When I was a kid I read a lot of comics. I can still be seen browsing a page or two. I get a lot of artistic inspiration from comic artists in my own work as an illustrator and designer. And The Phantom comic super hero, was probably my most read Superhero, for many years.
Lee Falk and Ray Moore, had a huge impact in that sense, on me as a kid. But I admit, Lee Falk’s name is more top of my mind, when thinking about The Phantom comics. The illustrators where not, and still isn’t, just a few. Plenty illustrators have drawn Phantom comics. And in a way that probably taught me as a young kid, that art and illustration, drawing and painting style, vary a lot. I quickly got my favorites, and one that I simply didn’t fancy as much as the others. When one illustrator especially draw the week’s issue of the comic book, I read and bought it, but I didn’t enjoy his style of drawing as much. And it made it a less fun week. I quickly got my favorites.
In the year 2016, The Phantom is now 80 years in the making. He came to life as a comic book hero, in 1936. Written by Lee Falk. And drawn by Ray Moore. In 1939 he was first published in colour. And the Phantom ‘s suite was coloured Lilac – but not in Sweden. In Sweden he was either black and white in the interior panels, and his suite Blue in colour, on the covers.
Obviously I was a member of The Phantoms club. I still have the good and the bad Rings. The bad with the Skull sign. And the good with four “P” in a round clockwise design. I was never comfortable though with the good ring sign, even as a kid, because it too much resembled a certain symbol a certain dictator used in Germany during the second world war. I was so aware actually already as a kid aged 7. After all not so strange, due to all war action movies shown all the time back then.
I saw that I had a note in the box with the phantom rings, saying in my own writing as a 13-year-old, I placed the rings in the box when I was 13. Funny how alway did that when I was a kid. Making notes for history and the future.
The Phantom made his debut to Sweden in 1940, in a weekly magazine called Vecko Revyn. That magazine changed totally in the 70’s and became a now known girls weekly fashion magazine. In the early 80’s it was just for girls, and still is. Vecko Revyn is often criticised for anorexia effects on young women, due to their constant fixation on diet, being skinny and young women’s fashion.
Back to the Phantom.
I could mention many comics I read, and which influenced me as a kid especially. Many of those comic books were Belgian and French. A others were american. The Phantom was undoubtedly one of the most read.
But always interesting that The Phantom apparently never been such a big thing in America, compared to its huge success in Sweden, Norway and Australia.
According to the editor in the Swedish Phantom edition, he’s live and kicking. And a has a very strong position still. But not in America.
I kind of understood as a young kid and teenager, that the american comic The Phantom was different, in that many illustrators who drew The Phantom, had other nationalities. Not necessarily americans.
1996 the movie The Phantom was released. I watched it. Cool, it became a movie. But that was that. I couldn’t fully accept that he was Purple, to me he had always been blue. And, it wasn’t such a great movie made either. Maybe it had been much better with another team behind the production. Another director. Making it more like the last three Batman movies, had probably made it more interesting.
Happy birthday Phantom! Or like you are called here in Sweden: Fantomen!
PS. 1942, when in the daily newspaper www.svd.se, he was first called Drago! Haha what a name!
Happy that name was short-lived. No offense to Drago, but it would be like if he had been called Stefan. Just doesn’t cut it.
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View more of my illustration & design work at my website www.stefanlindblad.com
I recently found out that Amazon finally accept Sweden as a country to transfer money too. Making it possible to create a Sellers Account.
Basically the reason for me to open a Sellers Account, is to be able to sell a self-published book, and print it with Amazon’s Createspace. I have two current self publishing projects at hand. Amazon opens up the possibility to sell your own self published books. And work with projects of your own, as an illustrator – and writer. You can be very successful or just do it for the share fun.
But what is troublesome, is the close to monumental ordeal of creating a store and start to sell – and set up your Bank info and get payed. It really shouldn’t have to be so time consuming. I feel drained after two days trying. Mad.
It may at first seem easy and quick to set it all up. Then you start, and you see it take some time. Lots of time.
At this stage, it seems Amazon.co.uk, demand I register with Payoneer to get my possible future royalties. If anything is sold that is. Maybe I don’t need Payoneer, but I don’t know. The Amazon seller support, well they didn’t help me much over the weekend, part from deleting a seller account I first set up at Amazon.com. Maybe I shouldn’t have deleted that first seller account. Maybe I didn’t need it. I have no clue. No clear information tell me the Pro and Con. I still feel confused.
