You certainly know your way around inks/watercolour and cut outs—Is there any other mediums you’ve enjoyed working with before or you want to try? Also, can you please introduce yourself?

I am a Swedish artist and illustrator. I work mainly in inks and watercolor but love to explore. I am hoping to use more thick paints and bigger sheets of paper. Or maybe murals…

Have you been met with any challenges as an artist along the way?

Oh, daily. I feel I’ve forgotten how to draw every day. My way of working is very spontaneous and quick, but it can take for ever to get it right. I sometimes wish I worked meticulously in pencil and just started on one side and moved slowly to the other.

How do you keep up your creative momentum? Where do you look to for the drive to create?

I guess it kind of is the same reply as above. My process keeps me on my toes. I just never know how it goes.

What does body confidence mean to you? Is it something you’ve ever struggled with and why?

I believe that for girls we are children first, and then at some point, we get issues with our bodies and with food. Very few are excluded, but some success in tackling it less harmfully than others. Being a mother I am constantly fighting for a longer childhood for my kids. I believe we can’t take the world and its distorted values away, but at 16 you are handling it better than when you are 11, and at 11 you are dealing with it better than when you’re 9.

What or who have been some of your main creative influences?

So many. My friend and illustrator Sara Singh. My teacher painter Meri Bourgard, Egon Schiele, Matisse, Alberto Giacometti, the brush work of Jenny Saville, the drawings of Andy Warhol etc…

Where have been your favourite places to travel and have those places influenced your work?

Southern Italy and Sicily. And New York. Always.

Your work is very female/body inspired – have you ever struggled with those inspiration and references affecting your body image perception? Do you think social media has played a positive or negative role in your perception?

I love to draw the female body. I love the contrast of angles and softer curves. I am kind of half angular half curves myself. I have had a weird experience with social media and my own body actually. Lots of people keep on commenting on my hands, as they say, they are aman’s hands. I just feel it weird that I know should be judged on how my hands look rather than what they achieve.

What’s your favourite part of your body and why?

Legs and butt. Strong and sturdy.

What’s your idea of empowerment?

Personally, staying strong and informed.

What message do you have for those who are struggling with body confidence/self-love/weight or appearance issues? – What’s helped you in the past?

To me, working out. I know that may be a slippery slope for some, but for me, it helps me appreciate the body I have been given. Also, surround yourself with good friends rather than enviable Instagram accounts,

What advice what you give your 18-year-old self if you could?

I don’t really think there was an advice that I would listen to. I had so many wise people around me growing up, but I still needed to make all the mistakes and errors myself, however painful.

As you’ve gotten older – how has your perception of your body and confidence changed?

Hm… tricky. In one way I am much more confident on the other hand it isn’t all that easy ageing as a woman either.

When drawing female figures and personalities – do you take your own body into account?

Always. That is the body I know best. Small boobs, bigger butt.

INSTAGRAM: @stina_persson_illustration

Praise You 2017Alex Saba