We have had a few words with the illustrator who worked on the Swedish-English album – Åsa Wikman
Åsa is a Swedish illustrator/designer who lives and works in London, UK. She is passionate about loose imperfect hand drawn illustrations, patterns and shapes and is crazy about character design. We asked Åsa to tell us a bit about her approach to this project and why she chose to turn all the characters into animals?
Åsa Wikman ©Åsa Wikman
-“I sat down and thought about how I could spice up songs like ‘Father Abraham‘ and ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’ and try to do something a little bit different as I really, really don’t like illustrations that only show the most obvious actions or objects from the text. I like illustrators who do more abstract, creative and loose work so I wondered how I could do the same and at the same time add my personality and style to the project. I quickly asked Kristin if she wouldn’t mind me giving it all a slightly quirky twist and turn all the characters into animals. She loved the idea and the word ‘quirky’ and said that I should go for it. I thought that I have never seen ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep” with a sheep rock band or a gorilla that is showing the moves in ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes‘ – that’s how I want to do it! The format of the book is fairly small so I thought that it would be best to keep it as simple as possible and work with vector illustrations instead of very detailed line drawings that might get lost in that scale, and that’s how it started, I hope that you will like it!”
If you’re happy and you know it by Åsa Wikman © Åsa Wikman
Have you got any favourite songs?
-” ‘If you’re happy and you know it’ is the song that I am the most happy with, I wish that there were more space so that I could make the dance floor bigger and add more animals to the party”.
-“I also really like ‘My hat it has three corners’ as I have been doodling and drawing this kind of crocodile for years and now I could finally give him a prime spot somewhere, “Baa Baa Black Sheep’ was the hardest I think and the gorilla illustration, he still looks quite mad, but I like him.”
Head, Shoulders, Knees and toes by Åsa Wikman © Åsa Wikman
Is there anything that you will take with you from this project?
-“This project has been great in so many ways. First of all I have to say because of Bilingual by Music and Kristin who has been such good company and such a great person to work with. We understood each other from the start and we both like simple Scandinavian design and the quirky touch that you get in a lot of Swedish children’s books. Since we are both Scandinavians we wanted to add that feeling somehow. From this project I learned that I actually like working with layout and text so it was nice to also be able to do so and to get everything how I want it”
What are you working on now?
-” At the moment I am working on a few upcoming shows in London and is looking for new fun projects to get involved with”
Thank you Åsa for this interview!
When Åsa isn’t drawing roller-skating crocodiles or tigers with braces she nurtures her coffee and food addiction and watches films. You can see more of Åsa’s work on her website http://cargocollective.com/asawikman
playing animal pattern by Åsa Wikman © Åsa Wikman