Niklas Lundberg Interview

Chapter XLII: Obsolete

  Posted by Justin Maller  \  - @justinmaller   - justinmaller.com — on June 10, 2011

Justin Maller

Hey Niklas. Congratulations on being the featured artist for Obsolete! You seemed to forge a strong connection with this theme from the outset; what concepts have you chosen to explore within the context of "Obsolete" for this chapter?

Niklas Lundberg

Hey Justin! Thank you, it's a great honour to be featured for this chapter. You are absolutely right, this theme gave me lot of ideas. All my pieces for this chapter are based in different timelines where humans are obsolete. One of my contributions called "Preconscious" is about a distant future and a fragment of an important memory that had great value to the now obsolete human race. It's not a super advanced concept like so many other submissions, but I am trying to focus my artwork on the feeling I get from the theme. The obsolete theme was really amazing because it could be interpreted in so many ways. I chose to travel in time with my concepts.

Justin Maller

You joined Depthcore in 2006, right before our "Trip To Elsewhere" chapter. Walk us through your art career; how did you discover your passion for illustration?

Niklas Lundberg

Before Depthcore I was mainly hanging around on DeviantArt, that's where my art career started. I discovered Photoshop around the age of twelve but didn't really do much with it until the 3D abstract era began. I was fooling around with the same trendy shapes as everyone else back then. I was hooked on digital art and it pretty quickly became my passion. I didn't go to any schools for art or design, I'm completely self-taught and I think I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. It made me develop my own style and process and be completely free as an artist. Sure the road to where I'm at now was really tough but I was confident this was my true passion in life and that this is what I wanna do for a living. When I joined Depthcore my art career really started to take pace, it helped me push my own work and the opportunity to interact with likeminded artists has been truly helpful and inspiring, made a lot of good friends a long the way. Today I'm freelancing and couldn't be happier.

Justin Maller

I think your creative process might be one of the more interesting ones I've come across; from the limited insight I've had, I've noticed that you seem to have a marked fondness for replicating and altering a single object to create a much more complex composition. How did you develop this?

SOLO WORK
Preconscious

Niklas Lundberg

I think it's just something I picked up while experimenting with quick drafts. But I'm trying to make it more refined. I love patterns and repetitive shapes and I try to implement them in a more interesting way. You have to be careful though to not have to many copies of the same object in your artwork, it has to be a nice balance between copied shapes and altering them so it's not to repetitive.

I always start with rough concept sketches to build up the composition that I want to use. After the concepts are done I try to find what I need to make it happen, it can either be stock images, drawn objects or hand made shapes. I usually start to work and save a few different versions a long the way so I can either combine the best of them or chose one of them to continue making the final adjustments on.

Justin Maller

Your style these days in one of the most unique mixed media aesthetics I've come across. How did you develop it over the year? Are there any visual touchstones in the art, design of cinema world that helped shape your personal style?

Niklas Lundberg

I usually make uncropped compositions which I think is the key to my personal style, whatever materials, objects or stocks that I'm using doesn't really matter. I try to combine them in a way that is consistent with my style. I rarely take inspiration from other people"s work, I am mainly influenced by travel, architecture, fashion and photography. I have ventured down that path before and realised it just end up looking like something that isn't me, that's why I try to be honest with myself and my own work and just make what comes natural to me.

Justin Maller

Which of your pieces for Obsolete was your favourite? How did you come up with the concept, and how did the piece come together?

Niklas Lundberg

I was happy with all of them actually but if I'd have to choose it would have been Preconscious. I just wanted to make something deeply connected to the obsolete theme, I had this idea of making a huge machine connected to a girl's dream, but it ended up somewhat differently. It basically started with gathering stock images and I found this really old type caster which I used as a base for the machine and reduplicated the forms. So the main shape is build out of the same stock image. Just altering the shapes to construct a more interesting composition. Everything else was added afterwards to compliment the main form and give it more harmony.

Justin Maller

Personally, Obsolete was one of my favourite Chapters in Depthcore history. What were your impressions of it? Any pieces in particular stand out for you?

