kristina hultkrantz is the lady behind emmakisstina illustration, a fun, girly brand based out of stockholm, sweden. kristina's stye is bold and playful. she has a ton of goodies in her shop at all different price points, so there is something for everybody there! kristina shared about her journey to being a full-time illustrator below.
what is your background?
my background is a little mix of both. i took as many art classes as i could in grade school and then took a bfa at university level in traditional drawing and painting methods. at art school i really honed my drawing, composition, and color palette choosing skills but once out of school i thought something was lacking. in order to keep my work current, i taught myself digital coloring techniques in photoshop and illustrator. i thought the combination of traditional ink drawings with crisp digital color really suited my aesthetic as well. a perfect match! plus no more annoying paint supply clean up.
how did you get started selling your illustrations?
my friend introduced me to etsy in 2005. i first set up shop with a strange mix of drawings and paintings from my university days. after a year of no luck selling any of these (they were horrible, so i don't blame anyone for my lack of customers) i shut down the store. after a few months, i put down some real work to create a new shop with real passion and thought behind it. emmakisstina was created!
what inspires you?
everything! other girls, instagram, travels, tv shows, plants, pinterest, other creatives, sweden.
what has been the best thing you’ve done for your company?
moving to stockholm! living costs may not be as affordable as they would be if i had stayed in the states but what i get in return is so much more valuable to me. art and design is everywhere you look in sweden, especially stockholm. everything from posters on the street, to people, packaging on groceries, etc. is designed well. it is hard to not be inspired! if i had stayed in the states i'm not sure if i would have made the same connections i've made here or have been inspired to continue working as a full time illustrator. i also am just insanely happy here, so i'm sure that helps a whole lot too.
what are you most looking forward to this year and into next?
tons of stuff! i'm looking forward to another trade show here in stockholm in january and the release of three books illustrated by me to be released in the spring.
what advice would you give to makers who are just getting started?
i'd say, create as much as you can and don't be afraid that it's not perfect the first time around. i'm still kind of faking it until i make it and learning as i go.
kristina is giving away a medium sized 18x24cm print of the winner's choice to a lucky winner! enter by leaving a comment with 1) what emmakisstina illustration print you would want and 2) your e-mail. giveaway ends at midnight on january 27th, pst. click here to look at all of kristina's prints here. good luck! this giveaway is open internationally.