Micke Lindebergh is the artist behind our latest summer print called, "Flower Bomb".Originally from Sweden, he has been living in Sydney for about five years. Micke is currently working as a freelance illustrator and painter. The oversized florals and fun shapes are the results of Micke's experimentation of putting together the composition of shapes in an attempt to simplify the design even further. The collaborative approach opened up a world of colour options for him beyond his usual colour scheme. The end product is a vibrant, new print that perfectly captures the essence of summer.
We had a chat with the Sydney-based artist to discuss his career and how the lockdown has affected his creative process.
E: I love your signature these large shapes. How did you arrive at this this specific style? Was it something that you worked on you've been working on for a while?
M: Maybe for about like five years I've been just obsessing with putting together compositions of shapes, really simple designs and trying to simplify things more and more and then somehow, they kind of started becoming like flowery shapes at some point. It just kind of happened naturally I think maybe about like a year ago or something like that. No, actually more than that maybe two years ago. I was kind of getting into like more floral styles and stuff. I don't know it's just playing around
E: It's so great and I think for clothing it's beautiful because having just larger scale on the body works really well. I was going to think with in terms of collaborations what other textile collaborations have you done?
M: I have done a rug for Slow Down Studios. That was really good, this is kind of a similar floral style and then I've done an apron for a Japanese brand like a traditional Izakaya apron and I did some rugs as well for Big Carpet Rugs. They're in a new library in Sydney American Ville.
E: That's really cool. How did the collaboration with Slow Down studio come about?
M: They have a yearly competition where you can like, on Instagram just put up any suggestions or things so I did. I've done that for like a few years and then I've kind of been chatting with them on Instagram for a while and at some point it just kind of happened. I was like, "Oh that's maybe it's time to make one now".
E: That's so cool
E: And people can still purchase them at the moment?
M: Yeah, it's really fun I need to buy one more for myself because I spilled some coffee on mine the other day on my couch.
E: I think it would be so beautiful also hang on the wall
M: Yeah, I've seen on Instagram some people have them stretched on like a giant canvas it looks really cool I kind of want to do that too.
E: In terms of your work just on canvases and you've been doing you had an exhibition in Melbourne recently...
M: I know just in lockdown I think the opening was just like two days after you went into to the lockdown you're in now and still going so I couldn't come and see it
E: Oh, is that at Mars Gallery, is that right?
M: Mars Gallery yeah in Windsor I think it is
E: Windsor, yeah okay.
M: I can't wait to go and see it. It's actually down now but I think we're probably gonna have a show next year there again so I'll get to go then yep so that would be fun
E: You guys have been in lockdown for a while up in Sydney and how has Covid influenced your work?
M: I definitely have more time to be like in the studio somehow because there's no there are no other distractions, I've just been spending lots of time drawing and lots of time painting. Last year, the first lockdown we went to was when I started getting more confident with my painting so I think in some way lockdown has been like quite helpful for me or I've just used it to just work more and develop my skills a bit more
E: I know what you mean it kind of gives time and space to kind of delve deeper into those if you want to try out new techniques or something that you don't usually think you're off to do you know
M: Totally yeah, I have friends but I share a studio with quite a few people and there's a lot of really interesting things happening which is really really nice. There's one girl here who paints a lot and her paintings have just like become incredible in the last like few months
E: Yeah, really push the boundaries and explore new things I think and in terms of like where you get your inspiration to keep because I know sometimes it's hard being creative and constantly being inspired and being motivated how do you get your inspiration?
M: There's a few different things I think. First of all, I have this urge just to make things. I've always had that since I was a kid and it relaxes which is good but otherwise where do I get my inspiration from... my friends. Lots of friends who are artists and illustrators but then also walking around going for walks. I get lots of inspiration or maybe going for a run. Looking in books and like collecting things I have like a million like Snoopys around.
E: Oh cute
M: Toys and art books
E: That's good, it's kind of a collection that you can have
M: Yeah, as you can see in my studio, I have lots of like things around lots of paints and all my art books and lots of colourful things around
E: Yes, I need to get more I need to invest in some nice books I reckon. There's so much stuff on Pinterest and everything but almost too much stuff on the internet. It's nice to sit down with a book.
