Mixed media work: The two cultures.

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Mixed media work: The two cultures.

I have recently been experimenting with collage. I particularly love to collect old bits of found ephemera and leaflets on the street and manipulate them along with photography into my illustration work. I saw an exhibition a few months ago that featured some of the work of Jesse Treece and Kurt Schwitters (see below) and I found it so inspiring. I went home right afterwards and began looking though my sketchbooks and folders of bits and bobs and piecing things together.

My partner, Nick Hagger is a neuroscientist. We talk often about how different our jobs are. He sits in a lab all day doing experiments on and writing about the brain and I sit in an office at a desk making websites and designs. He has to follow very strict protocols and research techniques whereas I'm always trying to find new ways to solve aesthetic problems which stray from the rigid and boring. When I write it like that, our jobs sound very different.

However in many ways we do a lot of similar stuff. We both engage in creative problem solving. Just as I am faced with a dilemma when trying to design a clean mobile interface for a feature heavy webshop, Nick faces dilemmas when conceiving experiments to identify and explore new brain cell types.

Arts and science are commonly divided into two cultures which are expected to be seperate and each is expected to have nothing to say about the other, however both art and science exist on a spectrum of human experience and combining artistic and scientific approaches can yield insight and understanding about each other.

Nick sent me a photo that he took down a microscope of a brain cell (a granular cell of the dentate gyrus) which had a dye injected into it and I thought it was so cool. He had cut out this brain cell himself from a section of brain containing the hippocampus. It amazed me that we are able to see something so small. I was imagining the brain as this huge tapestry and I was imagining that Nick was allowing me to zoom into it so I could see this one pixel.

I decided to use this image in a mixed media illustration of the brain. I also used a photo of "spaghetti junction" - a famously complicated motorway junction in the UK, to illustrate the constant, busy and complicated flow of information from the brain to the rest of the body. Using art we can make science more understandable and exciting for everyone. Here is my illustration:

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Rubens Skattekammer

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Rubens Skattekammer

One of the most fun clients I have had so far whilst working at Digitroll has been Rubens Skattekammer. They are a cute family run costume and party store in the heart of Bergen, right next to Fløyen! I designed their whole webshop and shopping experience, keeping the yellow and black theme that has lasted with them throughout the years. I designed a repeating pattern for the background which features symbols related to costume and parties. I like this site because it manages to be fun and jokey whilst maintaining the clean and clear rules of good UI design. 

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Vegan Oslo

I have made an app called Vegan Oslo. It is my first app I have made completely alone (funded, planned and designed by me) and I'm really proud of it. Since I launched it 3 days ago it has become the 30th most popular app in Norway and has received a lot of media attention. Aftenposten posted two articles about the app in one day and gave us a double page spread in their printed news the next day! We have also been featured by the Norwegian Vegan Society and vegan tv chef: Veganmannen.

Read the great Aftenposten article here!

I set myself a short deadline and knew I was working to a tight budget. I had the idea to make this app at the start of December and have made the actual app, curated branding and content strategy and built up a website, a blog, a facebook page and big following on instagram before it has even got to the end of January. I worked closely with developers to make sure that my user experience designs were implemented satisfactorily and spent many hours curating a database.

I created some interesting marketing campaigns around the project in the run up to the launch which include an countdown where i posted one of my favourite vegan places in the city every day complete with a screen print poster of the place. Bringing my flair for illustration to my marketing and social strategy for Vegan Oslo was a cool idea.

I have so many plans for Vegan Oslo. I can't wait to see how it develops.

Download the app from the app store!

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The long road of logo design.

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The long road of logo design.

For a little while now I have been designing a logo and identity for a new project that me and the boys at HAVAmedia are working on called fvr. Here are some snippets from the design process.

Designer Wu Yuanyuan came to work with me for a week at the end of the ideas stage.

Designer Wu Yuanyuan came to work with me for a week at the end of the ideas stage.

It was really fun to have another designer to bounce ideas off for two weeks.

It was really fun to have another designer to bounce ideas off for two weeks.

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Window Painting

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Window Painting

A while ago (ok, quite a while ago now) I painted the windows of a (really really great) vegan cafe/lifestyle and record store called V Revolution whilst I was on a trip back home in Manchester. Even if you are not vegan, if you find yourself in Manchester you really would be missing out by not visiting this place. They pride themselves on their vegan junk food, and always have an array of ridiculous burgers, big fat hot dogs, amazing cakes and great coffee ready to go. 

I loved working on a large scale and with paint, as I find myself too often working digitally behind a monitor scribbling away on the wacom tablet. It would be really cool to do more projects similar to this. I dunno why I drew an astronaut. Space is just cool isn't it?

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Interior Design of the ultimate nerd office.