When I came to Payoneer after a ton of repetitive steps, Payoneer won’t accept my exact street a dress. So what to do. Call support. And hope for the best. I just experienced help from seemingly young adults at Amazon Seller account support who try their best, but they of course follow a script. And when they helped me, well I suspect they get paid by how many support cases they solve, and not how much support and advice they offer.
The US ‘cultural appropriation’ going on among the younger generations of today, is madness, a sickness, and pure crap in its purest form. The younger crowd of today have gone nuts.
We fight for people’s rights and democracy. We fight for freedom to think freely and be free people. We fight for the right to interact and see each other as equals. And then these extremists comes along. Just like religious or political fanatics.
We have our “white” fascists morons in Europe and Sweden, and in the US, they have this stupid ‘cultural appropriation’ thing going on. In Sweden the fascist political Party “Sweden democrats – SD” – what an ironic name they´ve chosen, is like a slap in the face. SD writes in their political party principal program, they take the right to decide who and what, is pure Swedish. And if someone, generations back, hundreds of years back, have shown any sort of un-swedish behavior, they, SD, take the right to decide if they are Swedish or not. And if they should be allowed to be 100% swedish citizens – generations back, mind you. MAD!
I fear the american ‘cultural appropriation’ is going to come over to Sweden as well. Wait, is that allowed?
Really, the video attached in the article says it all. Something for us all to learn from. To see how it all starts to go very wrong. This american ‘cultural appropriation’ is totally Bollocks. This woman in the video tells the guy he can’t have dreadlocks, which she consider as “black culture” only black/afro-americans are allowed to use. Mad. In what way is she any better than Sweden Democrats? None.
If we as human beings are forbidden from being inspired by other cultures, and wearing cloths and haircuts and making art, eat etcetera what others claim to be of their culture, we are talking about fascism. We are talking about building walls. It is about building fences and borders no one are allowed to cross. Unless the person or person´s on the other side of the border, give their “godlike” permission.
There is no culture that has not been inspired or influenced by another culture. That simply doesn’t exist. We do that every single day. It is in the human DNA to do. You just have to start tracing the tracks, and you will see it.
Did Picasso and the other european artists in the 1900´s do wrong, when they painted oil paintings, and were inspired by african art in form of mask´s? What shall we do? Does the afro-american woman decide over what is right or wrong. And will she destroy the art, paintings at museums and private collections made by Picasso and other artists, for violating african culture, in the name of ‘cultural appropriation’.
Havent we had enough of all these extremists in our shared world!
So now what, have I done something wrong when I make art, illustration and designs, that in the slightest might have been influenced by american culture? But then, what is american culture. What is Swedish culture. Just go to old town, Gamla Stan, in Stockholm Sweden. And look at the several hundreds of years buildings standing there. They are architecturally and culturally influenced by german, french, italian, spanish and what have you.
Will the afro-american woman forbidd me from eating Chinese – because I dont look Chinese? Am I allowed to cook asian inspired food – at my own house?
Wars around our world, have through history, been started so often by stupid thinking just like the mad ‘cultural appropriation’.
Illustrator, artist, designer
Stockholm, Sweden, Europe. Planet Tellus – also called “Earth”.
Hello people, I hope and guess you´r as excited as I am with the brand New DARK interface in CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X8! I just love it. I have been beta testing the graphics X8 for quite some time now. And I have got quite accustomed to it by now. I will probably continue with the bright interface for CorelDRAW – I feel its better for vectors and layout and graphic design – and go totally DARK using Corel PHOTO-PAINT X8. But let´s not wait, watch my FREE quick and short video presentation, of the brand new release of CorelDRAW graphics Suite X8. You can also Download the Free trial version here: http://www.coreldraw.com/rw/product/graphic-design-software/
Illustration, graphic design Official CorelDRAW Master
Hi there Chantal MacDonald,thank you very much for participating in my Interview Series with illustrators, graphic designers and sign makers from around the world here on my blog.
What year did you start working as a graphic designer.
