Stina Persson draws inspiration from the people, places and faces around her to create a fusion of edgy yet traditional imagery. Boasting an impressive Instagram fan base, as well as an extensive client list including Louis Vuitton, Sony Music, L’Oréal and Coca Cola, Stina’s work is loved the world over.
Moving freely between watercolour, ink, paper cut, handwritten lettering, photo incorporated and even animation, Stina often blends styles within her work and is known for posting mesmerising videos online showing her process. With that in mind, we wanted to delve a little deeper into the way Stina works and discover what the word ‘craft’ means to such a multi-skilled artist.
What does ‘craft’ mean to you in respect of the work you create?
Craft is the playful part. Getting the drawing right is the work part, but cutting it to pieces or adding paper and patterns is play.
How important do you think craft is in the creation of content?
In a world where so much is photoshopped into bright and shiny perfection I believe there is an urge to see the process, the material and the hand behind it. I get more and more requests from clients and corporations wanting to see the process, or asking for behind the scenes material for their social media outlets.
There’s obviously a huge fashion influence behind your work, specifically your paper cut, tell us more about your relationship with fashion?
I love the creativity of fashion and have found a perfect niche where I don’t have to be a part of the angst and stress of the actual fashion world, but do get to do my playful versions of it. Before doing a cut paper piece I spend hours looking at the runway shows, checking accessory and make up trends. Taking notes, sketching down patterns etc. Those hours spent seep in to the pieces, and make them relevant. Not just pretty or fun.
What first drew you to working with paper cut?
My friend came back from Mexico with paper picado, the traditional, brightly coloured paper decorations. I started cutting them up and adding them to my drawings. I love the graphic aspect of the cut paper shapes.
You mix a lot of mediums, patterns and textures when crafting your paper cut work, and as people can see in the video, there’s a lot of play involved in that. How do you know when to stop?
I don’t. I would say 90% of all work I do gets over worked. I really need to become better at stopping. On the other hand, some of the best pieces happen when a drawing works, but is a bit too safe and I gamble adding something to make it more daring. But that is usually when I mess it all up too!
Do you apply the same playfulness of layers when dressing yourself?
I am a messy illustrator working with brightly coloured inks. So, to keep my clothing account sane (and to hide the mess I make) I wear black jeans and colourful second-hand tops - the perfect camouflage!
Who are the women in your work?
People. Someone you would like to know.
Do those women reflect you?
I want women to be people. In books, in TV and movies, in politics and in my drawings. I want the women to have personality not just pretty faces.