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Hejnum Shares The Story Behind Her Beautifully Intricate Illustrations

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Published 2015.10.25

Hejnum is the alias of the Swedish illustrator and artist Angelica Lucaci. She creates stunning intricate illustrations that are often revolving around the themes of nature and animals. Angelica believes we all should do more of the things that make us happy, a piece of wisdom passed on to her by her grandparents ever since she was little, and which she has used wholeheartedly in her life. Among which starting the project Hejnum, named it after a small village on the swedish island Gotland where her grandfather was born and where she holds treasured memories of.

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Rullande on display
Ihopvikt on display
Hejnum’s posters at home
Hejnum’s posters in the kids room
Angelica, Founder & Designer of Hejnum in her studio

For those that don’t know Hejnum could you tell us a little bit about the project?

Hejnum as a label was born by coincidence about a year ago in the home of Angelica Lucaci. I’ve always been drawing, sketching, painting - and somehow someone else in the family held an ultimatum: "either you do something with your drawings, or I will throw them out from under the bed". I’m always a bit shy about my works, so much so that I decided to start an Instagram-account by another name. Hejnum was close to mind because of my grandfather Berndt who was born in this small village Hejnum, on the swedish island Gotland. And so my artistry was named Hejnum.

I’m a multitasking artist who loves to experiment with different techniques, materials, motives and media. Personally, I always find myself diving into everything that I do. Right now I’m really into a huge amount of very tiny little fineliners. And papers. Day and night I’m always drawing with these pens, and out comes one pattern after another - building blocks, and the results are a bunch of illustrations that I sell as art prints in my webshop and with resellers on the web and in stores. Recently I have also finished a drawing book called ”Telefonkonst” (which translates telephone art) where one can learn how to draw small repetitive patterns, step by step. Other products are being made at the moment, and will also be released through a publisher.

What do you feel are your label's main principles and ideals? And in what way has that translated into your work, the way you operate?

I really believe that overthinking is not creative thinking - for me. I´m quite the spontaneous person when you meet me, and that reflects in my work as well. Despite that, I try to learn to be more of a planner as I´ve experienced the perks of knowing your limits work wise and to be able to plan your time. It´s a balance for me to not plan too much, and still be as creative and spontaneous I need to be to let the flow going. My spontaneous side has reflected on my work in that sense that I rarely throw anything. I usually tend to use all of my pieces in one way or another.

“Even if I know that I could maybe do it ”better” the next time or the time after that, I find it important to see the beauty in the firsts.”

I believe that what I produce at the first time I draw/paint/create something new - is rare and I like that. It´s honest. Even if I know that I could maybe do it ”better” the next time or the time after that, I find it important to see the beauty in the firsts. And also, I find it quite tedious to create the exact same thing over and over again. That´s one of the perks of being my own boss, I do what I want with what I have.

What is the story behind your creations?

I always make things that I personally like at that moment. So, if I'm into drawing tiny little circles, that is what I'll do and that is what goes all the way to the print shop. So, my story is always different with every single art print that I produce. And sometimes there's not even a story, there´s only a collection of meditation - drawn on a paper.

What's the highlight feature of your creation?

My art is printed on high quality paper, 270 grams in every size except for 50*70 and 70*100cm which is printed on 170 grams paper (to be able to roll them). I’m very selective when it comes to the printing stage. I think that if one buys a print of an original, it must look exactly as the original. That is the most important thing about my products.

Angelica in her studio

“I think my creations reflects my diversity in person. I tend to try everything once, and that includes my artistry.”

Working barefeet in the studio
Angelica with the Lockande poster
Products lockande

What does your creations say about you? How does it represent / reflect your personality and thoughts as a creator?

I think my creations reflects my diversity in person. I tend to try everything once, and that includes my artistry. To just do one thing, just because it´s appreciated, is not my cup of tea. Although I of course really love it and is thankful when people like what I do. But I need to evolve and challenge myself. And as in everyday life, sometimes you win - sometimes you learn.

I think my creations reflects my diversity in person. I tend to try everything once, and that includes my artistry.

Describe your path to becoming a designer? Were you surrounded by art and design when you were younger? Was it something you picked up from your family, or did it just mature naturally?

I never dreamt of being a designer or artist more than anyone else (although there might be untold information in old books from when I was a kid, but the ”I want to be an artist” stands right next to ”I want to be an archeologist” and ”I want to marry Bobby in Dallas”… So I wouldn’t put too much emphasis in that information). But I do know that I got some positive response even from an early age of things that I created. I don't particularly think that I drew anything ”better” than anyone else, I just think that in the longterm, kids who gets ”what a nice drawing!” tend to have more confidence about their creations both at that time, and later in life as well.

