When I was a student at SCAD, I haunted a beloved local shop for new delights from one of my favorite textile designers, Lotta Anderson of Lotta Jansdotter. It began with an obsession for her sticky notes and continued with collecting every tea towel and sewing kit I could get my enthusiastic hands on. I am so thrilled to see her brand continuing to flourish and expanding to new arenas of design. Lotta Jansdotter washi tape? Sign me up. To be interviewing her now is an honor, and it lets me high-five my inner, bright-eyed art-student self. Her images are so joyful, aren’t they? Continue reading for a delightful visual smorgasbord of creativity.
1. Design*Sponge: What is in your toolbox?
Lotta Anderson: My tool box is rather simple: pen (my favorite pen is a Pentel Sign Pen in black), paper, rubber cement and a pair of scissors.
I create my print designs, motifs and patterns by hand: I sketch and draw in my custom-made sketch books or on plain copy paper. I cut out shapes and motifs out of black construction paper. I do this for a while, and I might find something I want to develop further. Then I will play with scale and layout by using my copy machine. Then I am back to cutting and pasting again. A very hands-on process! I like the tactile process of how I create my designs.
2. Design*Sponge: Fill in the blank, “When I am in my studio, I feel _____________.”
Read the full post after the jump!
3. Design*Sponge: What is on the top shelves of your inspiration library right now?
I am drawn to and inspired by people with real strong, personal and vibrant personalities and visions.
I don’t like reading blogs very much, and sadly enough, there are not many great inspiring and unique magazines in America right now. I think Kinfolk is nice, and some Japanese magazines are rather super!
4. Design*Sponge: How do you keep yourself organized? Time management is often one of the biggest obstacles for creative minds. Do you have an agenda book, and do you make to-do lists?
Lotta Anderson: I create many many lists, too many. I lose them and start over. I start lists on papers, and in my notebooks . . . and it does not do much good actually. I sort and organize things only to quickly mess it all up again. I am not a good “maintainer.” I am bad at maintaining the order I just created. I am black or white: very organized or very messy — no in between. I am starting to accept this fact more and more, and I try to embrace it; no point in getting all frustrated about myself in regards to it. Some sort of chaos . . . this is how I roll.
5. Design*Sponge: If you could have one superhero (or magical) power, what would it be and why?
Lotta Anderson: I wish I could fly, that would be so freakin’ awesome! Beyond exciting.
6. Design*Sponge: What is the best advice you have ever received, and what is the one piece of advice you would offer to a young artist/designer?
Received: “Follow your heart. Do what you love to do.”
Advice to offer: Just start doing things, try them out. You might make mistakes and that is OK. The more things you do, the more you will find and learn what you are good/bad at; what works and what you want to spend your time doing. If you are too afraid of even trying, then nothing will happen. And most things pass. Everything changes. You can always renew/start over and move on. You do not have to have all the answers at once . . . baby steps.
7. Design*Sponge: How do you combat creative blocks?
Lotta Anderson: I never get to that state. I have a different problem: It’s hard to find the time to create. There is so much else to attend to and do . . . or am I simply procrastinating?
Usually the process will get me going. I might not have a solid or firm idea of what to do in the beginning, but then I start drawing or cutting and after a while (when I am “warmed up”), I get going and feel the inspiration come along. So to answer your question: the creative process itself unblocks me.
8. Design*Sponge: Where do you like to shop for inspiration?
Lotta Anderson: I like going to thrift stores a lot, yard sales, and visiting Ikea. I shop much more when I travel, and then I try to find independent shops as well as the grocery stores, office supply stores, and markets.
9. Design*Sponge: If you could peek inside the studio/toolbox of any designer/artist/craftsperson, whose would it be and why?
Lotta Anderson: Maira Kalman. She is such a joyful, witty person, and she feels so free in her work. I would love to watch Picasso paint his ceramics, or watch Matisse cut his papers. I guess I am much more interested in watching the process than actually seeing their tools.
10. Design*Sponge: If you could make a master mix-tape of music that is inspiring you at the moment, what would it include?
Lotta Anderson: I love KCRW out of Santa Monica. Also I stream “One Summer ” and David Byrne Radio. I listen to Bart Davenport, Nina Simone, Fleetwood Mac, The Purple Man, Rufus Wainwright, Antony and many more!