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.
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 ;)
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..
Last week I was honoured by receiving the Winsor & Newton Nordic Watercolor Society Award 2015! The association held their annual meeting at the Nordic House in Reykjavík where the award ceremony took place. I'm kind of speech-less by this. It really is wonderful to receive this kind of recognition for your work - it definitely gives me the boost to continue on this roller coaster ride it is to be an artist. My heartfelt gratitude to the Nordiska Akvarellsällskapet board & members.
Nervous me at the ceremony with the Icelandic board member Ninný.
Delighted me after the ceremony in front of the Nordic House.
The Nordiska Akvarellsällskapet held a few watercolor workshops around the annual meeting. I was lucky to attend the workshop taught by Björn Bernström. It was great getting out of the studio for a day and watch another artist work. Make sure to check out his beautiful watercolor paintings.
Usually I use watercolors for my illustrations, but at the workshop I played with painting an imaginary landscape.
Then this little Stork was born the other day when playing some more with my watercolors. I think he's a friend of the pelican I did for the 2015 calendar.