“I see this form of doodling as a way of meditating, focusing on one single thing and I strongly believe that this is something we all could gain from. “

I'm personally convinced that everybody who can hold a pen, can draw. We all know we can draw, until our brain tells us that we can´t. That usually happens around the age of 10. My mission is to get people to pick up their pens and start doodling. That is why I did ”Telefonkonst”, my drawing book. It’s a book that I hope will get people going again, after years of non-doodling. I see this form of doodling as a way of meditating, focusing on one single thing and I strongly believe that this is something we all could gain from. What if we all learned to sit down and take things slow for a moment, in this high speed society that a big part of us are in? I think many of us would appreciate this kind of still life.

Can you share your creative process with us? From idea to the finished piece.

The creative process can be so different from one time to another. The best ideas just comes to me, like a flash lightning. Take the origami stuff for example - last christmas I woke up in the middle of the night, unable to go to sleep again. Lying there it hit me that I have to draw origami! And then when I sat down the day after, I drew my first origami bird from start to finish without lifting the pen. Other times it's more of a searching mode. I go through all of my inspiration photography (it's the best inspiration there is, photos of nature and animals) or I´ll go out in the forest behind my house. Maybe I have a vague idea of what I want to do, and then I just wait until it says click when I see a pattern from nature, a color, a movement. I usually always ”sketch” in my head before I put down the pen. Really strange when I think about it. This process it true for the times when I draw motives, but when I draw these small patterns which I call "telephone art”, the kind of doodling one does when speaking on the phone (or at least I do). When I draw these patterns, I don't even think at all. It´s a true meditative creative flow. And it´s because of that feeling, I've made ”Telefonkonst” - to get people to experience that feeling of just focusing on one thing and one thing only.

“I'm usually not to keen on having my picture taken. This is how I see myself, comfortably hiding in the background of my pens.”
Angelica with her precious collection of fineliners
In the making

Can you tell us about the materials you use? where do you source them? did you experiment with others?

At this moment in Hejnum’s story, I´m almost exclusively using fineliners of different brands and a whole lot of thick sketching papers. I buy most of my daily equipment at an art store. And yes, I always leave the store with more stuff than I intended to. That's the biggest problem with working with your hobby. I usually dive into things, and I of course have done so throughout the years of creativity. Two of my biggest dives was photography (which led to about 6 months in a dark room) and painting big scale with acrylic and oil on canvas.

Do you look to innovate or experiment with new forming and finishing techniques with each new collection, or is there a traditional process you adhere to?

As I said earlier, I tend to dive into my interests with all my heart for a period of time. So, the answer is, if that period shifts just in time for a new collection there will be a shift in how I make the creations. But if it doesn’t shift, then I’m continuing the way I did before. I can’t force how I make my creations. It shows if I’m not into it with all my heart. Having that said, I do wish for more time to just be able to experiment with both material and tools within each period of time.

You have produced an exclusive collaboration with The Loppist. Tell us about it and what you were trying to achieve with this collaboration?What was it about this theme that inspired or specifically appealed to you?

I wanted to create a special origami illustration for The Loppist, because I believe that my origami style is a perfect match to what The Loppist express. Elephants is animals that I personally love and care about, so I didn't have to think about what I'd make for too long.

Can you share with us a little known detail about the design process that you have discovered?

I almost never throw anything away. I tend to keep on going on the same piece of paper until it's full, even if I’m not quite happy with the result. I know that even if not all of it makes it to the printer, it´s usually mostly in my head what is good and what is not. My experience is that if you leave it for a while you see other things, and appreciate it more when you look at it again. So the picture of the artist that wrinkles the paper in front of her, is not me.

“ I´m a - try everything at least once, never stagnate in one category and feel free to dive into things, type of designer.”

Angelica with her permanent street art painting for Vasakronan
Vandrande print at home
Ihopvikt print at home
Rullande print by the entrance

In one sentence, how would you define yourself as a designer?

Only one sentence? Ok, here it goes: I´m a - try everything at least once, never stagnate in one category and feel free to dive into things, type of designer.

As a designer when are you the happiest, why?

It is most definitely when I have hours of desk time in front of me, feel good music in my studio and flow in my creation. Nothing beats that feeling.

Why did you decide to collaborate with The Loppist?

I really like this concept of storytelling in combination of buying the creations of every artist/creator collaborating with The Loppist. I think this is because I personally enjoy to know where the things that I purchase is from, and who's made them. I’m interested in people, in creators, and the story behind it all.

What do you have lined up in 2015?

The absolute biggest news is my book release of ”Telefonkonst” (Telephone-art) in October, which is a drawing book for anyone who wants to learn how to draw small repetitive patterns like Hejnum. I also have several new motiv to release, and a calendar which I´m very proud of. Next year there will be several new products in stores, hopefully in several countries as well.


Beautifully Intricate Illustrations

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