Design Links: A Chain of Creative Inspiration, Part 8


Editor’s Note: This is part eight in Emily Potts’ inspirational series, Design Links. Every other week, will feature three artists whose work offers fresh, fun and stimulating creative inspiration. Each artist picks the next link—someone who personally inspires him/her. Check out the seventh part in the series, featuring Henrik Drescher, Michael Rytz, and Jan Oksbøl Callesen here.

Jan Oksbøl Callesen is inspired by ….

Flemming Dupont

He is a graphic designer, illustrator, and an artist. His work always seems to incorporate stuff from each of these fields. His pictures are very tight and well composed while displaying ultra-weirdness, underground aesthetics, and a focused theme. In many ways his style is the opposite of mine, but I feel very related none the less. These images are very different but displays the personality, integrity, and focus to be found in all his work.

dupont 1

This is a print made with acetone on old paper. It is clear, beautiful, strange, and still accessible. It’s cute and creepy at the same time. The printing technique and the simple color scheme gives it a nice retro quality.

dupont 2

This is a complex picture compared to the previous one. It is chaotic but not a mess, and that is exactly what Flemming does so well. I have much respect for the tight gooeyness he produces. Looking at what he does makes me see other ways to do my own stuff. Pure inspiration!

Flemming Dupont is inspired by ….

Kim Hiorthøy

I have always been fascinated by Kim’s work. It has a lasting visual impact on me, and back when I was first introduced to his work, it made me rethink my own approach toward creating images. He is a highly skilled graphic designer, illustrator, and musician, and he somehow manages to combine all these areas into something new and unexpected. He keeps going in bold new directions, and continues to be a great source of inspiration for me.


He sent the giant book Alt fins to me, back in 2002, and those 320 pages of black and white illustrations blew my mind back then. The body of work is impressive, and it covers all kinds of drawing techniques, strange imagery, moods and storytelling, making it a tour de force to adsorb.


Kim has made a lot of fantastic covers for the record companies Rune Grammofon and Smalltown Supersound. One of my favorites is this Motorpsycho cover, with a lo-tech photocopy feel to it—crude cut-outs and raw collage. I love it!

Kim Hiorthøy is inspired by …

Jonas Williamsson

His work, while seemingly trying to be about as little as possible—nothing, if he can help it—is asking fundamental questions about what it is to say something, and how, and why. Few people I know take on the abyss of meaninglessness quietly hiding in the kerfuffle and fashionable noise of modern life with anarchic stoicism and humor of Jonas Williamsson.


Each group or artist writes or draws the poster design for their own show by hand (for MDT, a dance theater in Stockholm). This is then photocopied up on to posters with only fluorescent orange lines in various patterns. In this way almost total freedom is given to the poster design for each show, while the venue design is completely recognizable. Generic, or general, and personal, or unique, both at the same time.


Fredrik Værslev is a Norwegian painter whose work—often depicting or reproducing material surfaces that surround us in our daily lives—oscillates between framing a surface or an image we know from the outside, and being or becoming that surface or image in itself. I’m sorry if that sounds like fancy mumbo-jumbo, but it’s really true. In making the catalog of his work, Jonas again eschews any attempt at “designing” and instead using what is there, as it is. The cover depicts the artist’s mother’s painting of the family dog, painted on top of one of the artist’s works. His mother felt she saw the animal there, and simply wanted to bring him out. The catalog also pairs the artist’s paintings with drawings his mother has made of the dog; the latter set up to be used as drawings in a coloring book. Thus furthering the idea of inviting the outside world to finish or elaborate on what is presented, in the same way Værslevs paintings do, and also Jonas’ poster designs mentioned above.
Tune in two weeks from now to see who inspires Jonas Williamsson.

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