Weather app on Android lock screen, the bugger

I have two smartphones. One is Samsung S4 +4G android, and the other is Nokia Lumia 920 windows phone. On my Nokia Windows phone I don’t have that bugger weather app that is stuck in twilight zone , locked in time and space on the Lock Screen. Who designed this madness. Anyway, I am surely and definitely not the only one irritated over that weather widget app. Mine have been showing +2 C and rain – for months everyday.

There are ways that seems to work off and on for various users. I’ve tried many of them. I hope the the oneI made yesterday will have done the trick. I say hope because the widget app seem to haunt and com back, having tried other things before. My problem with the Samsung weather widget on the lockscreen started when I stupidly updated to Lollipop 5.1. I should have stayed with Kit kat.

What I hope solved it this time, fingers crossed, is that the weather app from yahoo I used on my home screen, was removed. Drag and dropped in the bin. And I reapplied my AccuWeather app on the home screen again. I also have since long ago removed, disabled the monitoring setting: places. Disabled it.

So hope this works now. Unfortunately the AccuWeather app was the first app to Crack when I installed lollipop 5.1 a month or two ago. Surprisingly working now. It seams.

As of now though, one day after, the dam weather widget on the lock screen is gone. Jippi!

Now as much as I do enjoy many features and services from Google, I equally dislike some. And equally enjoy and sometimes dislike how Microsoft make theirs. I have found after using Windows phone for now three years, that what generally is bad with windows phone, is bad apps. And not windows phone OS so much.

As great as the smartphones are, I feel very limited in how I can correct bad user experience settings overall. On all smartphone devices. One really is locked in a system. And on smartphones it’s very apparant  More than on a pc and laptop. Windows 8.1 for pc feels refreshing in comparison to smartphones OS universe.

Hope better will come with windows 10 and Android in the future.

Stefan Lindblad /
illustration, design & art
Official CorelDRAW Master

Post: WordPress Android

Webmail or IMAP/POP 3 email programs – use both

I have been using email since 1995. And I was jokingly called “email king” by friends who started to use emails as well back then, because I used so many different email services. It was when internet was really starting to hit off in Sweden where I live. My first email account was a Hotmail account, before Microsoft bought Hotmail. I used Yahoo email very quickly after hotmail, within weeks. And of course Netaddress email. All being Webmail. In 1996 I got my first internet service at my house, so I got my first email program, client. A POP 3 account. I believe the first email program I got was two. One from microsoft I believe and of course the classic Netscape Mail program (Todays Thunderbird looks and feel very much in line with said Netscape still, minotaur or no minotour)

I still use both webmail and IMAP/POP3 email services. I think its important to me, in my work to use both. At times I have prefered using Webmail, and sometimes desktop IMAP/POP3 email on my computer. but I have always kept both services. And to me its the IMAP I use instead of POP 3.



For my freelancing business, with emails going out and coming in, I am thankful for both services, but especially happy for speed and convinence and freedom the combination give. Had I ony used let say Gmail, then that wouldnt work for me. It is used not because I love Gmail, I dont as I prefer Yahoo Mail way of doing things. How it is set up in Yahoo is how most Free and payed for Email clients for IMAP and POP 3 work and look like. Gmail wanted to reinvent the wheel, but didnt do it the way I want it set up. It feels hindering somehow. Well everyone like it their way.

I read an article at MakeUseOf, a great site by the way, where I think the writer of the article posted in 2012, miss out on the fact that the combination of Webmail and IMAP desktop is very easy and convinient. The writer like to write off those using IMAP/POP3 as maybe old people who dont know better, simply becuase the writer suggest only webmail can be reached all over the world. And suggest that Gmail is the way to go. Like the only way to go.

The trick is to use IMAP in Email programs installed on your computer.

How Gmail for example is set up today, it will never be as fast and easy to manage and work with as let say a desktop/laptop email client with IMAP will, when writing and sending out emails, Managing your email correspondence. Where Free Gmail/Yahoo is set up to collect all information about you the user so they can sell your using information to advertizers, it is on the cost of somewhat slow use and odd way in how its set up. In comparison to any of the desktop/laptop email programs out there, with more power to you the user, instead of Google.



I have nothing against Google, they have great services, but I just think from my own perspective in running my freelance business, that using email as a tool for communication is better used in a combination of webmail and IMAP.

And of course, my webhost have webmail services I use with my IMAP. Gmail & Yahoo these days is just used for non-business emailing.

For free email program clients I personally recommend Thunderbird, Windows Live Mail 2012 (which is limited with managing service of IMAP bt allow POP 3 email rules, and respect rules once set up in Thunderbird up to version 31.6) Opera Mail, And using the IMAP instead of POP3, if you like to use it with your webhost Webmail. Where you have your website.

You can of course pay for an Email program like Microsoft Outlook as well.

Happy emaling!


Stefan Lindblad
Illustrator, graphic designer & artist

My new tutorial: Stefan Lindblad Drawing a Sphere and stars in CorelDRAW X7

Just created and uploaded a new video tutorial for my YouTube Channel.
“Stefan Lindblad Drawing a Sphere and stars Tutorial in CorelDRAW X7 ”


Stefan Lindblad
Illustrator, graphic designer & artist
CorelDRAW Master

Fonts can make a mess of your software

Who doesn’t love font’s. Letters that makes a word but also a designed feeling. There are tons of thousands of fonts out there and they keep coming.

Many quality fonts are shipped with various graphic Software suites, such as CorelDRAW Graphics Suite and Adibe Creative Suite, to just mention a few. You get fonts shipped with various office programs as well: mS Word, Libre Office, Open Office and WordPerfect.