2006 I officially entered the workforce, although I was doing work prior to that while I was a student.
The first time I came across your name, was actually when I for some reason saw that you had mentioned my name, in a blog article. I remember how I searched the net, and that blog came up. And ever since, really, I have been thinking of interviewing you for my interview series. The blog article was published on Corel Corps official blog. Because I was involved in beta testing and had got to know some people this way, at Corel, I thought it gave me the opportunity to interview someone who design those Graphic Software boxes, I used to see and hold in my hands. These type of designs, mass productions, are made to sell a product, and the designers in my view, are too often never mentioned. Equally I have always, since I was a kid, wondered over who made those designs. And suddenly a product package design, got a name attached to it – yours.
One of the very first things I saw you work with, was the design for the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X6, DVD & book package. I really like that box design. It is still close to me, on the shelve, at my home office workspace. So I see it quite often. And I had the pleasure being asked about the design, prior to its release. Felt honoured being asked.
How did that design came about?
For X6 we really wanted the packaging to reflect how powerful this product was, so I designed it in a way that highlighted the iconic CorelDraw balloon and used abstract background textures that were black, sleek and metallic.
Did you design it from scratch? I know that the box for X4 and X5 looked similar, but X6 came out in a different style. And it looks great. There is a sort of Batman feel to it!
Thank you, yes it was from scratch except for the balloon which was an evolution of our existing icon.
What was important for you, as a designer, when you got the assignment to create & plan the design?
I really looked at the big picture and what our campaign was going to be. Not only did we want to show how powerful this product was, but I had the idea to showcase our incredibly talented illustrators and designers that used the product. We had some amazing artwork provided for our CorelDraw contest and I wanted to highlight those pieces throughout our advertising and product itself, not only was it eye-catching and showcase the outcome of the product, but it gave publicity to the artists as well.
Corel Corp is not only a Canadian company, but very much an international company, with users from literally all over the world. Did that very fact play an important role, in the work you did with X6 as a Senior Graphic Designer at Corel.
Certainly, I showcased CorelDraw artwork by artists from around the globe and our advertising and packaging is always catered to the market that it is in.
It is not everyone who get to make these product designs, that reach so many users. Would you say that you yourself, had any preconceptions of how it would be to work with an international company profile like Corel. Or any company of that size.
I have a lot of experience doing international design and have studied semiotics to have a good understanding of cultures and communication, and I actually worked in Seoul for a while as well, so I felt prepared to design an effective package for all Corel’s markets.
Would you say you have the same approach with a client for a small company, down the street where you live and work? If so, what do you think is the biggest difference, if there is one.
It would all depend on the company’s objectives – my process includes a very effective creative brief so that I gain a complete understanding of the company.
I remember reading the blog article at Corel´s blog, that you had just discovered CorelDRAW Graphics Suite – and moving from Mac world to PC world. Is there something in particular, from a designer craft point of view, that you feel you learned from?
I basically had to learn the software and a PC! I learned that amazing illustrations and designs can be produced using CorelDraw and that the software was quite intuitive. I also conquered my fear of PCs, but I am really a Mac person at heart.
What was your first professional design assignment?
I’ll go with my first international design, I was 22 years old and working at a design agency – I developed the packaging for a colon screening test by MedMira. It may not have been the most glamorous assignment, but I created a really successful package design!
I remember the very first illustration assignment I got. It was when I was 21 years old. It was a payed job for a tiny scout club member paper. Printed on a office Xerox machine. It wasn’t much money, but it did pay some lunches and cafe visits.
You probably have quite a few designs you like more than others, for various reasons. Milestones. Is there some design work in particular, that you feel extra attached to? Something that you feel set the design career in motion. Or your own design language being more established within yourself. Your style.
Yes, I did some really great work as a Creative Lead & Arcc Director for Aveda Canada, and in particular was the interior and exterior graphics and design for their locations. To this day, I walk by Civello Salon in Toronto and see my graphics and signage on a major street (Queen St.) and I smile knowing how much I put it into that and how effective it was.
Would you say there is a different way to how you work today, to how it was when you first started out. Business-wise? Both as a freelancer and employed designer.
Definitely, as I grew my career I became more and more involved in the bigger picture. Now, I am a Director of Marketing and I get to develop the strategy and execute it – so I do all the design, writing, social media, advertising, people management, etc. In the beginning, I was working on projects but after completion I was moving onto the next thing, where as later in my career I see the impact and have a greater understanding of the complete marketing cycle.
