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 toys and brilliant graphical aesthetics! Let me introduce the Swedish illustrator/designer Ingela P Arrhenius!
Not that she would need an introduction – if you have children or live anywhere near one, you probably already encountered Ingela’s illustrations on countless items from tableware, wallpaper, bedding, books, suitcases, cutlery, dolls, cushions, fabrics, baby clothes, the list could go on and on… So could the list of her clients – just visit her blog to see what I’m talking about…
Ingela was born in Holland but grew up in Stockholm where she still lives today with her husband and two sons. Graduating from Berghs School of Communication she started out as a graphic designer and later art director. But in the early 90’s she made a leap into freelancing and have never regretted a single working day since. And she surely doesn’t have to, being one of the most successful illustrators in Sweden right now. Like the graphic designer Lotta Kühlhorn (see this post) she has managed to build a strong brand that is known far beyond the little country of Sweden! She is also rooted in the design tradition of the 50’s, working with elements that immediately sparkle happy memories or nostalgia, even if you’re not a Swede. This is one of the reasons why her popularity is huge and her name is wellknown to a bigger audience outside the design circles.
As sources of inspiration she somewhere mentioned Stig Lindberg (totally understand this!) and Olle Eksell (I definitely will make a post on him!). But I also find her illustrations related to the old Soviet animation style of the 60 and 70’s (some of us remember those incredible animated series for children frequently shown in Swedish television at the time) as well as the American illustrator Richard Scarry. Now, as with all art, we find influences from the context around us and I think Ingela P Arrhenius has transformed this into a genuine signature style that is recognizable anywhere!
Ingela also makes children’s books, the illustrations having the same graphical clarity as her design. Her début was released in 1994, the first in a string of many, many picture book titles (we don’t count them!) published both in Sweden and abroad. One of her latest collaborations I find particularly interesting, and this is her work for the French publishing house Marcel & Joachim. Her first book with them, “Designimaux”, came in 2014 and was a brilliant way to integrate design classics of furniture into a story for the youngest age 3-6. Her newly released one is called “La Ville” and is also a picture book for smaller children but in a huge format following the bestselling “Animaux” from 2015!
Ingela is often commissioned by big clients not related to the children’s market as well, like Biotherm (for a special package design edition), the Swedish Postal Service (for new Swedish stamps – fifth time!) or Acne (a campaign of the Airport buses).
All copyrights of the pictures belong to the artist Ingela P Arrhenius http://www.ingelaparrhenius.com/