Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Christmas Spirit

Recently I was asked to do a Christmas illustration for Landsbankinn.  It was supposed to capture the spirit of Christmas, the quiet and loud moments just before six o'clock on Christmas Eve. When it comes to Christmas, it's all about being together I think.  All that pretty stuff is just a bonus.  I had a blast creating it, being in some serious Christmas mood myself.  Here's a sneak peek of the process, from sketch to finish.  Thank you for the collaboration J&L and Landsbankinn, this was so much fun!

Merry Christmas!!!!!

First sketch

Final drawing on illustration board

First layer of watercolor

...grandma arriving

...surprise guest with a gift, finding out who'll get the biggest gift under the tree... up candles, getting ready to have dinner, laughing at grandpa's sweater...

...singing carols, peeking out the window...

....helping brother with his tie, playing in the snow...


Thursday, November 2, 2017

2017 Christmas Stamps for the Iceland Post

I was very honoured to be trusted with creating the 2017 Christmas Stamps for the Iceland Post.  Early this year I forced myself into the christmas spirit and made these three illustrations that will finally see the light of day today, November 2nd!  I love christmas, so being in the Christmas mood in March wasn't all that difficult.  I got the help of the brilliant designer, Jónas Valtýsson at Studio Erla & Jónas to assist me in the design process.  Thank you Jónas!!!

I wanted to capture the joy, beauty and excitement of the season through children.  I feel like this time of the year is their moment, the magic of the holidays doesn't get any more sincere than through the eyes of children.  

I also wanted to portrait the holiday tradition of putting shoes on the window sill 13 days before Christmas.  In Iceland we have thirteen Yule Lads or Santa Clauses.  They arrive in town, one by one till December 24th.  Children put their shoes on the window sill and when they wake up in the morning, some little treat will have magically appeared in their shoe, that is, if they have behaved well.  On those nights, it can get quite difficult to fall asleep....

So, here they are, from 1st scan to finished stamps and sheets.  Now go write a Christmas card!

1st. scan

1st. scan

1st. scan

FDC Envelope and the Publication Stamp

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Book-kids // Bookmark

I recently created this illustration for The Reykjavík Public Library.  It reminds me of Fall and that time of the year when you are so ready to cuddle up with a good book.

Monday, July 24, 2017


This illustration started with the red mask and then I had no idea what to do next. Then one thing led to another and this world appeared from somewhere in my head and into my brush. 
Made with love, just for fun :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Reykjavík's Literary Prize, two poodles, new work and San Francisco!

This past Wednesday on Iceland's official last day of Winter (yay!), I received Reykjavík’s Literary Prize for the Best Illustrated Book Published in 2015.  It’s an incredible honor, I’m humble and grateful for the acknowledgement my work received.  

I was pleasantly surprised to hear the book I illustrated ,,Ugla & Fóa og maðurinn sem fór í hundana” by Ólafur Haukur Símonarson was the one receiving the award this year.  It was nominated amongst four other beautiful books that deserved the title just as well.  Although I’m not much of a dog-person, I really enjoyed getting to know and illustrate the two poodles, Ugla & Fóa.  I did not contribute to the design of the book or the cover, and must admit I’m not a huge fan of how either turned out (but that’s another story).  But every project is something to learn from and I’m very grateful that the award committee spotted my two poodles :)

Seeing peoples reaction to your work, to that something you created with a simple pencil at your desk, from some idea in your head is so rewarding.  Sometimes you feel like your stuff is total rubbish, sometimes you feel like it’s actually quite good, sometimes you feel like you must be at least a little bit insane to have chosen this career.  But sometimes someone says “hey, you’re doing the right thing” and then it all comes together.  The knowing you are where you should be.  And I’m not just saying that awards make you feel like that.  It has everything to do with the support you get from the people around you and the feeling you get from creating the work.  

And when it all works out,…girl, it feels good.

Here are a few illustrations from Ugla & Fóa
They say dogs are your best friends, in sickness and in health

Walking the dogs

Walking the whale

A few different ways to get your nights sleep


In other news - I have a bunch of stuff is on my drawing table!  Nothing to share quite yet but a few sketches from an upcoming book...

Oh, and I finally visited San Francisco again after almost six years away.  

It was a great visit.  It is the best city.

  But it always feels good to come back home ;)  

Happy Summer y'all!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

All good things go by three

The third and last book in the trilogy about Mói Hrekkjusvín by Kristín Helga Gunnarsdóttir just came out!  It's been a pleasure to illustrate and get to know this character and his friends.  He's priceless really, and such a pain!  Salute to his parents for bearing with his constant pranks.  But people like Mói make life more fun and unpredictable, I mean, what's the fun about having peace and quiet all the time? 

Here are a few interior illustrations from Mói Hrekkjusvín - Landsmót Hrekkjusvína.  
Now go, get a book and read it for a little prankster ;)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

New Book ,,Dúkka" & the sweet summer of 2015

It's been quiet here lately!  But that's all gonna change now.  Fall is here with its long shadows, the fresh air, leaves everywhere, crazy wind, heavy clouds and most important of all; routine.  I like routine.  I like vacation too, but routine is good.  So, here I am, back at the drawing table, excited for winter (well, mildly excited to be honest) and ready to draw and draw.  Just before I jumped on my lovely vacation in August, I finished illustrating a book by the brilliant author Gerður Kristný.  I've been a fan of her work for years and to have the opportunity to illustrate her story was a dream!  It's a scary story for kids and adults as I'm sure you can imagine from the cover here above.  It's called ,,Dúkka", ("Doll" in English).  It hits the shelves this fall, so, get it!

 Summer was good!  I biked and drew and biked and drew some more.  And then I jumped on a plane with my gang to Paris and from there to Spain.  It was our first long family vacation.  So we did a bit of culture and big city strolling in Paris and then we did the lazy ass vacation in Spain where we just ate and jumped in the pool.  

Every fall, when I'm back in routine like now, I throw in some photos here on my bog from my summer.  Even if it's just for myself to look at once and a while when there's a blizzard outside, just to remember how great it was.  

We rented a cute little apartment in Paris via airbnb.  It had 98 steps to be exact up to the fifth floor.  But we were a ok with that, cause we were in Paris!

We played tourists and checked out the must sees like the Arc de Triomphe...

...and biked around the Versaille (which caused the two huge band-aids on Lára's knees...

..I bought a hat and Lára took a gazillion photos of yours truly...

...and I took a bunch too (The Notre Dame is in the background).

We went to the Bastille Market and bought some gourmet stuff for a proper Paris picnic.  The paté was the absolute best I've ever had, too bad that all the bee's agreed with me.

And then the view changed once we hit Spain. Chardonnay and a sketchbook. Should be the everyday view, right?  Or not..

We visited the beautiful village of Altea.

An ok view from the hill in Altea.

My precious.  I just noticed they actually do look a bit alike. 
This guy appeared in the sand.  I wonder if he's been sunbathing for too long...

Lára didn't hate the beach. 

And now, back home...

playing cards with daddy and back at the drawing table.

I hope your summer was pretty spectacular and that the winter ahead will be as spectacular, if not even more spectacular then the summer!