Portrait drawing of Greta Thunberg and perspective on life choices

No one should be pressed to make too big bold decisions on what to do and become in life at an early age. And still, often as a younger person when you go from being a kid, to a teenager and young adult that is what you do.

You dream about life here, now, the big wide world and life ahead of you. Just not on what to do when your old and grey. It’s normal.

Drawing illustration by Stefan Lindblad

Not everyone make choices for what they should become and what their life choices should be. I did.

As I biked from my home, across Södermalm island on Götgatan in Stockholm, on route Gamla Stan (Old Town) it hit me again how different our life turns out. The crossroad, turning point just happens to you without knowing when, until later.

I was heading down to look at the school strike with Greta Thunberg in front of the Swedish Parliament. And what a turn her life took.

Here is the drawing I made in my Sketchbook, a portrait of Greta Thunberg. I never got to see her. I was late basically. But lots of people was sitting there and standing around. She might had been there, me just not seeing her.

My ink drawing made her look a bit older. But I felt that’s fine too. Will be fun to go back and look at it when she is around 20 something.

When I was 13 years old I decided to learn how to juggle oranges while pondering over what I should become in life. I asked: ”What do I like to do when I am all alone – drawing and painting”. My decision at age 13, was because after being hit, punched and kicked my first years at school aged 7-9. I felt after being left out of friends at schools sports class earlier, I wouldn’t take it, thinking back to my first school years. And decided to go my own way, forward.

When I was 16 I dreamed of going to Paris and live as an artist. Sipping coffee at cafe’s, sketching drawings and create art – and be part of the big wide world I felt destined for. I became a professional freelance illustrator. Self employed. And love it.

When Greta Thunberg was 15 or 16, she took a decision to sit in front of the Parliament and School strike for her and everyone else’s future survival on this planet. A very bold and strong decision indeed. And the world is listening and she makes an impact on a world stage.

Greta Thunberg makes an impact across the globe, and do so because of her action that day. Who would have thought. And her impressive well thought out words and beliefs based on science, information and a strong belief of it being important for lifes very existences. And she has inspired generations who themselves will make an impact in their own way. She impresses so much.

And the rest is there for us all to see.

Earlier this year I got to create portrait illustrations for a Norwegian magazine, featuring eight young people of various ages, some young but on the older scale if you like, and some teenagers. All working in one way or the other with environmental issues. And of importance to us all.

A truth I learned early on in my life, and that have been a saviour to me, is to never stress yourself comparing, competing yourself with others. Be inspired yes, but not being let down if others made more money or success. I won’t become this or that by looking at someone’s lawn and feel this or that. Instead believe in what you like to do in life, and enjoy as much as you can. And along the way in life, turns are taken and new and old paths criss-cross. You never know what will happen.

Ps. I posted this drawing on my Instagram as well.

Stefan Lindblad

Illustrator, artist