Jonathan Dahl – “I don’t like being too boxed in by current trends”

August, 2016
Reading Time
4.5 mins
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Image © The Interviewee

Creative Chair talks to illustrator/animator Jonathan Dahl

This week we’ve caught up with Jonathan Dahl, a Stockholm-based freelance illustrator and animator who has a fresh and vibrant style.

Batman Running

Tell us a little bit about yourself and the work that you do?

I’m a 32-year-old illustrator and animator living in Stockholm. I recently became a father, and I’m about to adopt two cats shortly.

I studied at various art schools until I realised I needed a real job and that it’s more fun to draw silly characters than create silly postmodern artworks.

I’ve been freelancing for three years and have worked with all kinds of different companies and projects creating long and short animations as well as illustrations.

A big reason that I wanted to freelance was that I wanted to work on more personal projects where I have complete creative freedom.

“I try to be as clear as possible about what the final product will be. This usually prevents issues that can occur later in the process.”

Fighter Plane

Talk us through your process, from the initial concept to the finished product.

It can be quite different from project to project and client to client. On personal projects, I usually just go with a feeling or a vague idea that usually changes or grows during the process. With client work, it’s often the opposite, and I try to be as clear as possible about what the final product will be. This usually prevents issues that can occur later in the process.Open Uri

What/who are the inspirations behind your visual style?

The fundamentals in my style probably come from books, TV-shows, video games, and comics I read as I child. But I also look at a lot of illustrations and animations through a lot of blogs, forums and such which influences me as well. But I get bored easily with one style, and I don’t like being too boxed in by current trends.

As for people, there are so many fantastic contemporary illustrators it’s hard to name just a few. But here are some:  Tom Haugomat, Patswerk, Ronda, MUTI, Markus Magnusson, Hey Hey Momo.

The 33rd 366 Award goes to Jonathan Dahl for his outstanding creative work.


Which of your projects are you most proud of and why?

Ohh, tricky question. Well, it’s usually the current one the one I’m working on now I’m not allowed to talk about, but it’s really BIG and is going to look great ;)

But otherwise, I feel very happy with the animations I did for the AZZL app. The creative team behind it came up with some really quirky and funny ideas that I and other animators got to bring to life, and the end product is really great.

Finally, if you died and got reincarnated as a song, what would that song be?

That’s got to be Kelly Watch the Stars by French duo Air. Maybe because I recently saw them at a show in Stockholm and realised all over again how amazing their music is.

You can see more projects from Jonathan Dahl on Dribbble and his website!

Kelly Watch the Stars"
Kelly Watch the Stars (1998)
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What began as a fun question to end an interview, has now become a wonderfully eclectic collaborative playlist by 161 people (and counting).
Jonathan Dahl
Our Forest