And because we love fonts, type fonts, we sometimes see a font we like and install it. Happy having it, we start our programs – and bam! It choke our computer systems and we start to think what the heck happened to our graphics program or office program.

When in fact it’s the specific font that made it all stop working.

If possible and you remember which font was installed, then start by uninstalling it. And the start your fav programs again.

Most of the time this sort everything out, and everyone is happy.

So beware and why not make a not on which font you installed.

Italian pop-ballads and starting my own company, in 1997

The summer of 1997 I listened to way to much Italian pop ballads. Especially as so many italian restaurants and cheezy pizzerias did too unfortunately, during 1997. But I loved every second of it. I took my old bicycle from the 1940`s down to work, as the sun shined early mornings, wearing my Walkman and ear buds. I started my own freelancing company in 1997. I was delivering sandwiches by car during the days, and the nigths I worked at the theatres behind the stage as well as taking tickets.  And in between I drank loads of coffee and made drawings in my sketchbooks at cafes around town. The Stockholm Water Festival was moving towards it´s end as an event in the summer. I even took my PADI scuba diving certificate. The summer was excilirating, and with great hopes & expectations, I worked hard to save up enough money to buy my first licens of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite and a desktop computer and a scanner. Eros Ramazotti halped a lot back then. Because Eros was so popular and his songs played all over the town, you basically bathed in his songs weather you liked it or not. I loved them then, and there was also the coolest French & italian Hip-Hop back then. Way cooler and rougher and slick than any of the american hip-hop artists, around the mid to end of 90´s.


Stefan Lindblad

Illustrator, artist, graphic desinger |

Comparing terms, names, tools in CorelDRAW and Adobe Illustrator

If you are a New user of CorelDRAW, and are used to terminologhy of names in Adobe Illustrator, here is a quick matrix comparing the names. Hope this help you in transitioning from Illustrator to CorelDRAW.

Have fun creating in CorelDRAW Graphics Suite, the user friendly and professional industries tool.


Adobe Illustrator tool 

CorelDRAW tool 

Add Anchor Point tool
Shape tool . See To add or delete a node.
Area Type tool
Text tool . See To add paragraph text.
Blend tool
Blend tool . SeeTo blend objects.
Bloat tool
Envelope tool . See To apply an envelope.
Convert Anchor Point tool
Delete Anchor Point tool
Shape tool . See To add or delete a node.
Direct Selection tool
Shape tool . See To select a node.
Drop Shadow tool
Drop shadow tool . See To add a drop shadow.
Gradient tool
Interactive fill tool . See Applying fountain fills.
Line Segment tool
Polyline tool . See Drawing lines.
Live Paint Bucket tool
Live Trace command
Bitmaps Quick Trace command
Bitmaps Centerline Trace command
Bitmaps Outline Trace command. See To trace a bitmap by using the Outline Trace method.
Measure tool
Mesh tool
Mesh fill tool . See To apply a mesh to an object.
Paintbrush tool
Artistic media tool . See To draw a calligraphic line.
Brush tool . See Applying brushstrokes.
Pan tool
Path Type tool
Text tool . See To fit text to a path.
Pathfinder effects
Object Shaping commands. See Trimming objects and Welding and intersecting objects.
Pencil tool
Pucker tool
Envelope tool . See To apply an envelope.
Reflect tool
Mirror buttons. See To mirror an object.
Reshape tool
Rotate tool
Pick tool . See To rotate an object.
Rounded Rectangle tool
Save For Microsoft Office command
File Export for Office command
Scale tool
Scissors tool
Knife tool . See To split an object.
Selection tool
Pick tool . See To select objects.
Shear tool
Star tool
Star and Complex star tools. See To draw a star.
Symbol Sprayer tool
Sprayer tool . See To spray a pattern.
Twirl tool
Distort tool . See To distort an object.
Type tool
Vertical Type tool
Paragraph formatting docker. See To choose a text orientation for Asian text.
Warp tool
Smudge tool . See To smudge an object.
Wrinkle tool
Roughen tool . See To roughen an object.


Stefan Lindblad
Illustrator, graphic designer & cover artist
Appointed CorelDRAW Master by Corel Corporation.

Make up words and borrowing words

Borrowing words are not unique to Sweden. But equally funny sometimes, but also a way in how languages evolve.  In english and Anglo countries they may use Ombudsman in lack of a word in english, so it made it to the English dictionary. Same goes for Smörgåsbord,  but in english spelled Smorgasbord. Without the dots above the letters as in the original Swedish word. The term and meaning being the same.

I learned that many ordinary words used in english language for 1000 years, are Nordic Scandinavian words, brought with the Vikings.

Sweden and Swedes are no stranger to borrowing words from other languages. We have been influenced through centuries by Germany, France and Italy, and of course from England as well. So much that we invent words that might not even exist in how they are used by the English and Americans themselves.

Flipper being the name of a character in a movie, but how is it used in Sweden? Here are a few, enjoy!

After work = Having a beer after work, basically
Backslide = Slick-back
Flipper  = Pinnball
Freestyle  = walkman             
Smoking = Dinner Jacket
Playback = Lip sync
Trafficking = Human trafficking, Sex trafficking
After Ski =  Après-ski                       
Pain riche = Baguette. But then who says Pain Riche in Sweden these days. 25 years ago maybe. We say baguette these days mostly.

Stefan Lindblad /
illustration, design & art
Official CorelDRAW Master

Post: WordPress Android

Cameras on Smartphones – Nokia Lumia or Samsung?

