Ingela P Arrhenius (4/4)

You can come across the cheerful style of Swedish illustrator Ingela P Arrhenius almost everywhere—on tableware, posters, prints, wooden figures or in a museum. In her fourth and last blog, she talks about the work she is proud of.

Work I am proud of
There are things we have done in our careers that we are extra proud of, and the reason for that pride can depend on any number of things: that it was a prestigious piece of work; that it reached an international audience; that we really, really liked it ourselves, even if it wasn´t a big assignment; and so on…

I am proud of a whole range of work I’ve done in my career. For example, the illustrations and designs I’ve created for producers of children’s products and posters, books for publishing houses, the products for the Modern Museum shop, and the fact that I have designed stamps for the Swedish postal service. And then there’s the Biotherm assignment. Now that was something extra special.

Three years ago, I got a call from the French skin care company Biotherm. “Would you be able to come over to Paris for a meeting?” they asked. “We would like you to illustrate a limited-edition series of three products (with my signature on it!) and also design all the Christmas boxes, posters etc.”

Four days later, I found myself in Paris, in new shoes and a new coat (it’s not everyday you get to spend the day in France’s chic capital, so naturally I had to invest in a new wardrobe for professional reasons!). Biotherm had seen the city posters I had made for Lagom Design, and wanted something in a similar style. The theme was “Christmas Waterland,” a magical wintry waterland with planktons and vegetation (thermal plankton is an important ingredient in their formula).

I left the meeting with a brief and a deadline of three weeks to get it done! So I started making roughs in the taxi on my way back to the airport.

A couple of days later, I showed them my first illustration – the big one, the poster that would be displayed at retail outlets where the products were being sold. If that was approved, I could continue working on all the other designs, taking details from that for the other items.

Thankfully, it was. What a big relief. Now I could continue working in a much more relaxed manner. We had a very good collaboration, sending files back and forth until we were happy with everything.

Before the launch, Biotherm sent a photographer over to take some press photos. There’s even a little film that I can share with you (even though I feel a bit embarrassed!).

Hopefully, now you can see why this was a project to be proud of.