Drumroll please! Today, the third party of the Amazing Swedish Coloring Trinity, Maria Trolle. Maria is a graphic designer and the author of the Blomstermandala books. Her newest book, Vivi Söker en Vän, came out just recently, in November. Her flowers are just spectacular. Lets have a chat with her, shall we?
Iris: How old were you when you started to draw?
Maria Trolle: I drew a lot as a child and teenager, but stopped doing hand drawn illustrations in my 20s, and started making digital art and graphic design instead. Then in my 30s i started to draw by hand again.
I: What was your favorite subject to draw then and what is it now?
MT: As a child I drew lots of little girls, I think that was probably my favorite subject then. Now my favorite subject is images from my own imagination. And I really like to draw girls now as well and flowers are of course a major favorite too.
I: Do you work on other projects as well? Can you show and tell?
MT: I’m working on a new coloring book that will be released in late spring/early summer. I’ll keep the name and content a secret a little longer, but I can say that it will be 96 pages, hardcover, just like Blomstermandala. With a mix of white and black backgrounds. I also work on different other illustration projects for various clients at the moment.
Veggie tray for garden magazine Allt om trädgård
I: How did you come to creating coloring books?
MT: My Publisher found my Instagram account and wanted to make a book with me. So I basically just stumbled upon this!
I: Which of your books is your own personal favorite? Why?
MT: Vivi is my favorite so far because it is a very special to me, since I’ve written the story and all.
Page from Vivi Söker en Vän
I: How do you create a coloring page? What is the process for you?
MT: I do as I always do, I just sit down and think for a moment and the ideas keep popping up. I compare the different ideas and choose the one I feel for today and then start drawing it. Often I have a little stack of written ideas that I use If I’m out of fresh ideas that day. If I’m really blank of ideas I just go for a walk and then the ideas starts popping up again.
I: How long does it take for you to create a whole book?
MT: Blomstermandala took me about 5,5 month too make full-time, (96 drawings). I usually make one drawing a day, sometimes more.
I: What are the challenges of being an artist for you?
MT: I think the challenges for me are not to get to stressed up since, it is REALLY time-consuming to make my drawings and sometimes it is hard to get enough time for a project. I’m really not good with stress AT ALL, so I try my best not to get into those situation.
Page from Blomstermandala
I: How do you motivate yourself when you have no ideas but a tight deadline?
MT: This is never my situation since lack of ideas just isn’t a problem for me, I could honestly say that has never happened. Motivation can be a problem sometimes of course, but I am a very strict boss to myself so I just get up and do the stuff anyway.
I: Can you describe your day as an artist?
MT: I get up at 7.30 eat breakfast and get my kids ready for pre-school. My husband leaves then and I get myself ready in the meantime. I work from home so there is no stress getting on a bus or anything like that, (which I hate). Before sitting down at my desk I usually meditate for 20 minutes or so. Sometimes I go for a walk or do some yoga. After that, at about 9.30-10 I start to work. At 4 I pick up my children again.
Page from Vivi Söker en Vän
I: What are the tools you can’t live without?
MT: I love my Uni Pen fineliners and my Mac book pro.
I: Do you have any tips for complete beginners in coloring?
MT: Have fun! Don’t compare yourself to more skilled colorists, you will get there too eventually if you practice. And it is really not the point either to compete and to become ”The Best”, the main thing is to relax and have a good time. But if you really want to learn technique, look at tutorials, many great colorists do video tutorials.
Original drawing for Vivi Söker en Vän
I: And for fun, if you could be a flower, which flower would you be and why?
MT: I would like to be the climbing rose ”Rosa hellenae”- Lykkefund. It grows like crazy with lots of white/pink/apricot flowers. We have a portal of these roses in our garden. It is really wonderful from the very start with peach tinted flowerbuds to the white snow on the ground when the leaves fall of a month later. It is heavenly scented, and it gives shelter for birds who wants to nest within it.
Thank you, Maria, for taking the time for us! And it is great news a new book is in the works! Can’t wait to see it!
Images by Maria Trolle, used with permission.