern idea comes from an old Swedish children’s song about a little guy who meets a bear one day when picking blueberries in the forest. He doesn’t understand enough to be frightened of the bear and the bear happily wants to share all the goodies in the basket! Here only the basket remains as … Read more
rebellious design for an equal world Talking about pattern pioneers this post just had to be written! I couldn’t possibly miss introducing one of the most iconic brands of the Swedish ’70s – MAH-JONG! I love to share this because Mah-jong is not well known abroad although it belongs to the classics of Swedish fashion and design history. The most interesting … Read more
Working on this pattern idea with bears – I’m illustrating all the different elements right now! This is partly from my main pattern and partly a blender print. Next step: to make a repeating tile and some adjustments to the colour palette… It’s always so thrilling to see how it will come together in the end! Happy Wednesday!
don’t let your ideas get confiscated One of the greatest obstacles when we want to create something is the transition from the idea we have in our mind into a visible and tangible object outside our head… Somewhere in between, most thoughts get caught in the customs asked if they have anything to declare before entering the … Read more
I had some fun with this one! Pattern design is like making art, jigsaw puzzles and sudoku simultaneously… Happy wednesday all!
HOLLY WARD BIMBA aka GOLLY BARD It’s time for another part in the series “Beauty will save the world” (read about this quote and the man behind it HERE). In these posts I want to share the artwork of some artists that have had a big influence on my desire to reconnect with the joy of painting and … Read more
A citizen from my upcoming textile collection Birdtown wants to say hello! Happy Wednesday!
Dot Oddity wishes a Happy Easter!
In 1933 the 48 year old architect and designer Josef Frank (1885-1967) fled to Stockholm from Vienna in the dawn of the growing National Socialism. He was of Jewish ancestry and as so many others feared to remain in his native country. Given his wife was born in Finland but raised in Stockholm, this was a logical choice. But … Read more
A favourite flower of mine – fireweed or Chamerion augustifolium.
Two things were rather obvious when I was a child – my passions for drawing and for writing. Looking back one could have thought that this kid would become an illustrator or a writer – in both cases you didn’t have to move too much (I was not the sporty type) and could stay indoors … Read more
MANON GAUTHIER Browsing children’s illustration online, I stumbled over the work of Manon Gauthier time and time again. She instantly caught my attention with her compelling and childlike collage style. Yet her subjects are anything but childlike. In her images she captures the important matters of childhood, addressing love, belonging, loneliness, loss, happiness, sadness… After viewing a string … Read more
Finally they’re here, peeping their little heads over the ground! Springtime is magic when all the new life that have been secretly prepared under the snow suddenly becomes visible. Even though it’s still gray and rainy those little flowers put a rainbow of colours and sunshine into my steps!
To create – a painting, a piece of music, a novel; to make art in short – is often more about overcoming obstacles than anything else. From the moment your idea is born you are the guardian sweeping the way for this idea to make its way into the world. The obstacles can be anything … Read more
When life gives you lemons, put them in your favourite bowl… Collage on my desk tonight!
There are few patterns in Scandinavian design history as iconic as the famous stem of green leaves by the Swedish designer Stig Lindberg (1916-1982). As one of the most influential post-war designers in Sweden he worked with ceramic, glass, tableware, textile prints and more during his long and successful career with Gustavsberg Porcelain Factory. Berså was produced … Read more
A Wednesday morning illustration… I seem to be obsessed with cups lately (well, when working in the pottery it was already my favourite item!). Recently got a fantastic box of water-resistant colour pencils, the PABLO from Caran d’Ache. They are truly a joy to work with! I also love drawing with the water-soluble SUPRACOLOR SOFT and … Read more
Finding the right road Only a few of us have the road mapped out from early years, and even if we have, not many stick to it through life. A lot of people put their dreams on a back burner for decades when life demands something different from them, before getting the chance to connect with their … Read more
On my desk lately you’ll find these little lovebirds… Valentine’s Day is coming up Sunday, so I had this idea of celebrating love in the springtime (or love at teatime!)… A Happy Valentine’s Tea for two! I reworked the drawing you might have seen earlier and I think I like this even better! Happy Wednesday!
