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Illustrations + Giveaway from Emma Kisstina!

When I first laid eyes on the EmmaKisstina Etsy shop, I fell instantly in love. The illustrations are whimsical, bold, and unabashedly girly. Nothing wrong with that, right?

I first learned about Swedish illustrator Kristina Hultkrantz through The Neo-Traditionalist, and was thrilled to discover that she could create a custom illustration for me, and for a ridiculously affordable price to boot. Kristina is a wonderful illustrator, whose work has been featured in Matchbook, Adore and Cosmopolitan Sweden. You might remember that I’ve been on the hunt for a small piece of artwork for my office gallery wall, and I thought a custom illustration of my signature perfume would be a perfect fit. In no time at all, Kristina whipped up the most beautiful illustration of Chanel Gardénia for me:

I’m always fascinated and inspired by women like Kristina, who are talented and ambitious and who just go for it. So you can imagine my delight when Kristina agreed to not only a profile here on vmac+cheese, but also a fabulous giveaway of one of her illustrations! Take it away, Kristina (and be sure to read on for details on how you can win the illustration of your choice!)

Name: Emma Kristina… but call me Kristina

Hometown: Portland, Maine

Current town: Stockholm, Sweden

Where to find: Website, Blog, Etsy, Tumblr, Flickr

Describe your personal style in 5 adjectives:

Colorful, Classic, Sexy, Simple and Girly

How did you end up in Stockholm?

A long story. But short version, my parents are Swedish therefore every few years we would visit relatives in Sweden. I have always been in love with Sweden, the history, the landscape, architecture, people, fashion, food, everything! So after finishing college I needed a change from all the partying and sunbathing, and moved to chilly Stockholm where I only knew a handful of relatives and only had a pretty good grasp of the language.

My plan was just to try it out for a year, but now I have been here for 3 and have no plans of moving back to the States. I’ve met my soulmate Johan and a sweet group of girlfriends, we have a quirky little apartment, I speak write and understand Swedish fluently and I have finally managed to live my dream job, freelance illustration. Moving to Sweden has really been the best decision of my life.

Are you a full time illustrator? How do you make freelancing work for you?

I have been working as a full time illustrator since this past summer. I still have no idea how this is possible, I swear I’ve just had good luck.

What are your favorite things to draw and why?

I love drawing objects much more than drawing people. Sometimes the objects we have around us tell us more about ourselves than a self portrait. Plus I don’t have to worry about photorealism.

What’s your proudest business-related accomplishment to date?

Quitting my day job. Well rather the catering company I worked for went out of business so I was forced to come up with a new plan. I was determined not to work in the restaurant business all my life so this gave me the opportunity to really focus on working on my illustrations and build my little company. Once I was out of work I really sat down and emailed as many agencies, magazines, and blogs I could think of, while building up my portfolio and creating new works for my Etsy shop. The time I invested in my illustrations paid off, after just a few months I was able to live off my work and not just my savings.

What’s the best thing about your line of work? The most challenging?

The best part of being an illustrator is that I can work from home and make my own schedule and I am my own boss. Plus I draw pictures for a living, how great is that! It is challenging to structure myself and my work day though. The worst part is that it can get a little lonely and quiet at home, and sometimes I am not the greatest boss. There is no one to tell me that I’d rather be working on that project due in a few days rather than baking blueberry muffins or sleeping in late. But I think it is important to take days off and have a lot of free time. I don’t allow myself to feel guilty if I don’t work 24/7 even though I run my own business.

What keeps you inspired? How do you stay creative?

Other artists and blogs keep me in constant supply of inspiration. I make sure to allot several hours to blog reading and flickr browsing each day. And when pretty pictures don’t help and I’m still uninspired I take the day off.

So inspiring! Kristina makes it seem easy, but I definitely appreciate the immense amount of hard work that has gone in to making her business successful, don’t you?

To top it all off, Kristina is very generously offering one lucky vmac+cheese reader the small or medium print of their choice from her Etsy shop! Here’s what you need to do to win:

EMMA KISSTINA GIVEAWAY

1. Head on over to her Etsy shop, Emma Kisstina.

2. Come back to this post and leave a comment below letting us know which is your fave illustration. One entry per reader.

3. All entries must be received by Monday, April 4, by 5pm Pacific time.

4. A randomly drawn winner will be announced Tuesday, April 5!!

Bonne chance, and a HUGE thank you to Kristina!

15 Responses

  1. What great art and what a great interview- I love books so I would have to say “The Classics” is my fav drawing-
    Thanks for hosting such a great giveaway.

  2. The sunglasses are my favorite, four eyes or lolita!

  3. It was hard to choose between Jane Austen, The Classics, or Teacup Red….but I have to go with The Classics. It’s so lovely & the books include several of my favorites!

  4. I’ve seen her illustrations everywhere but had no idea she was in Sweden! What a fun giveaway – I’d love to have “The Classics” decorating my apartment.

  5. What gorgeous artwork- just love these delightfully girly prints. I would pick the Gardenia print. Thanks so much for the fabulous giveaway!!!!
    xo

  6. Great interview! I love the French Macarons print – it would be so cute in my kitchen!

  7. I equally love the gardenia, the classics and julia child. What a great giveaway!

    – Ashley

  8. The large “chance” is stunning. Thanks for the giveaway. I adore Emma Kisstinas work!

  9. My Favorite is the Coco Mademoiselle… Poster :)

  10. How wonderful! I love her work!

    It was my dream to be a fashion illustrator but then I ended up in the beauty industry instead. She marries both my passions! Love every single one but if I have to choose one, I’d go with 7 Reds :)

  11. I’ve ben a fan of Kristina’s work for some time, I love it all! If I had to pick a favorite it would be Louboutin Pair.

  12. How did I miss this giveaway the first time around! Kristina’s is one of favorite etsy shops! I’d love either The Classics or the blueberry cupcake poster! Amazing giveaway!!!!!

  13. There are too many that I love!

    French Macaroons…

    7 Reds….

    30 Lipsticks….

  14. i ADORE kristina’s art! my fave has to be the “7 reds” nail polish piece…i just love all of the colors!

    fab giveaway!

    xo,
    joAnn @ http://idratherbeshopping.wordpress.com

  15. They are all so cute it’s hard to decide!! I think that my favorite is the Chanel no.5 though — classic and I have the perfect spot for it!

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