My Nokia Lumia 920 CAMERA simply ROCKS!

When we talk cameras on Smartphones, I really have to say that although I daily use my Samsung S4 +4G and take photos with it, the Nokia Lumia 920 shines big time in comparison. One for having a physical button to take the snapshots with, which the Samsung and iphone for that matter doesnt. I just took a set of photos of my double espresso coffee cup. And although not unique for Lumia phones in taking sets of images, the stability holding the phone in my hand does. The Lumia is so much more stable to hold. And pressing the button, serioulsy is a greater joy than the Samsung and iphone. For me personally, when I bought my first smartphone, which was the Nokia Lumia 800, I choosed it, in one respect, because of the camera button. I dont have the Lumia 800 anymore, instead have the said Nokia Lumia 920 – and the Samsung S4 +4G.

Illustration & cameras

Being an illustrator, artist and graphic designer by profession, means I take reference photos quite exstensively. I use both Smartphones cameras doing this. And both cameras work fine, but again, that dam Lumia 920 rocks again. What sucks with the Lumia is not the Lumia, it is rather things like the “never” updated LinkedIn app. And that some app developer UI designers make the graphics user interface to bold, like the Twitter app or LinkedIn app. It is not the camera. It is not the Windows Phone OS, which I like.

When it comes to the camera on a smartphone, it always have to come down to the software used when taking photos, and I just love it on the Lumia. Feel much more “real” for some reason with the Nokia Lumia.


Okey, if someone only use their smartphone to Pin on Pinterest, or check and post on Facebook, whatsap, Instagram and so on, the camera might not be so important. That icon on the screen might be sufficiant for them and their use. But to me, it wobbles too much. No real stability when you have to hold with one hand and then press an icon on the screen. I sure hope the Lumia phones in the future keep having the camera button, for when I in a few years from now might need to update my phones, and buy another one. Seriously then thinking of another Lumia again.

Have a great weekend


Stefan Lindblad
Illustrator, graphic designer and artist |

Windows Phone 8.1 Peoples Hub – how to sign out from Peoples Hub

One of the nice things with WIndows Phone, is the People hub. It is way more than a just simple contact app or core feature of the Windows Phone. And it is very convenient to use. It is very easy and seemless to sing in, to connect you Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook for example. If you like your LinkedIn account, but really dont like the official LinkedIn app for Windows Phone, then this might be your solution. And the Peoples Hub looks great.

Problem is when you like to Sign out

But if you suddenly do not like to have any of the social accounts connected in your People Hub, then how do you disconnect it? How do you sign out, log out – remove it entirely from your phone?

Well it is not impossible and not extremely difficult, but it is a wee bit cumbersome – you have to sign in to your Windows Account. For example your LIVE or OUTLOOK account. Look for the email confirming your connection of your twitter to your phone. It reads something like “You have connected your Twitter to your Windows Account”.

In the email, look for something that reads similar to: “Connect, control or change your Twitter connections”. And click. It probably say something else, but basically like this. I use a Swedish WP 8.1 OS, hence the translation in short.


This will open the email page to the page change settings. But above all, and again in “fine print” almost – these type of companies really dont whant us to disconnect do they – click: “Remove this connection completely”. A pop up opens > click “REMOVE”.

And this will remove it from your Peoples hub. You can always connect again when you feel for it.

Security reasons

Reason to disconnect of course may vary, but one reason as I see it, is the security factor involved. You may temporary loos your phone, or someone using it for whatever reason, to read and post using your account, you not knowing. Really Microsoft SHOULD allow for a very quick button to Disconnect completely without this hassle, and a simply Sign Out button would solve it.


Stefan Lindblad
Illustrator, graphic design, cover artis |
CorelDRAW Master

Samsung S4 +4G to Android Lollipop 5.0.1

Just upgraded my Samsung S4 +4G to Android Lollipop 5.0.1. My feeling now 5 minutes later: windows phone is still the best slick looking UI  (user interface). Not all with Lollipop 5.0.1 is bad. Some actually looks great. Like the keyboard I m using while writing this down.

Google will always be Google when using its bold white backgrounds and catchy bright colours of blue, yellow, red and green. It’s their DNA. Nothing wrong except they could allow themselves to be more slick sometimes.

But part from the look, the upgrade whent quite fast. Tops 10 minutes. And it seems to work Okey,  d3spite all comments I have read talking about the contrary.

I know have the latest android lollipop and the latest windows phone 8.1. All seems fine.

Stefan Lindblad

Illustrator,  Cover artist, graphic designer and artist. /

WordPress Visual Editor not working properly – solved, for now

Solution first: Change theme and then revert back to the original theme.

I have had quite a ride with my blog in english language, using WordPress solf hosted where I have my regular website. I also have a Swedish language wordpress blogg. Both are the same version, and still the english language blog decided to stop working. First it was the JetPack plugin apparently that made it impossible to log in to my admin, despite actually seeing the login form. Then my webhost helpedme get in again, and that allowed me to deactivate many of the plugins I have. And by deactivating al, and then activate them I again, slowly to see which plugin caused the issue this time around, I saw it was Jetpack.

What then later happened was that the WordPress blog Visual Text editor, although viewable, simply didnt work to write anything in, in the main text field. After doing what many suggested in all type of old forum topics on the support forum, was to change Theme, and then back to the “original” them I like to use, it worked. Hence why I can actually sit and write this down. Fingers crossed it all work great after this.

I love using WordPress, equally plugins can play havock to the daily shores, like simply writing a blog text. And for me who like to post blog articles about my work as an illustrator and designer and sharing my tips and tricks on how to work and use graphic software program I use, it felt not so fun at all. And having also published one very new interview with Comic artist, cartoonist Irma Eriksson, which you can read in my interview series, see menu bar, it was scary for a bit. As nothing was shown on the piblic blog.

I also got great help and support from the people at jetpack. Big thanks to everyone, Ryan at JHetpack, my webhost provider surftown and ordinary people, users at the WordPress community forums.




The Interview Series: Comic Artist Irma Eriksson – Imy the Comic

The Interview Series continues with an interview I made in person with illustrator collegue and comic artist Irma Eriksson, behind the great Webcomic Imy the Comic, at Espresso House Coffee Shop at Götgatsbacken on Södermalm island in Stockholm, Sweden. Originally from New Jersey, now lives in Stockholm. It became a much longer interview than first anticipated. Several hours. We covered issues on creating art, illustration, comics – and how to make money on Online WebComics.

With no further ado, it´s a pleasure to welcoming Irma, and hope you all enjoy the conversation we had over coffee. Irma had a Grande Caffee Latte, while I had a regular size brew coffee with a tad of milk. Dont know how I could miss out buying a cinnamon bun.

Irma Eriksson, comic artist, Imy the Comic

WEBSITE of the great Comic Artist Irma Eriksson
Irma Eriksson website:



Welcome and thank you for participating in the interview series on my blog.

I got the idea for this interview series many years ago, around 2003-2005, when I got in contact with several other CorelDRAW users, on Coreldraw community forums. I saw how all these people were great in what they do on a daily basis in their profession using the same graphics software programs as I. It was initially the common factor, and you is the first who don’t use the same software suite.

When did you start drawing and creating comics?


– Thank you. It’s actually a difficult question for me to answer. I was of course always drawing as a kid. And I enjoyed it. I never took art classes at school or anything, and I didn’t really do much of traditional drawing with charcoal, any special pens or brushes, things like that. But at my freshman year at college, my room mates boyfriend just happened to have a copy of Photoshop 4.0 on his computer. And illustrator 3 or 4 as well. So he just decided to put it on my computer. I later started my computer at the time and looked at them, and I had no idea what I was looking at, and shut them down. I had never used graphics programs like that before. I had done quite a lot of drawing using the more simple Microsoft paint, learning how to use it to my best ability. And I was only using a mouse then.

The very first comic strip episod of Imy the Comic 2007, by Irma Eriksson

And I thought of Photoshop and Illustrator, well I didn’t understand the tools and features and didn’t understand a thing of it. That was back in 1998. But then I just started little by little test things in both programs. And then a year later I bought my first Wacom drawing tablet, a Graphire 2, I think it was. They came in different colours and I bought a green one. And that’s when I started to practice and really learned to draw using a graphics program. And that was in 1999 or maybe 2000. After years of practice, and I really didn’t get in to it until, I think it was in 2007. And that´s when things really took off as I started to draw my first comic. And it was also then when I really started to draw all the time. So it´s a bit difficult for me to tell exactly when and how I started. Can´t really say specifically when it was.

It evolved with time?

– Yes it was more of an evolving thing

Would you say that it was through the work with the comic that made it all become serious?

– Yes. It was. Because before then I would draw a bit here and there. And I had a blog where I wrote about my life, and was drawing casually about things that went along with what I wrote on the blog. It was really just a light comic and I enjoyed it, but for some reason I couldn’t really get my self into it in the beginning. But the comic gave me a schedule, or I gave myself a schedule. And from there I absolutely had to draw everyday for a week, and so on. So that´s when I really started to draw a lot. Everyday. And the quality of my work very quickly increased, and started to go up as a result of that.

I can totally relate to that, being an artist as well. Drawing everyday give results. You said you started to draw and write a comic about yourself and your daily life, in your first comic. That it is not one of the same comics you create today, is it?

– Oh, no, I was doing a blog before I started drawing my comic, basically on a website where I wrote about my daily life. But actually, yes, when I started my comic on my blog, it was about me. Well sort of. I had no ideas. I didn’t know what I was doing. At the time I didn’t have any specific ideas for a comic. I didn’t plan ahead on where the comic was heading. And people who create a comic, well, you are supposed to come up with a plan. To create the characters from the start. But I just wanted to draw a comic. And it was me, brown hair and so on, and it was about ten comic strip episodes in, when people really wanted to know if it was about me. And I decided, no, it is not about me. So I changed her hair from brown to red. And that´s the comic I still do today: Imy the Comic.

And of course that’s okay. I mean that is what we all do, somehow, isn’t it. Taking reference from our own life and experiences. What we read, see and experience in life, and start to tell a story. And it doesn’t have to be about oneself just because of that. And I think that is good. The story can evolve, like life itself, and talk about more issues than just ones own life.

– Exactly, and that´s what it is. Because there are parts of me in that comic, all over, and not only in the main character, but all characters in the comic. But she really is her own character. It is a different world. But like they say, write about what you know. It´s the easiest thing.

Todays look, style and feel of Imy the Comic, 2015, by Irma Eriksson

You started your comic in 2007. And it is online, equally on your website one can buy printed editions of your comic, right?

– Yes. My comic is online for people to read. And then I have my printed editions which people can buy on my website, and in which I always have extra stories only found in the printed book editions. And I also add some extra art in there. For some years for example I would have illustrations made by my illustrator friends in america and other places, to submit something. I appreciate it so much that they do. They would have to take my characters and draw them with a theme. And you only will find this in the printed editions. The printed editions are Compilation editions of my comics for each years episodes. And I also sell them at Comic Con´s in New York, and in London in a few weeks from now, and Swedish SPX. I have five printed book editions now. I have one out each year.