Niklas Lundberg

I have to agree, such an amount of high quality artworks in this chapter. I think Obsolete is our best one to date because it's a theme that really fits most of the artists in Depthcore. I actually loved all the submissions but the piece that stood out most for me was JNK 2 by Ehren Kallman. It is just so amazingly composed and the concept behind it is really mind blowing; it fits Obsolete very well. I also loved Obsoletus by Saddo Jdero, the linework was incredible.

Justin Maller

Speaking of standing out who (within or outside Depthcore) is making work that is impressing you at the moment? Is it their execution or conceptual approach that is making you take notice?

Niklas Lundberg

All of the artists in Depthcore are amazingly talented and right now I'm really enjoying the works of Ehren Kallman, Rik Oostenbroek, Saddo Jdero, Karan Singh, Jonathan Foerster and Justin Maller. In fact, I think that all artists made a really great effort for this chapter, I really enjoyed all of the submissions. Big thumbs up for everyone.

Justin Maller

We discuss this a lot, but what do you think the future of digital art is? Where are we going with all of this? Do you think digital art will ever enter in to the fine art realm?

Niklas Lundberg

Personally I think that the future of digital art is bright. It's just a new tool for us artists. It's much easier to start out than before because it's not as hard to get into as traditional art. Traditional art is something that will never get old and I love when someones mixes digital with traditional and manage to pull it off. I think we will see great talent develop over the years and I'm really excited to be a part of it and see it grow.

Justin Maller

Are there any other mediums that have piqued your interest as something you'd like to explore? Your work is amongst the most purely digital in the collective, any plans to incorporate traditional elements?

Niklas Lundberg

Actually my work is not purely digital, I often try to craft shapes by hand and bring them into my compositions. For example, in my piece "A Final Release" I folded shapes out of black cardboard. But it's not as traditional as I would like it to be. I would love to develop my drawing skills further so I can start implementing that as well. I definitely love to make things with my hands so I'm taking that further too. There is just something about it that makes it feel more genuine as an artwork, like you're putting more of "you" in there. I can't put aside the fact that sometimes it's liberating to just jam on a completely digital piece though, the process is usually faster. So basically it varies from piece to piece depending on concept and scale.

Justin Maller

Tell us about life in Umeå, Sweden! How does where you live influence you? Has it had an impact on the art you make, or the way you go about making it?

Niklas Lundberg

Honestly I don't think it has influenced me that much because I spend so much time in front of my computer. I am more influenced by what I can find on the internet. Since Umeå is not that big perhaps it helped me stay focused on my own work because there isn't that much going on here. It made me seek out other inspiration sources.

Justin Maller

You've taken the leap in to full time freelance; how do you find the lifestyle? Is there anything you find especially challenging / rewarding?

Niklas Lundberg

I have been doing it now for nearly two years and it feels awesome to have the freedom of doing what you want when you want. You can set your own working hours which is a big plus if you're having creativity blocks. But It's a tough lifestyle because you are all on your own, a lot of time goes towards managing clients, doing paperwork or marketing yourself as freelancer. I used to have an office space that I rented from a local agency but right now I work from home and have been for the last few months. It has It's ups and downs and I am probably looking into renting a space in the near future. What's most rewarding for me is that I can focus a lot on my personal art in between client work. Even with all the responsibilities and hard work to keep it rolling it is definitely worth every second, I want to continue to freelance for as long as I can.

Justin Maller

What advice do you have to aspiring artists looking to get a start in the artistic world? Anything you wish someone had said to you when you were starting out?

Niklas Lundberg

Just keep doing your own thing. You have to be passionate about what you do and stay honest to yourself and your work. Don't be so hard on yourself if you don't get the results that you expected, things like this take time and devotion. Make sure you enjoy what you do and have fun a long the way.

Justin Maller

Well, that'll do it, mate. Thanks for your time, and for the wonderful work you created for this Chapter! I have both of the Scattered Time pieces hanging here in the living room - might have to make some room for Preconscious as well! (Just throw in your closing statements and whatever here!)

Niklas Lundberg

Thanks for having me. It's been an amazing experience being a part of Depthcore. I'm happy I made so many good friends here and a big thanks to everyone who I interact with on a daily basis.

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