Meet the Maker - Lina Lofstrand

Thursday, November 20, 2014
Joining us at the Made in Bristol Gift Fair this Sunday 7th December is Swedish illustrator Lina Lofstrand.  Lina's drawings are whimsical and beautiful, and make a perfect addition to any art wall.  We caught up with Lina recently to discover how she celebrates Christmas...
Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work? 
I’m Lina, a maker and illustrator. I moved to Bristol 5 years ago to study at Bower Ashton and have since graduating been a part of Blaze; an artist run shop and studio on Colston Street in the great Christmas Steps Arts Quarter. My work is mainly based in drawings of imaginary characters, often inspired by the woods and the sea from my home country Sweden. 

How do you prepare yourself & your work in the months running up to the Gift Fair? 
I do really long days in the studio. On a good day I try to get in at 8am to get a couple of hours of work done before my studio friends come in and distract me with lots of lovely tea drinking and chatting. I work 7 days a week to keep on top of my to do lists and don’t do much else then making and drawing! 
Do you have any tips to someone who is just starting out, on selling at Christmas markets? 
Wear lots of clothes and a big woolly hat if the market is outside. Bring plenty of change in your float and make friends with your market neighbours so you can help each other out when it’s time to get teas and coffees. 

What special little touch do you offer your customers?
I have done many customised drawings where customers have asked me to add a name, flag or map to make it a personal present to a loved one. I quite often draw sailors with tattoos so it’s quite easy to sneak in a little secret message! 
What handmade item is high on your Christmas wish list? 
A Jess Quinn drawing! I love her work so much. And a Simon Tozer screenprint! 

What is your favourite part of Christmas? 
I love having a nice chunk of time off to just relax and not think too much about work and drawing. It’s always nice to have a couple of days off with my partner Ben after working late evenings and long days leading up to Christmas. This year I’m going home to spend Christmas with my family in Sweden for the first time in 5 years so I’m more excited about Christmas this year then usual! I also really like giving presents, so I enjoy hunting down special gifts and wrapping them nicely before giving them away. 
Which UK artist/maker’s Facebook or Twitter feed do you find most inspiring and why? 
I don’t follow anyone on either Twitter or Facebook but love looking in books with work by illustrators and artists. My favourite is Edward Gorey’s Amphigory’s. Endless inspiration! My friend recently lent me her book about Alfred Wallis life and work that is full of his lovely paintings and lots of inspiration! 

What is your favourite family Christmas tradition? 
Long walks in the snow and mulled wine! When I was younger we had a horse, on Christmas day we use to go up to the stables in the morning before breakfast and spend a few hours with the horses before going home to all the Christmas celebrations. 
Finally, if you could re-design a Christmas decoration, what would it be and why? 
I would probably make all the modern plastic decorations into lovely old-fashioned wooden ones again.

Thank you Lina, your Christmas in Sweden sounds magical, let's hope for snow!  You can find Lina on the Entrance Level of the Colston Hall foyer this Saturday.
Made in Bristol Gift Fair
Colston Hall 

Saturday 29th November 2014
Sunday 7th December 2014
10am - 4pm

Saturday 13th December 2014 
10am - 3pm

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