I share a table with a friend at the Comic Con in New York, and where people can buy them. And it is great. You get to talk with people about your art and your comics.

This years book is a bit different, in that I had a comic running in Göteborgsposten daily newspaper for 1 months now, and I had it translated into Swedish by my husband.

How did that feel, to suddenly see your own comic character in another language, in swedish?

– That was very strange. I loved it, and it was very cool of course. I can write in Swedish of course but it’s not my native language, and I would had wished I could have written the words in swedish myself of course. But it came out very good. And then I took one comic and had friends to translate it to various languages, and had it in the back of the book. To show it in different languages. Same episode, but in different translations. And it had a sneeze in it also, so my husband and I had fun to try to find out how to write a sneeze in Swedish. We had several swedish friends write in swedish the sneeze, and they all wrote differently. So we made one which we felt had all versions in it, somehow, and into one swedish sneeze. It was very funny.

– So you can see it in, I believe, six languages: italian, french, german, spanish, dutch, swedish and english of course.


You also have another comic running: Cosmical Comic ( ), and it got some really fun attention to say the least.

– Yes, I posted a comic drawing on my twitter, and it went kind of viral, in that it got attention from NASA, who posted on my twitter about how they loved it, the comic drawing I made. And I love space and the universe and so that was great fun of course. I made one with the Shuttle and Orion that they loved!


What would you say is one of the biggest differences between the Comic expo SPX /Small Press Expo) in Sweden compared to the Comic Con in New York? I know, it sounds like an obvious question doesn’t it. But someone have to put the question out there, right.

– I would say that New York Comi con is the mad house. It is crazy, crazy and I can’t even try to explain it for you. Other than just crazy. But, what´s good about it, New York Comic Con versus San Diego Comi-Con, they still promote comics much more than the San Diego version does. And I give them much credit for this. New York have an artist alley. And they do a really good artist alley. And its in the separate part of the convention center and apart from the rest of the madness at the convention with all the celebrities. And there you have artists selling and showing their work, and not together with all the computer games, celebrities and all that. So those who step in there, come for the artists work. And it’s very good. So, to comparing to SPX, would be to say that the New York Comic Con artist alley is comparable with the SPX. And SPX is more independent, with less known artist than the big names at the Comic Con in New York.

New York Comic Con 2014 Convention Center

Artist Alley at New York Comic Con

– Another difference then of course is the share difference in size and amount of visitors, New York Comic Con simply being a bigger expo. With a guarantee of 150 000 visitors. But one other thing that is also different is, that in Sweden, visitors to your table, where you sit with your comics, more like to watch first and discover by themselves. And then maybe start talking with you. Whereas at the New York Comic Con, the visitors more instantly start to talk, first, and discuss the comic and art and everything. So it clearly is a difference in that respect of course.

Irma Eriksson, Imy the Comic, Marc LaPierre, at New York Comic Con 2014

Irma Eriksson and Marc Lapierre, comic artits at New York Comic Con 2014

Comic artist´s Irma Eriksson & Marc Lapierre, at New York Comic Con

– And in the Comic Con in America it is more about colours. Bold colours. Commercial I guess you can call it. Whereas Swedish SPX is more darker and black and white. Both literally and figuratively. And that’s fine, with the style of black and white drawings. They are beautiful, and you don’t need colours all the time, but they are also more longer forms of stories. More serious topics over here in Sweden. Some really kind of dark stuff. And it just is a very different comic scene. And that´s fine of course and no problem with that. Just different in that respect.

– I spoke with a friend of my husband, who is a swedish artist who make a lot of concept art for Hollywood films, And he said there is a reason for that. And if I remember it correctly, he said that it was a reaction to the stories like Bamse and all playful, not dark or anything, swedes read when they were kids and growing up. And comics especially back then, seen more like something for kids, only. And that comic artists in Sweden today, wanted to tell real stories with maybe more grown up subjects, and way of drawing.

I can actually agree a bit with that. But I would probably add that society as a whole has changed quite a bit as well.

When you started making your comic, was it something special, a turning point in life, like you walked into a glass door, or event that made it take off to what it is today?

– Haha, glass door, no. But yes there was a specific moment. I always wanted to make a comic. And I had been reading webcomics. And as a kid I loved Garfield. I never thought I could make one myself. Thinking that I couldn’t write like that. I was really into reading the Elvis comic by Cronstam and Nemi by Lise Myhre, the norwegian comic artist. And those two especially, made me feel I really wanted to that. But I felt I couldn’t come up with anything special, any ideas. But then I just drew for myself a fun image for my Facebook, an image of myself listening to my Ipod. And put it up as my profile picture. And one of my friends commented, she said: “This one really looks like a newspaper comic. You really should do a comic about yourself living in Sweden”. And I don’t know why, but for some reason her writing that, was that moment. And I said: “Okey I´ll going to do it!”. And I wrote my first comic, and so silly, but I wrote it anyway. And today when I look back at it, the art and feeling “o my god”. But the point is that I made one, and her writing that. And I think it was that morning I made my first comic. And it was all very quick: draw it and put it up online. I didn’t want to wait for anything, I just wanted to put something out there. More like “so, look what I did”, and feeling I did this.

Must have been a fantastic feeling

– Yeah, and I was just thinking I would do 5 comic strips. And when I saw I had done 5, I felt well, now I can do a few more. And I kept doing it. So her comment and seeing me doing it, it was a great feeling. Yes, so that was the moment when it all started, 2007.

You make the comic inspired by your own life and events and things happening, but would you say there is also a sort of red thread going through the story. Something that is kind of always present?

– Well, I mean, I started it more like a newspaper typ of comic, in the beginning, like a fun story. But it is based on a character, her apartment and her friends and a fictitious city. Not saying it is any real town or city in the world, in which she lives. So there is a thread about her life. And if there is any people who have read the comic for years, from the beginning, they will recognize characters, and some they like to come back again. I have a character who is a fish in a coffee pot which come back now and then. I don’t know if there is any specific thread, but it’s about her life.

For a while I thought that the Swedish SPX, the Small Press Expo comic festival, had vanished, I´ve been busy working. But like you said it is still around. There was that Stockholm Comic Con that felt odd, when they never came out with any real information at the beginning. What would you say about the SPX instead. I used to like SPX and I wrote a blog article about it a few years ago. Do you think it is still a great expo?

– Yes, SPX is still around. Sometimes its in april and sometimes in may. It´s still at Kulturhuset in Stockholm, and it is getting bigger. And they have a lot of guest from various countries. Every year there is a theme. One year there was american guests, and last year I think it was Canadians. I don’t think it is always country themes. There are other themes too I believe. And I think it´s a great show!

– It´s all independents and no big names. Just independents and many people come back.

Small press expo, stockholm, sweden, spx, comics artist alley

Being a swede meant when I was growing up, that I read a lot of comics from France and Belgium, and for that matter unknowingly a lot of from Italy – Cowboy comics. The comics from France and Belgium: Asterix & Obelix, the Smurfs, Lucky Luke and so on. And when I talk with american friends, they never heard of Lucky Luke. Which is a huge comic here in europe. But at the same time I got exposed by all the american comics as well of course. The super heroes we all know about – and comic book stories in Agent X9, as its called in Sweden. More crime and real world type of crime stories. I read tons of Modesty Blaise as a kid, up until the spanish comic artist kind of destroyed it with his way of drawing Modesty.

It continued of course with Disney, and later on in my teens, the underground comics from america and in the 80´s and 90´s the Noir-ish comics. Frank Miller Sin City for example. By the way I really just need one Frank Miller book in my book shelve from the Sin City comics, and that’s “The Yellow Bastard”. Brilliant art and composition. Very inspiring. Okay, Mike Mignola also of course, who is another huge personal favorite, together with Mobius (Jean Giraud) and Jean-Claude Mézières

Is there something you as an american think we should dig into? To find out about, different to the genres and style I mentioned?

Or is american comics just about Super Hero Comics and nothing else…

– Haha, yes its ONLY about superhero´s. NO, of course there is lot more than just that. But of course when you specifically go to a Comic con in the US you will see a lot of superheros. Really, a lot.

Unfortunately with super hero comics is the female characters drawn with huge silicon breasts and small mouths and so on. A quite tiring view on women. Gets a bit boring, to say the least, as you grow up.

– Yes, I know what you mean, but I would say there is a big change going on now. People demanding and saying you should´nt draw women in comics like that. Be more creative and give more depth to the characters, better costumes, better ideas, and things like that.

There is one notorious comic artist, Rob Liefeld who is so bad. You might first think they look well drawn, but then you see how he make drawings of women in twisted positions, unreal looking, just to show both boobs and buts in the same frame. And people has started to react against that.

And I think the reason this change and critique have started, is because of the Comic Cons. I have a friend who used to go to every Comic Con from the beginning, when there used to be only comics and basically only men visiting the conventions. And now that has totally changed. These days it is more 50-50 women and men. And families. And the visitors of course start to demand things. Saying: “well, that’s too old fashion these days”. Things are shifting and there are a lot of discussions about that online.

They also want more female stories, and better dressed females. And they want that change, now. But there is also a lot of resistance towards this new change of things as well. It´s a comics revolution going on.

Irma Eriksson the comic artist drawing Wondwr Woman at New York Comic Con

I guess it’s also a lot of men in the world of comics sitting in front of their computers, doing whatever they are doing, feeling they are being somewhat invaded into their own space. That they are loosing something. And then react I guess.

– Yes, and a male friend of mine, who is a comic artist, always wanted to get women to be part of all this, the comics world. And now when women are participating, and it is just a few of course, not all men, they start to complain about it. And his thoughts about it is that when they were younger, the women rejected them. And now when they are here, these same men feel bitter. It seems.

I think its true what you say, but I suspect it can also be part of men fearing loosing their realm of things, and ultimately loosing their control. And men don’t like loosing control, as an ingredient to what you said. And when they lose their control, they act out. It doesn’t have to be physical violence, but mind game and building their own imagined world instead. To re-gain control.

At least from my personal experience of the Swedish comic scene, it feels like women comic artists are taking over, or at least getting more exposure in the media right now. And that’s okay with me. Although 50/50 should be the ultimate goal. Equally what I can feel, and I am not criticizing it, just noticing, is that a lot of swedish comics are about me-centric issues. I´m missing a broader diversity of issues and topics. Whats your thought?

That´s why online comics, self publishing online have really blown up in the last five years. And have changed everything. And where you can find diversity and deeper stories. That´s where people can write and draw whatever they want. And that´s were you will find everything you are looking for.

I mean, there is a lot awful stuff, and lot of shallow stuff, and a lot of fluffy stuff, light comics. And maybe mine is a bit fluffy and light

No, I am not against light comic stuff or humour. I love it and read it. And humour often have a deeper thing in it. I just want to be able to read more diverse stories. So I am not criticizing. And I like your comic, and the style, which is one of the reasons I like to have this interview.

But I mean, it´s also because newspapers are disappearing, and they like to keep the old stuff. More like Peanuts and Garfield. And they like to create more space in the paper for other things, and that’s one of the problems. But Garfield, a great comic, it´s been published now, for how many years, 35 years or so? And they are still creating more new Garfield, and for example Blondie. My mom who is 75, who loves Blondie would be devastated if they remove Blondie.

But there are so many new people in comics, who ask why they can´t get into the newspapers. On the other hand, there is so much happening in online web comics and the possibilities, therefore  many simply don’t want to go into the newspapers anymore. And one being that they are disappearing as well.

And the comics is one of the things people read in the newspaper, so they basically alienate some readers, and have them go elsewhere. Odd and seems a stupid decision.

But again, in online comics, which is shifting and changing everything, is where it’s happening, and we don’t know where its gonna wind up right now.

That leads me to a new question – money. How do you make money from online comics. If they are out there easy for everyone to read? Being a freelancer, an artist, illustrator, is tough work. How to make a living from it. Whats your take on it?

It´s the constant question everyone is asking, of course. It’s not an easy answer, especially as its online. There is a lot of freedom to publish online, and to make it available to read their comics. And while some charge money, many other people give away their comics for free, and people reading them expect to read them for free. And I am one of those people who put them online for free. Because in the beginning I just wanted to put them out there. And really no one really know how to make money from their comics. But those who do make money have been the lucky ones. Of course they have good stuff also, you can’t beat quality. You can’t make crappy comics either, and then expect people to pay for it.

But do you think we should go offline, and maybe just offer a teaser, create a cliffhanger and then if people like to read more they have to pay?

Should we go offline? It’s hard to say. But really, it can’t go offline. The world is online and it’s already out there.

PayPal Donate?

PayPal? Have you heard of Patreon? ( ). it’s a new thing that got started a few years ago. I havent really tried that out yet, but more and more people are getting into that. Using Patreon, and its working for some people, is like a monthly subscription, where people sign up. You can put your comic up for free, like I do. And then you the creator have an account. You can then let your readers know, that if they like your comic and like to read it, they can go to Patreon and pay whatever amount they like for a month and subscribe. Be it 1 dollar or 5 dollars a month and so on. And maybe, not necessary, you have different levels. Offer them extra stuff. View and read something before its released. And it has started to be quite successful for a lot of people, making money from their comics. And some people lock their comics on a website, so you can only read it if you subscribe. People use it differently and what works for them. This have been the best way so far to make money from your self published comics online. It’s a new thing and starting to take off.

In what way is that different from PayPal Donate? If you can pay to Patreon and then when you like your money, you can have them transfer it to your PayPal. But that is kind of double fee for those services. For you who sell your comics and want your money into the bank.

I think people get more involved when they have a Patreon account. They are logged in like a member of your comic. I am not entirely into that myself right now, but its an interesting new thing. Before Patreon it was mostly just advertizing on ones website. But all the banners and advertizing just become so saturated and the money involved in placing them to your website have fallen. So, it’s not working quite as before. Advertizing on your website doesn’t make much, unless you have thousands and thousands of readers on your website or blog or comic page everyday.

One don’t expect to make so much money on ones comics these days, it’s simply hard to do. Originally, for me, I didn’t even go into comics for the money. I went into comics purely for my own reasons to tell comic stories.

One thing of course could be to self publish your comics, on print as well, on Amazon. One thing with Amazon though is that not all people in the world can sell on Amazon, unless there is a dedicated amazon domain for that country. Simply because Amazon doesnt transfer money you have earned as a seller, to any bank account, unless it’s a country with a domain Amazon use. For example Sweden with one of the absolute strongest economies don’t presently have an Amazon domain, which is “.se”. But equally this could be one interesting thing for many self publishing creators out there. Many who read comics don’t necessarily hang around the usual comic reader crowd.

One of the reason of course for regular publishing houses, is that e-books don’t cost as much as a printed book. And so they don’t get enough revenue. And people lose their jobs and publishing businesses go out of business.


And now for the final question, Irma, the “important” one everyone get in this Interview Series, do you drink coffee or tea for breakfast?

Plain fresh water

Excellent, wouldnt had thought that for second.




Thank you very much Irma Eriksson. This interview has been great fun and inspiring. And I am very happy you accepted to be part of my ongoing Interview Series here on my blog.


Stefan Lindblad
Illustrator, artist & graphic designer &

Irma Eriksson, illustrator and comic artist

Freelance is great, but be realistic

I read an inspirational article on Pulse, LinkedIn, promoting going freelancing. And there is nothing wrong with that of course. (Edit: this is my republishing of my own article I wrote today on my own Pulse LinkedIn page).

But as much as it is positive, it would be beneficial also if one had pointed out that freelance work is not for everyone. I live and work in Sweden, and in my country freelance work have had a huge increase similar to the article writer´s country USA. Nothing wrong with going freelance. I am my own boss. And art is my passion. But everything in life has more sides than just one. A coin has three, and never fully flat with all the engravings.

It can be a reality check indeed, going freelance. It can even be a mistake for some.

I have been running my own freelance business since 1997. When it works it´s great and can´t picture myself stopping being a freelance illustrator & designer. Equally freelancing is hard work. You have the ups and downs. The success and the failures. You have the good times and the bad times. You have clients, and you loose them in bulks. And you need to get new ones all the time. Never stop looking for new ones. You need to learn your trade. Keep up with changes in society. Just like any other type of work.

