In the spirit of giving back, and our desire to support local businesses and artists, we are doing an artist spotlight series. We will be showcasing a new artist each day for the next 31 days. Today’s artist is Jonas Heen Haeg, a hobby artist from Norway.
Jonas Heen Haeg is a son of an artist and an interior architect and has now moved to London to attend King’s College London as a three-year Philosophy student.
Question: How did you get into design?
Jonas’s Answer: Well, since my parents are both involved in the artistic community (as designers and artists) they have influenced me a lot, and probably forced some artsy blood into my veins (which I do not regret, by the way). They dragged me to endless galleries and exhibitions – my mother mostly took me to funky, modern design exhibitions, while my father introduced me to some more controversial, rough art (for example, I remember a very erotic exhibitions he dragged me to somewhere in Berlin when I was about 11).
And of course I used to paint and draw as a child.
But what really made me continue and publish some of my work was constantly being jealous of other artists who both posted online and in magazines and galleries. I also dreamed of being able to do such, but thought it was out of reach for a young school boy from Norway with little means – in terms of material and contacts (which might sound strange considering my parents, but it is not, because I would never dare ask them for something like that, and for years I also viewed my own art as mediocre or less). And then I started drawing, drawing and drawing, and scanning my drawings onto my computer where I colored them in and then could easily publish and post my work. What kept me going was the feedback and number of views, and – of course – the occasional sales.
Question: Where are you from, where did you go to school?
Jonas’s Answer: I am from Skøyen, Oslo, Norway. I went to Marienlyst school for one year, then transferred to Skøyen school, where I stayed until Year 8 when I went to Majorstuen school, and finally I did my three last years at Oslo By Steinerskole (a waldorf school, which of course has a lot of art – calligraphy, painting, drawing, sloyd, etc. etc.). And now I have just enrolled into King’s College London.
Question: What are your tools of the trade?
Jonas’s Answer: I am quite boring, really. My tools are the most simplistic. It is pens, paper, a scanner and a computer (especially Photoshop), and that’s it …! I wish I was more exciting on this point, but I’m really not. That being said, I would love to start using some paint also, but that will have to wait until I move back to Norway (in three years if I can stand the culture shock), because then I’ll hopefully have more money and a bigger space.
Question: What websites do you go to for design inspiration?
Jonas’s Answer: Mostly Redbubble where I also post. But I also pick up inspiration where ever I ago – whether it is Facebook, Wikipedia or bbc.co.uk – the whole world is full of inspiration. I also enjoy something called the real life – you might have heard of it, its quite famous and exciting.
Question: What is your favorite movie, band, and artist?
Jonas’s Answer: My favorite band is a small duo from the states called Ween, which unfortunately split up earlier this year. But they have both done some work individually or in other groups – but still, nothing is like Ween. Speaking of movies, I would have to say In Bruges, mainly because of the beautiful buildings and music in it.
Question: If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
Jonas’s Answer: New York! I mean, its the capital of the world, isn’t it? I have also never seen any skyscrapers and would love to have a look at some of them – and hopefully travel to the top of one or two, just to feel like I own the god damn world!
Question: When you’re not designing, what do you like to do?
Jonas’s Answer: Well, as a philosophy student I very much enjoy reading books and articles, and also doing a bit of amateur philosophy writing (short ideas that pop into my head).
Question: If you could meet anyone (dead or alive) who would it be and why?
Jonas’s Answer: Jesus! I would like to meet him just to confront him on the whole God’s son/Crazy preacher guy in the streets issue. I feel like it could settle a lot of modern disputes.
Question: What advice would you give to someone just starting out in design?
Jonas’s Answer: Just do it! Whatever you have, just use it to build, draw or anything with it. You don’t need fancy equipment which costs thousands of pounds. I use a computer and scanner (which I had for other reasons) and mix if with paper and ink – nothing more, no magic or high costs or anything. Just do it!