FK chats to Linda of Sydney based label Supertrooper Studio, bringing together a range of designs with a fun Scandinavian twist.
Tell us a bit about Supertrooper Studio and what we can expect to discover?
Supertrooper Studio is based in sunny Northern Beaches in Sydney, Australia. It’s the hobby project of Swedish graphic designer Linda Fahrlin – a creative outlet where I get to create retro inspired functional pieces celebrating Scandinavian design. So far there’s three collections:
SuperPlaces Collection: A collection of places close to my heart. When I first moved to Australia we lived in Seddon, then in North Fitzroy, Melbourne so it’s extra fun to come back to Melbourne and illustrate the lane ways and diverse architecture in the making of the Melbourne illustration. The Sydney, Melbourne and Manly motifs is now available on a set of screen printed cushion covers & tea towels or as a wall poster.
Speceri Collection: A kitchen collection inspired by ingredients from happy childhood memories in the family kitchen. Sval (Cool) & Sotsak (Sweets) is the two motifs available and they are screen printed onto 100% linen as tea towels and cushion covers. This collection also includes the MiniTeepee Store, a secret hideaway and play tent for children. The original one I made was for my son, it took ages to draw with textile markers!
Animal Friends Collection: As I was looking for things for our home, I just couldn’t find what I was looking for so I made a series of illustrated Australian animals. Friends asked if they could have them too, and then friends of friends, so now there’s a collection with both cards, wall posters and the newest addition, the memory game (pick a pair).
What is your creative background and how did it lead you to where you are today?
When I was a kid, I wanted to become a photographer working for a newspaper. My grandmother used to help me and my sister cut and paste from magazines making our own “newspapers”. I was also lucky to have a great Art teacher in primary school (she even installed a little photography dark room in a tiny closet in the school library) and a very supportive family. When I found out you could be a designer and make things for a living, that was it. I went on to study Graphic Design & Advertising in Stockholm, Sweden. My class was very fortunate to have great teachers like Gabor Palotai in Graphic Design and Hakan Lindstrom in Typography. Thanks to their generous approach to teaching I’ve tried to maintain the open approach to problem solving, and exploring different media. Since graduating school I’ve worked in design and advertising agencies in Sweden and Australia.
What inspires your work? and what keeps you motivated creatively?
I draw inspiration from my childhood in Sweden and combine these arctic memories with new Australian ones. The process is at least to say somewhat eclectic, sometimes covering many media’s – but in the end the output is rather structured and organized. I guess my work often covers modern subjects but are carefully illustrated and inspired by retro illustrations, architecture and design. I’m often inspired by people around me, what’s happening in the world. Music is great for inspiration too, helping me get into work mode. At the moment I’m working on illustrating assets for a piece of animation info graphic for an orphanage in Mexico. Working on pieces like that makes it very easy to keep motivated. I think the key for me is to vary the work I take on, as much as I can. To keep creative levels up, there needs to be a balance with incoming material and outgoing material, much like an accountant’s book with the balance showing end of term. So lots of exhibitions, art, music, listening to peoples stories, seeing and reading about what’s going on in the world, gives me great inspiration. Kids are great for inspiration too, both as a source and in the way they make you rediscover things and question your preconceptions.
What is your creative workspace like, and what inspires you about your surroundings?
My workspace really varies a lot depending on the project I’m working on. In the research stage there’s often quite a mess, and then in the mess somewhere there’s a turning point when all the information gets compositioned into something that makes sense, I hope. Or at least it gets interesting to look at. I wish mess would follow the golden section by itself though!
What challenges have you faced starting your own label, and what are some things you love about it?
Luxury is to have the time to get stuck into it! There’s so little of it! There are so many aspects to running your own label but somehow you make it work and find the time. (Mainly evenings at the moment.) Love when I get that time to get into it!
What new projects are you working on and where would you like to see Supertrooper Studio in the future?
I hope that moving forward, my love for design will continue to show in the graphics I make. I’m really excited about the upcoming new collection for Supertrooper as it lies close to my heart. It is currently in the illustrative stage and something for the minimalist. Also working on a series of conceptual pieces.