Ballistic Publishing Artist Profiles show all

One of the digital illustrators whose work stood out and impressed the EXPOSÉ 1 advisory committee is Linda Bergkvist, a freelance artist from Sweden. She has been awarded with two EXPOSÉ awards: Master (Character in Action 2D) and Master (Character in Repose 2D) . Linda took some time to chat with Leonard Teo about herself and her art.

I was born in Sweden - in Umeå, same city I still live in. My main interests have always been art and language. When I was a kid, I did little but draw pictures and tell other kids long, intricate stories about creatures I had come up with. Sometimes, I pretended these beasts were real and I suppose I spoke of the 'monsters' with such enthusiasm and emotion that a lot of the kids actually believed me. We used to go hunting for a witch in the woods. When I grew older, I wasn't very sure of myself when it came to my artwork so instead of choosing an art career for myself, I chose language (this after having studied at an art related education between the age of sixteen and nineteen).


  For some years, I studied English and Swedish and had every intention of becoming a teacher, while on the side, I still doodled and painted. Quite suddenly, I was offered a job by a local computer company and I took it - abandoning my education (perhaps, foolishly) to start working with graphics instead. That's what I've been doing ever since. I miss language studies, however, and maybe I'll go back to that some day. But right now, I'm loving what I do. It's a challenging job and I meet wonderful people all the time. I work partly as a comic book colourist, partly at the university where I teach Photoshop classes, and partly as a freelancer. All of these things, I enjoy immensely. I have a few personal projects on the side - still painting pictures for a book I very much would like to publish one day.

I love the visual element of fairytales. Things that are fantastic and unnatural and not quite real fascinate me to no end. I suppose I am in love with old, cruel tales and the wickedness that comes wrapped up in lovely forms. I suppose, in a way, I still enjoy the very same things that I have all of my life - a mixture of fantasy and horror with a little twinge of romantic idealisation.


"The forest had tones of amber and moss, and the shadows were a dusky, whispery purple much like the colour of her eyes.

Where the depth of those shadows dropped away into blackness, she could see it. It. The looming darkness of the abyss. A darkness that opened up and threatened to swallow her, at times - a darkness that would slither close to her feet and plant little kisses against the hem of her dress.

A feeling she had grown accustomed to - living there, on the brink of falling into the endless dark.

It was a feeling she had grown to love."

When I began painting Nelicquele, I was not entirely sure of what I was going to do. I had this vision in my mind of something but I wasn't entirely sure of what it was at first.

I started out on a dark brown canvas and doodled around until she started to pop out - at first the angle of the face and her expression, and then the shoulders, hip, and skirts.

I knew who she was the moment I drew the eyes in - and the story behind the face unfolded. The initial 'burst' of inspiration had been the work of several of the old masters of painting, but the second twinge of it was the moment I saw that there was a streak of arrogance hidden in her eyes, and I knew most people would never notice it.


I constantly shifted between Photoshop 7, and Painter 7 throughout the entire image and I forced my perfectionist side to stay away from fiddling with the little details.

I wanted to try something new, which included not working on every fingernail and rose petal until everything became smooth even when zoomed in on very close.

At the time, I was also about to head into uncharted territory - from having painted things with very high contrast I instead began to play around with low contrast and saturation. I wanted a look as if from faded silk.

Image Credits :
All That I Loved Is Gone
(Top Left)
Nelicquele (Middle & Bottom)

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