LUCILE PRACHE Valentine’s Day is getting close so I thought this image would suit this Friday post! This illustrated recipe showed up by chance on a Google search when browsing pictures of delicious cakes a couple of years ago (I was translating food recipes for a food database at the time and needed to compare search terms). Something about the … Read more
Since I’ve started this blog and tried to be more present with my work in the online community, using social media and connecting with others, I’m kind of swept of my feet by all the gorgeousness I see every day, the beautiful things people post and share, the creativity that is brimming everywhere… And inspired like … Read more
Dot Oddity is trying to understand social media! You can now find Dot Oddity on Twitter! Come and say hello! I’d love to see what you are doing! If you are a Pinterest person, please follow on Pinterest! Happy Wednesday!
Finding your own style as an artist is as important as finding your voice being an author. Actually I don’t like the word “style”. Style describes the surface of things, unlike the “voice” that originate from within. You can’t have a deep, inner “style”… What you do want to find is your unique EXPRESSION. This is what we sometimes … Read more
Making pattern repeats in Photoshop somehow never felt easy… I’m far more comfortable in Illustrator. But from time to time I decide to give it a try… I can’t really decide on a name for this one. Anyway, I will definitely work to get more flow in Photoshop this year!
When our neighbours in Finland take pride in one of the most famous design houses of the world – Marimekko (previous post HERE) – we love our own take on this type of bold, colourful, graphic textile design in Sweden: 10-gruppen, known as Ten Swedish Designers abroad. They were founded in 1970 by ten young designers who wanted to … Read more
Over the past week I had tons of fun creating a little gift for you! Something I thought I needed as well… Something to help me remember giving myself quality time for things I enjoy, or little treats – like a book I’ve wanted for some time, that drawing pad, or just an inexpensive seasonal flower bouquet… … Read more
In high school I had an exceptional teacher in art class. She was an eccentric woman in her late middle age with her long hair tied in a bun and floating wide dresses, always black in my recollection. The odd thing is that I remember the name of my professors in maths and chemistry classes that … Read more
JESSICA SWIFT Some years ago I started dreaming of creating art and crafts again, but not the way I used to, which was mostly painting and pottery. No, I had discovered a new field – surface pattern design! Actually this was something I also did a lot as a potter, but now I really got obsessed about it, inspired … Read more
Dot Oddity wishes you a Happy and Creative New Year!
A walk in wintertime can be as fascinating as any summer stroll. In my corner of the world the plants are all covered with a thin crispy frost layer if not even a lot of snow. The wintergreens are celebrating a silent winter vigil and stoically stand tall in the cold. Take some time off from the Christmas … Read more
Many artists settle down in Berlin because life is quite affordable here compared to many other capitals of Europe. Leaving my full time work in Stockholm to pursue my dream of a creative life, where I could develop my ideas of design and illustration, I found myself in this amazing city with its incredible mixture of contemporary and … Read more
Different kinds of pickled herring, inlagd sill, are just mandatory on the table for Midsummer and Christmas in Sweden! We love all varieties of this spicy and sweet herring – with onions, mustard, garlic, dill, etc. There are hundreds of recipes, some very specific to each family. It’s not so complicated to prepare it yourself, but you can also visit the famous Swedish … Read more
Art? Craft? What’s the difference? My professor of design in art school used to say, somewhat jokingly, that a teapot is a craft object until you put a cork in the spout – then it suddenly becomes a piece of art… I always found that very interesting. There are so many hierarchies in the world … Read more
In medieval times when the Julian calendar was still used in Sweden and Finland, the night of the 13 December was the longest of the year, the winter solstice. This is when the pagan Scandinavian and Germanic peoples celebrated a midwinter holiday called Yule, which is the word we even now use in my part of the … Read more
LARISSA BERTONASCO A couple of years ago, I happened to see an illustrated cook book, on the shelf of a close friend in Berlin, that immediately blew my mind! I love cook books, that’s a fact. But this encounter gave me a whole new perspective on illustration and the fantastic opportunity the blending of text and mixed media could … Read more
A last pair of shoes… or maybe not. But these will wrap up the shoe project 2015. You can read about the project here. Now we’re entering the month of Christmas and I’m looking forward to make lots of seasonal drawings in the upcoming weeks and share a few Swedish traditions with you! Happy wednesday!