Do you like myself, sit and work at cafes, to brainstorm etcetera. And if so, do you bring just a sketchbook, pens, or do you bring the computer and a wacom tablet?
I am a bit of a café junkie, but my career path has been very corporate so I don’t always have that opportunity. If I get the chance, I bring my laptop and just immerse in the work.
And lastly coffee. Everyone get this question: Coffee or Tea in the morning?
Coffee, unless a tea latte is an option 😉
Thank you for participating in my Interview Series, Chantal.
Today I read an excellent blog article by Darren Di Lieto. He is correct: it is important to stand out as an illustrator and professional. But I have to add my own perspective on the issue, based on my personal experience.
Yes, it is true. It is important to stand out. Equally, the term “Jack of All Trades” doesn’t have to be told to each and every client. I´ve been a full time freelancing illustrator – and designer, since 1997. That is the year I registered my own freelancing company. I have survived a few country- & world wide recessions hitting the world. I have been to meetings were the Art Director I came to meet, starts by informing me he just got sacked – during a recession. When it happened, I stayed and said, let´s have our meeting anyway. And those meetings became very nice meetings.
To be able to make various type of work assignments, has been one of my survival tools, and especially during recession in society. Or when it only hit me, due to people shifting work or being part of bought-up companies. Or when you quite simply is out of fashion, when a company like to change style of illustrations. When a new Art Director moves in. A time when I find new clients. Hence why I have various types of clients.
I am not telling everyone and every company that I am a Jack of All Trades. I am telling my clients I do this, and to another client i do that. In the end it is about bringiing bread and butter to the table. To be able to eat, sleep and have a decent life.
Darren, if you read this, your blog article, excellent as it was, gave me inspiration to write a new blog article. Yes, I do not only draw – I write also 😉
If you like to get a tip, on how to Draw a Sphere, a round object, with stars. How to give a 3D feeling to a 2D made object image, illustration, using CorelDRAW X7. I originally made this video 15 th april in 2015.
That is what this video and illustration is about. Working as a 2D illustrator and designer, I get to create 2D images, flat illustrations, that seems to be 3D. Images, illustrations with perspectives, angles. Adding depth.
Often clients say they need a 3D illustration or graphic, but they really do not need it made with a 3D program.
In this video I show one of many ways, on how to accomplish this: create, draw a 2D illustration, giving it a 3D feeling.
Enjoy the video. It aint long. But will give you some helpful and useful insights, in this matter.
Thank you President Obama for making your 8 years, although way far from perfect, to at least have a better tone, seriousness and more grown up approach than your predecessor. You inherited a ferocious war, and we all, not only americans, share the effects of it in various ways. Maybe you shouldnt have pulled out the troops so early from Iraq – but you did say you would, and you did. You stood by your word. For better or worse. The Bush/Cheney era was the most mad presidential period I have witnessed america ever had. At least in my lifetime. And viewing it from afar, here in old Sweden. Rolling Stone magazine seems correct when they claim you to be the most successful president in american history, back in 2014.
I clearly remember how I as a younger version of myself, back in 1988, told some of my friends, that my generation didn’t seem to experience anything historically significant – and then Gorbachev arrived on the scene. The wall fell, and countries became free from decades of communist rule. I remember how in 1990 I traveled through europe by train, backpacking for a month. And everyone was experiencing and talking about the historic events – or let me rephrase it a bit: not everyone, far from it, but many enough. It was also the year of the world championship of football in Italy that year, 1990. And so much have happen to our world since then. incredible really.
Now, when your leaving your office, we once again read and hear and watch, the madness and ludicrous making a comeback. Why people never learn, is beyond me. And far from only in the US. Just look at my own country Sweden.
You showed with your eight years in office, that there still exist decency in US politics. Okay, I am not with you on every thing you have done these 8 years. But again, I am a Swede living in Sweden. So I mostly look at american presidents from a foreigners perspective – and for what your foreign policy means to me and the rest of the world.
Okay, hush-hush, don’t tell any other americans, they are sensitive to this, but I do look to what you have done domestically also. But I don’t say that too often to americans. Some of them go cranky if I as a foreigner dare to have an opinion on american politics. I guess its like it is over here in Sweden, with some swedes not liking when foreigners in america or Nauru island close to Australia, have opinions on Swedish domestic politics – if they have, that is.
