Åsa Gilland

My dad was a mapmaker who’d spend summers outdoors detailing aerial photos. I’d pass time in the car, drawing creatures and folks entangled in perplexing drama. I’m still pretty good at drawing in a moving car.

Åsa Gilland






Where do you live?
In a tiny house beneath an enormous bougainvillea in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Where have you lived?
Sweden, Firenze, Oslo, Engelberg (Switzerland), Madrid and London.

What medium do you use?
Procreate and Photoshop/Illustrator, pen and paper

How do you stay inspired?
I am a big history nerd, I love all things vintage, watch a lot of documentaries, browse and read. At times inspiration comes from small, day-to-day observations, tiny things happening around me.

Where do you buy your art supplies?

Do you work traditionally or digitally?
Both but more often digitally.

What color combination are you most excited about right now?
Butter yellow, slate grey, raspberry pink, lime green, there are so many.

What blog(s) do you read?
Anything I come across but I follow blogs pretty randomly when I search for specific subjects.

Why do you like being an illustrator in 10 words or less?
You can create the world how you’d wish it’d be.

If you weren’t an illustrator, what would you be?
A house painter or a handyman (-woman), I love painting walls and the smell of fresh paint. Or I’d be a coffee roaster and have a little coffee/tea store selling rare types of coffee beans and tealeaves in beautiful tins.

What illustration job would you love to get (your dream job)?
I’d love to work on a children’s book, a line of home décor, fabrics or wallpaper would be great fun.

Name something you do in your spare time.
I hang out for coffee (fika) with family and friends. I make futile attempts at learning whatever video games the kids are playing and start some home-improvement project that I then get too busy to finish for a long time. A lot of our walls are half painted.

What’s the strangest work experience you’ve ever had?
When I was 18 and living in Italy, for a few months I was one of the stage girls for a tiny local, Italian game-show.

What are you reading now?
I’m listening to an audiobook of “The gift of rain” by Tan Twan Eng and “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” for the umpteenth time.

What recent book do you recommend for a good read?
“My Brilliant Friend” by Elena Ferrante.

Where would you like to travel to next?
Lisbon has been on my wish-list for a long time,  I’d love to go back to Istanbul and also would like to explore the eastern islands of Indonesia.

What’s your favorite TV show?
“The Durrells” – I want to live in their world and the intro illustrations are gorgeous!

What movie have you seen several times?
“The Jungle Book”

Who is your favorite cartoon character?
“Bubbie Bubbie”, the mother-whale in “The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack”.

What is your favorite cheese?
A very salty Sardinian pecorino.

If you could name a nail polish, what would you name it?
Peach cobbler pink

Do you wear shoes when you do art?
Usually barefoot, sometimes in flip-flops.

What do you listen to while you work?
Pod-casts, audio-books, music, TV-shows, news, anything, depending on the mood – as long as it’s not quiet around me.

What artist are you reincarnated from?
My grandmother.

What’s your middle name?

What do you wish your middle name was?
I’m quite fond of my middle name, it’s a lot easier for people to pronounce than my first name.

If you could eat only one food, what would it be?
I could definitely live on cheese.

How do you stay in shape?
I swim, take frequent breaks while I work to lift weights and do awkward squats by my desk.

How don’t you stay in shape?
I love all things salty and coffee way too much.

What is your current favorite font?
I try out a lot of different fonts and then always end up back with Franklin Gothic

How do you take your coffee?
Strong dark roast, never with sugar.

Whom would you like to meet?
Meeting an orangutan in the wild would be an honor.

What question would you most like to be asked?
How about I clean your house while you put your feet up?

What was your favorite illustration assignment?
Oh, there are many, sometimes it’s the small projects that you didn’t expect much from that turn out to be thoroughly enjoyable. It’s more about finding a fit with a client.

Client List

Amber Lotus Publishing
American Greetings
Andersen Press
Design House Greetings
Fleurus Editions
Highlights Magazine
Lake Colouring App
Little Tiger Press
Macmillan Publishing
Page Street Publishing
Penguin Random House
Ranger Rick
Running Press
Sandicast /Jillson Roberts
Scoop Magazine
Sterling Publishing
Usborne Publishing
Velo Press

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