Going freelance, Stefan Lindblad, illustration, design, CorelDRAW Master, Cover artist

People looking for a job is told how important writing a CV and a personal letter is. And how to perfect it. They basically invent the wheel each time they write it. It is basically the same for a freelancer. Or, and also, depending on who you write to as a freelancer looking for a client. Or when you as an illustrator with years of success, suddenly see how your typical style is suddenly out of fashion. What is very important is to see the hard realities at the same time as one see the positives.

Yes, dream! and be realistic at the same time. If we only listen to yes sayers, or only no sayers, we need to understand that balance is key. Sometimes we go freelance because it seems as the only choice. Sometimes a freelance business career is an instant success, but many times it seems like a lifetime of ordeals of never feeling the lift off, from years of hard work.

One of the first things in going freelance, and then keep doing it, is to get involved in trade organizations of your own trade, and meet people who aren’t your enemy. Who give you true advice on pricing and things like writing an agreement, a contract and all that pay the bills. But also learn the trade of our prospective clients. You need to know your clients. And if doing something for free, do it pro-bono for a help organization rather than your brother or sister or friend. And if doing something for free, do it pro-bono for a help organization rather than your brother or sister or friend. Unless you really whant to help out a friend, and that is never wrong. Just know you need to pay the bills in the end. And of course I have done work for free. It´s not wrong.  It can be very rewarding to do it. But also remember the ones closest to you rarely enjoy paying the same money as you ask your regular clients to pay. So you end up working hard but with less money. And that can sink any boat very quickly.

I am all for going freelance, but it really is a reality check. And it can hurt and hit very bad.

But it can also be the passion that keeps on giving. The one that make you feel better about yourself. Being your own boss, managing your own business means you wont get sacked. You may loose one client, but have three other coming in.


It can be all that you dream of. Equally, learn the trade and keep a realistic view on things. And one more thing – always pay your tax and keep all your papers in order. I would strongly suggest you get an accountant. And you might get great advice on which accountant to go to via the trade organizations members.

Stefan Lindblad
Illustrator, cover artist & graphic Designer &

My New Info Graphic illustration: Ablative brain Surgery. CorelDRAW X7

My New info graphic illustration about “Ablative Brain Surgery”. True vector art made with CorelDRAW X7. So called ablative brain surgery method, destroy brain tissue and leave it in its place. Not removing it.

You can see my illustration and more info graphics on my website illustration page, dedicated for Info Graphics. read, see more >

Ablative brain surgery, info graphic illustration by Stefan Lindblad, CorelDRAW Master


Stefan Lindblad
Illustration, graphic design & art &

The Interview Series: Leslie Sturgess – Car vehicle illustrator



Welcome Leslie Sturgess – Car vehicle illustrator to the Interview series

Your Name: Leslie Sturgess



Hi there Leslie, and thank you for participating in my Interview Series with illustrators from around the world here on my blog. What year did you start working as an illustrator, creating vector art?


What types of tools do you use, software and or traditional medium?

Pencil and Pen, Have used Oil Paint in the past. And CorelDRAW


Do you work as a freelancer or a staff illustrator?

It is a hobby more than anything

I´ve seen quite a lot of great vector illustrations from you illustrating car´s. How come you love doing illustrations of cars?

I guess I was born with Petrol in my blood always loved Motorcycles and Hot Rods and drag racing from an early age


What do you consider especially important when you start planning working on a car image?

Usually the angle of the car/bike, this has become more important as I have progressed with the software

Any particular car you look forward to draw but for whatever reason never have done so far?

Not really, I would like to do more motorcycles but they take so long in full colour, and spokes are very difficult I would like to find an easier way of doing them. The last two bikes I have done in full colour took around 50 hours each to complete.

Do you draw solely in the computer using CorelDRAW or do you also use more traditional mediums?

I sketch with pen and pencil sometimes to get ideas for CorelDRAW, and i recently purchased a Galaxy note but still learning how to use


I´ve seen many classic american cars, and nothing wrong with that, but do you see yourself drawing a Ford Fiesta anytime soon?

Yes sorry about that, I have a love affair with American Cars…..I have done a few English cars GT6/JAG/TR6 etc and I Have drawn a Ford Escort



Surface is of course very important, and I remember a picture of a blue car in which you had succeded to get an almost painterly feel to the surface, without showing brush strokes. As if you had painted realistically on a paper with a nice soft grain surface, using water color with only so slightly colour pigments. It was brilliant. How did you finish that off. After all we talk vector art?

Thanks for the kind comments, I feel most of the time it’s trial and error and making sure you look at the real world when you’re outside, I will quite often look at how the sun is reflected in chrome and paint while I am say in a car park.

The affect was created using the excellent transparency tool in CorelDraw, I now use the BMAP tool and blur and then transparency tool also, work awesome

I did learn a lot from watching tutorials on YouTube and reading the guide book


Do you do other illustration work other than cars?

I have attempted a few portraits of friends and family and I have been working on cartoon cars recently, some have been joint efforts with other artist


If you could tell Corel who create CorelDRAW Graphics Suite, and they would fulfill your wish, which tool or feature would ask them to create and add to the suite?

Airbrush affect tool would be nice, maybe there is one already? I try to get each tool to work for me and often do not venture to look at too many other tools in the software. I like to try and master a tool if I can. I use the B-Spline tool the most (Love it) and I know not many other people use this tool but it works great for me
Yes, I can only say I agree Leslie, B-Spline tool is a great tool. Love that tool as well. B-Spline and Freehand one the most often for many of my own jobs.

And lastly coffee. Everyone get this question: Coffee or Tea in the morning?


Thank you Leslie!



Stefan Lindblad
Illustrator, graphic designer