But you are an educated fella. And I am sure you know the planet we all live on, is quite solid. And if it wasnt for all the water dividing us, we could all walk to each other.
Thank you again for making it okay to like america and americans again. I am just so tired over the fact, that unless Hillary wins, we might have a mad time coming again. Maybe if a republican win, John Kasich is a good alternative, he seem cool and decent enough to hold an office of yours. And he is not like that other guy. Equally, to be honest, if I was an american, I would probably vote Democrat. But I have american friends who are the opposite, and that’s fine with me. If we all could just get along better, in this world, it would be so much better. Which sounds like a platitude, but still true.
Looking at my own country, europe and the world, and contemplating over the future, it seems grim. Not hopefull.
Fingers cross the world of sanity get another 8 years
Now, i´m going to continue drinking my brew cup of coffee, and draw some drawings in my sketchbook, before I continue on the computer. Which means to finish drawing the drawing of you, President Obama, which you can see together with this blog article of mine.
I really enjoyed reading your second book. Looking forward to your third.
Illustrator, graphic designer and artist
American politicians often talk of taking back their country. From my viewpoint, on this side of the pond, in old Sweden, it always sounds so odd. Especially now, year 2016, when they talk about building walls
I use Twitter. I think I know what could make Twitter be even more relevant: allow for long text. Way more than 140 characters.
I have felt this from day one. I know, its a great statement saying you only have 140 characters to tell your story. But seriously why limit yourself to that? With other channels like Instagram and more channels coming all the time, i believe twitter users and Twitter corporation themselves, would benefit if they allowed for either 400 words in their tweets. But with a catch.
Actually 400 words could be seen as the perfect way to go. Why? Well, most newspaper columns, at least in the daily worldwide Swedish owned newspaper METRO, are within that 400 word mark. Its the perfect amount of words for a column, written by a columnist expressing his/her views. And for further reading one simply click a link. And it is also the perfect amount of words you can cope with reading an early morning, on the train or bus commuting in to work.
The catch could be, that only the first lines of text allowed to be viewed by twitter users – the classic 140 characters, and it would allow to be seen as a title to an article, or news flash as it is today. The modern type of Haiku. And to be able to read the entire text, would have to click a button to open the entire article.
Because, seriously, how fun is it to read a twitter tweet with mostly 140 characters of hash-tags, that some post. This would also allow for more advertising space, similar to Google Ads, inside the article, but instead of google adds, its twitter own ad service.
But one should still only be allowed 140 characters for comments posted by followers and readers.
As human beings, we take to our hearts and minds various ways for communicating with others. That´s what social media is all about. So why limiting Twitter interactions to only 140. It may be seen to make sense, from a marketing strategy sense, to be unique. But as much as limitation can be beneficial, it can also be a unnecessary obstacle to grow.
How many words have I used for this column type article? 386.
I am tired of smart solutions in social media and cloud services. They are so smart, I´ve built a big animosity to much of them. Not all, but much of it. They annoy me. They all add smart solutions by default, so that if I complain, there is often tons of steps I have to make to get rid of them. Taking even more time from what I really set out to do in the beginning.
I am tired of smart solutions in social media and cloud services.
They are so smart that they annoy the hell out of me
Auto-correct is a perfect example. In a way its good its available, while on the other hand it is overwhelmingly annoying, as I spend as much time to correct the auto-correct, as I would actually had to simply write without interruption. Or for example Google Chrome. I close a tab with facebook, becuase I dont like to be disturbed by updates on my facebook wall, and simply work to earn some money to pay my bills. But with Chrome it is so smart… that even if I have closed the tab, I still get notifications in a small window popping up. Now, yes I could log out, and I do, but the convenience of simply closing the tab, made it quicker to view the facebook wall when I felt for it. So that solution is no longer available. A smart solution which Google developers thought they could make even smarter.
And I could list so many more situations, where the smart solutions are annoying me and disturbing me in my work. Often, when I have made settings changes for each service, they come out with a new update, disrearding my settings. A new policy they felt was needed.
Not very smart in my eyes. They haunt you like a phone salesperson who wont take seven No for an answer.