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In my day job I work for a company called HAVAMedia. We make websites, apps and dabble in a few other little projects related to gaming, tech and experimenting with new technologies. I suppose everyone at the company is quite into video games, one of our biggest sites is a gaming news site called N4G, but yeah, you get the idea, we are huge group of nerds. Anyway, last year things at the company stepped up a level, more people came to work with us and we decided that we needed more space. We moved from our little office downtown to a much bigger office in central Oslo. My boss, Vegard came to me and asked me to make the office really fun and reflect what huge nerds we all are for video games, tech and movies, and so I began this interior design project.

The old office was cosy, but it was too small for us all!

The old office was cosy, but it was too small for us all!

It was great to start out with such a blank canvas, there was a huge open space to play with, a massive white room with absolutely nothing in it! Together with an architect we planned out how we wanted to divide the space up. After this we put up some glass walls to create a meeting room and some small individual office rooms. We began by agreeing on a colour palette, deciding to use a strong red white and black palette we have always favoured in a lot of our projects. We installed a shiny black kitchen and soon we were able to make our very first cup of tea in the new place!

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I planned out what stuff was going to go in the various rooms and a kind of nickname for all the spaces to make it easier to design for them. We then had a meeting to talk about what kind of cool stuff we wanted in each space. A lot of ideas were thrown out there from the kind of normal: 'I really want a water cooler' to the slightly ridiculous: 'can we have a wall that is made out of disco balls?' I made a lot of notes.

After this I took pictures of all the spaces with our basic furniture in so I could think about how to arrange them and what to do with them.

Too plain for our tastes.

Too plain for our tastes.

I then began sketching ideas for colours, fun practical ideas, art and furniture over the top of our pictures. I made some mood boards too. I showed these pictures to everyone to see if they liked the direction I was heading in and everyone was on board! These sketches proved to be super useful in translating my ideas to the carpenters, decorators and various other people that helped me finish the project.

Now it was time that I got in touch with sign makers, carpenters, blind fitters and started shopping for lovely bits of furniture. I also began working on what will be my biggest illustration to date, a wallpaper design incorporating the favourite movies and games of everyone at the company. I made everyone send me a list of their favourites, the list seemed endless at first, but I managed to whittle it down to the most iconic ones. Here are some pictures of my work in progress from my instagram.

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We decided to use a great company called Expoline to print the wallpaper, make the signs and also make the window frosting. They were really really great! Their representative, Svein came over to the office and told me that anything I could think of doing was possible. This could be dangerous information in the hands of a girl like me! I showed him my plans and designs and we went forward from there. I gave Svein all my sketches and the exact colours from the palette that we had agreed upon at the start of the project. I also gave this palette to the decorators and companies we were ordering furniture and stuff from. We had a big shiny metal sign made and I even got stuck into a bit of real life painting myself, transforming some old paintings into new pieces to be hung up in the cinema room. I got a bit too messy!

I ordered a load of fabulous lamps from Habitat and designed a repeating pattern for a window frosting that was echoed in the wallpaper design.

This one repeats along all glass windows in the office as you can see below.

This one repeats along all glass windows in the office as you can see below.

As the days went by I began to see the project really coming together. It actually ended up taking me around 2 months to finish the wallpaper which was a 16000 pixel seamless pattern in the end. It was ok that it took me so long though because there were so many other little things to get fixed up too! The day that it was delivered and I got to see it in the flesh was so satisfying. It was great to see all the detail up close. We had some lovely guys from Expoline come and hang up the wallpaper, they lined up the designs perfectly!

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One of the most important things when you have a desk job is that you have a chair that is good for your body. To celebrate the fact that the project was nearly finished, I organised 'Beer & Chair Day' and as a company we all went chair shopping for our perfect seat to fit our individual requirements and then we all went for beer and pizza!

After it was all put up we came up with the idea of displaying all of our old video games consoles on a wall in the media room. My boss has quite a large collection that he has been building up ever since he was very small. Theres no point letting them get dusty in the attic, I thought it would be better to display the Megadrives and Ataris on the wall! I got them all out and made a plan of how to display them, arranged them on the floor in a pleasing way and finally measured where I should hang them. In order to put them up I had to construct each one of them a wire metal frame fitting each of their weird shapes. This was a really fun part of the project!

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The project is 99% complete now. I'm still working on getting the discoball wall up. Did you think I was going to throw that crazy idea away? I mean its already half up, I just need to grout the tiles. Hopefully I can do that soon, and get some fancy lights under there to make our disco bar area.

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With all the fun stuff going on in the office now, I do sometimes wonder how any of us get any work done. This has definitely been one of my most fun projects and I'd love to do something like this again. It's fun to do other things aside from drawing and web design!

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Oslo Comics Expo 2014

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Oslo Comics Expo 2014

sally oslo comic expo

I sold a load of posters and postcards and little things like that at Oslo Comic Expo again this year. It is always such a fun event and really great to be part of the comic community in Oslo. I find it so inspiring that big comic book artists and smaller independent alternative ones come together at the event, helping each other and celebrating each others work. If you want to buy some of my work check out my online shop.

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