M: I love looking through books and magazines it makes me also makes me quite calm. I can't wait for lockdown to be over so I can go to the bookshop again. It's my favourite place to go
E: What is your favourite book shop?
M: Kinokuniya it's a Japanese bookstore. They have lots really good art section. It's in Town Hall in Sydney and they have a section with Japanese books and good Chinese books. It's so many fun things and they have an amazing stationary section too and I'm very obsessed with stationery
E: They have the most beautiful. I remember because in Japan the stationary was amazing, they would have things that were the most delicate pens I've never been able to find pens you know what I mean like it's 0.001 or something on the bottom
M: oh my God yeah like a needle
E: Yeah, like a needle, that’s great. So what are you working on now at the moment? Have you got anything that you are working on?
M: I am well I'm working on this painting right here
E: oh, that's cool
M: it's kind of just like a simpler version of just like a couple of shapes like a zoom in kind of thing
E: I love that
M: thank you
E: have you been getting commissions? Do people ask for commissions? People ask for a certain artwork and you make it for them?
M: Yeah, that happens sometimes either they are paintings or prints and yeah hopefully through Mars Gallery Andy who has the gallery she's amazing so hopefully she'll get me some fun commissions too
E: In terms of people watching with a painting, what kind of price range do your paintings range?
M: I think they start around a thousand dollars
E: Cool and then the more work it gets more expensive
M: Exactly and like size and stuff matters too
E: What's something that you're looking forward to doing once lockdown is over, I mean apart from going to the bookshop?
M: Seeing some people just like hanging out with some friends again will be really fun but also like I'm dying to go home and visit my family in Sweden. I think I was like one of the first people who get who got vaccinated here because I was so eager to feel like it was a little bit closer to the end of this. I can't wait to go and see my family once again
E: When's the last time yeah you saw them?
M: Just before Covid. I went home for the Christmas and New Year and then came back here and then we kind of went into lockdown.
E: I know, hopefully it's coming to an end soon. If you were to give people advice who's been wanting to get into selling their artwork or taking painting more seriously what could you give to them?
M: The most important thing for me is always just to go with my gut feeling and really do what makes you happy. Just make sure you're doing it for the right reasons like don't do things for anyone else. Be free, don't be scared to make something weird and crazy because that's what could be the right thing and just like also like just like share your work get it out there don't be scared of sharing it with people and Instagram is so good now as well. It's really easy to get in contact with people, like we met on Instagram.
M: and now we've made a really fun shirt together
E: Beautiful print, I know. It's great but you gotta really put yourself out there and whenever I’m scrolling and if I find something, I always just quickly write them a message. Would you find that Instagram gets you a lot of work or helps you a lot with your business?
M: I think so, yeah. It's really easy to for me to share all my work and have an updated portfolio in a way so you can always see my latest work and experiment. There's one thing that I like as well about Instagram, is that can be like kind of personal you can see like what type of person the artist is which I find really interesting and I've loved seeing people's other artists like workspaces and studios and stuff like that so you get kind of like a whole like image of like what's going on
M: I love that so yeah, I always send a message if I say something that I like I'm like, "Hi my works amazing really fun" and sometimes it leads to like a collaboration or something which is also super fun because you learn so much from other artists
E: I've had so much great feedback about it so I'm excited and definitely it'll be both I think popular for the men and the women. It's kind of hard sometimes you can find friends that go across womenswear and menswear because menswear is sometimes different to like what women's wear this one's fine like it can kind of go across
M: Amazing that's so good yeah but I guess like everyone's colour is in the print so it kind of works that way want a really big one like an extra extra large for like painting like a smock.
E: Thank you so much thank you so much for coming on today
Check out Micke's instagram (@micke_lindebergh) where he posts his artworks and so much more. Huge thanks for Micke for giving us his time to be interviewed!
Watch the interview here: