Andreas Englund Interview
How long have you been painting, and how did you get interested in art?
I´ve been paining all my life, but I actually thought I would become an industrial designer, so my studies were all theoretic at first. Then, it turned out that I wanted to become an Art Director instead. I´ve always wanted to share my thoughts with others, either through conversation or visual media. That’s why working with communication as an Art Director became a natural choice for me. It gave me the tools to understand and analyze what makes people connect — to share insights and thoughts, experience and humor.
My insights from working with communication gave me the tools to build my foundation as an artist. For me it has always been two careers living in symbiosis – being an Art Director and an artist with the common theme of storytelling and communicating.
How do you conceive and develop a character like the superhero in your paintings?
I want to make pieces that communicate stories with the key elements of storytelling. That’s where the “not so perfect” super hero concept came to life. I think my super hero is like most people — no better, no worse — only his job is to be that great hero who saves the world. There is a big drama in that story. He is supposed to live up to everyone’s expectations, which is quite stressful, and I think many can relate to that situation. Capturing the lives of “perfect people” is boring and predictable. I like the human flaws and weaknesses. I need to see that in a character to believe in him, to care about him and to be interested in him. There is also a drama in putting this extraordinary superhero in an everyday life situation.
Your work has been featured on many blogs and even Juxtapoz.com. How have you developed such a pervasive Internet presence?
A lot of it is just being at the right place at the right time. I think a lot of people haven’t seen this type of concept before and find it interesting. At the same time, my paintings are immediate visual stories that are meant to be shared with others, whether on your wall at home or on your social media profile. It’s like sharing a book or a film, but in this case, you don’t have to have read it or see it first. It’s instant. This is very suitable in today’s era of “sharing” on the net. You can tell and share a story with just an image without much effort.
Do you show your art in a gallery, or has it been featured in any shows?
So far, my art has been displayed at hotels and restaurants — apart from the internet, of course. As a result of that, I have received a lot of requests to display my art in various galleries and shows.
If so, what do you recommend to artists who have a large series on the same subject, like yours: gallery or group show?
Group shows, for me, are good for helping one another’s work, both in enhancing the visual experience and/or attracting more people to come and visit. If you know that people will come, and your art is strong, then I would go for a gallery.
Who have you surrounded yourself with to help realize your goals as an artist?
I have always had strong support from my family, but I think the strongest motivation has to come from yourself. Of course, you need encouraging feedback on the way. I like to try my ideas on a lot of people to get various inputs, and you never know who might give you the most interesting feedback. My success has been due to being public and letting the right people find me and help me to exhibit.
What has the art industry in Stockholm offered you that has helped your career, and/or what difficulties does it pose?
I never had any help from art galleries in Stockholm, so in my case, I decided to go public and let people find me, not vice versa.
Andreas Englund was born in Falun, Sweden in 1974. Now he lives in Stockholm working both as an Artist and Art Director. He graduated from RMI-Berghs School of Communication in 2000.
- First exhibition at Liljevachs Spring Saloon Exhibition 2008
- Exhibition at Grand Hotel, Falun 2009
- Exhibition at Hotel Lydmar, Stockholm 2009
- Exhibition at Alex Suhsi, Oslo 2010
- Exhibition at Hotel Lydmar, Stockholm 2011
As an art director, Andreas has won prizes in several international shows through the years. In 2009 his team launched the viral campaign, “The Hero”, which reached more than 50 million unique viewers, making it one of the most-spread, interactive viral media ever made.