The path of the artist is always a path of uncertainty and doubt. It is never clearly visible in front of you, you always have to guess a little and trust that the next step will bring you closer to your goal. You can’t follow the footsteps of somebody else, because each and every journey is unique … Read more
Speaking of Nordic design traditions, here are four of my 50’s favourites from Sweden! Over the recent years the interest for vintage design, especially from the 40’s and the 50’s, has exploded in my little country! As a former potter I’m ridiculously smitten with kitchen ware, especially cups, and I cannot help being as nostalgic as everyone … Read more
I got a lovely little parcel on my birthday earlier this week. The dots is of course a MOST suitable pattern for the founder of this blog, but the flower also reveals a sweet spot of mine called – Marimekko. Marimekko is the synonym of nordic, contemporary design at its best. Founded by Armi Ratia and her … Read more
Is there a more fantastic source of inspiration than nature itself? I love photographing food and flowers and I often use my photos to find a colour palette for a certain pattern or project. I’m sure you know some blogs, like the gorgeous Design Seeds, where you can find amazing photos and colour extracts for … Read more
I thought I would share what a pattern might look like in the different stages from initial idea to a finished pattern repeat. Designing patterns is something I wanted to do for a very long time before I actually dived into it and took several courses learning the digital programs Illustrator and Photoshop. For me, loving to get … Read more
Beauty will save the world. Those are the words of Fyodor Dostoyevsky from one of my favourite novels of all times, “The Idiot” from 1869. The protagonist, Prince Myshkin, who makes this claim in the novel, is a portrait of a “completely beautiful human being” as the author himself wrote to a friend in a … Read more
This project started out as a part of revisiting my childhood. I started collecting pictures of things I remembered from my earliest years as well as pictures of the things I was dreaming of having as a little girl. I loved pretty dresses and shoes as much as I hated stockings and tights with uncomfortable … Read more
This will totally go against the ruling opinion, but something urges me to voice myself for those of us who do our most creative work in the pyjamas! And I mean literally in the pyjamas, or any other outfit you feel most comfy in, as opposed to dressing up to meet the challenges of the outside world… … Read more
I started to build my blog and portfolio about one month ago. So, as you can tell, I’m as much of a beginner as you can POSSIBLY be! Before I bought my domain name and signed up for a webhotel service I had spent at least a couple of months reading everything I could get … Read more
I love behind-the-scenes, be it the extraordinary writing habits of my favourite author, which brand of ink my favourite illustrator uses or, of course, the making-of my favourite movies. We are all fascinated by the process that leads up to the finished result. And why is that? I think there are a couple of reasons that makes … Read more
What do you love? What makes you want to play? Take a minute to think about that. Maybe ask yourself what makes you stop and watch something as for the very first time? When do you see the colours more vivid, notice the details crisper, and being more mindful about the presence? What are those simple things that make … Read more
There’s a famous traditional song that everyone learn already as a child in Sweden. The lyrics go like this: “Who can sail without the wind? Who can row without oars? Who can leave behind a friend, without just one tear to pour? I can sail without the wind, I can row without oars, but I … Read more
I am happy and thrilled beyond everything I expected to announce the opening of this website and to write this very first blogpost! You, yes, YOU! are an important part of this creative adventure, because as much as I do this due to my love for drawing, making patterns, photographing, handlettering and writing, I wouldn’t do this here, … Read more