Interviewing Idols: Jesper Lindborg
London based Swedish Motion Designer & Director, Jesper Lindborg, creates incredibly delicate abstract artwork with a real focus on texturing and lighting. He’s been written about in a host of publications, and I was lucky enough to have a chat with him! He’s become a huge inspiration for myself — with his work piquing my interest for years!
If you haven’t seen Jesper's work on his website or Instagram, I’m sure you must have seen it somewhere on the web before! His work has been shared all over; with Behance, Vimeo, DopeRadCool and many more featuring his work. His work with Clear Channel was shared everywhere too, with publications like Dezeen, Fubiz and Design Collector writing about the campaign.
His work his wonderfully playful and creative, and his website is a dream to sift through — and by the looks of it, I’m not just the only one that thinks that! Having worked with studios like WeAreSeventeen, Kühl & Han, Buck, Man Vs Machine as well as brands like Google and Swatch — Jesper clearly knows what he’s doing!
Why does he inspire me?
I’ve been following Jesper’s work for a few years now, and I can still remember seeing his artwork using 3D animated hands. To me, at the time it was just so incredibly cool, and it still is! But as much as it still creeps me out, it is just amazing how real it looks (that was 3 years ago now, and it still haunts my dreams!).
As I said earlier, I’ve got a huge love of ultra-realistic work (probably due to my overall fascination with photography) and Jesper is brilliant at it. His lighting is fantastic, as well as his texturing and the overall composition of his artworks. I know I say this all the time, but people don’t understand how much lighting and texturing can completely change the look and feel of 3D animation— and Jesper certainly has a good eye for it!
Throughout my personal journey in design, I’ve become more and more interested in the less ‘techy’ and cyberpunk artwork we all see spread across Instagram and become much more interested in aesthetically clean artwork. Jesper’s work is the definition of clean. While scrolling through his website you can see how all it just fits together! The mix of pastel colours, with intricate animations and subtle details on his work, create this calming atmosphere to his website that makes you just want to see more! (I wish my website looked anywhere near as good as his!)
It’s clear that Jesper is a talented designer, and it was lovely to talk to him and learn more about his creative journey!
The Interview part
I was lucky enough to be able to ask Jesper some questions about himself and his career. I hope this’ll give you a little bit of an insight into his life, personal and commercial as well as his design process. It’s not every day you get to interview an idol!
1. Who are you, and how did you start your journey into the world of design?
I grew up in a mid-sized city in Sweden called Karlstad. I was around 15 when I started playing around with Photoshop and a 3D program called Swift 3D, which I thought was the best thing ever at the time!
I later went on to study at Hyper Island, and a digital media course where I was trying all kinds of things, even coding. From there, I went on to do an internship in NYC and worked there for about two years, before moving to London where I’ve been for the last 10 years.
2. Could you give some insight into your creative process?
I try to stay as loose as possible for as long as possible on a project. I always try to explore as much as humanly possible initially. There will be a lot of mood boards but also sketches, animation tests, sims, look and design development. You name it. It is usually very hard to get enough time for this with most clients, but ultimately it pays dividends in the end and usually results in a much better project overall.
3. Where do you get your inspiration for projects? Who inspires you!
Oh, so many! Don’t want to name drop too much, a lot of people you’ve already interviewed would be on that list for sure. It sounds a bit cliche, but I do get a lot of inspiration from spending time away from work. Could be travelling, meeting people with different insights, music and a lot from films.
Annoyingly I always think of my best ideas when It’s 3 in the morning and desperately need sleep!
(Charlie here: I think so many other creatives would agree with Jesper here, myself especially. There’s just something about the empty early morning hours that are amazing for creativity!)
4. What are some of the largest challenges you had to overcome during your artmaking process? How did you come to terms with these difficulties?
It’s hard to focus on your own craft when there are so many voices out there.
Social media is an amazing tool, but can also be extremely distracting.
I try my hardest to not give way to the herd mentality and the popular trends at the time — something that runs rampant in the industry. I want my work to be original and unique first and foremost! I also sometimes find it hard to truly give it your all on a project when you have too many balls in the air so to say, so I try to never take on too much at the same time.
5. Do you have any big designs/projects in the works or anything that excites you about the future of your career?
I always have some exciting things up my sleeve that I’m working on, both commercial and personal. I’m very excited to see where real-time rendering will be adapted and used in our industry. Also, this crazy thing of crypto-art and NFT! It’s gonna be so interesting to see how it pans out and what it could mean for us as artists in the long haul.
6. I’ve been fascinated with the work you created for Clear Channel! It looked like a very freeing project/brief to work on!
Thank you very much! It was an amazing brief, where I was basically asked to “Do your thing”. Which doesn’t come around that often! It was me and six other artists who each were given their own word that evoked a feeling, and were tasked to create something around that with the intention of calming the viewer.
My feeling was “Safe”, hence all the soft things around the statue. The same feeling I get after a long day rolled up in the duvet in bed ready to sleep haha! It was amazing to see it being used in a different environment when it was played in Stockholm's metro — and I’d love another project like it in the future!
7. All your work seems so playful! Is playfulness in your projects something you prioritise?
I think a way of describing it is maybe if the overall look is quite serious and slick, I try to inject some heart into it with nice movement and playfulness to balance it out. I’m constantly experimenting so I want this to show through my final outcomes!
8. Your work looks like it takes months of experimenting to create! What do you like to do in your free time?
The past year or so has obviously hit the industry hard, and it’s been hard to do much — especially being on lockdown here in the UK. But when I can I try to play a lot of tennis. I grew up playing and have picked it up again recently — a good way to refocus and not think about work for a bit. Trying to spend as much time as I can with family and friends as well.
9. Do you have any advice for students trying to get into the world of 3D and Digital Design?
There are so many different ways of making it in this industry or any creative field really. And with the pandemic, it speaks truer than ever. It is great in many ways, but It can be super confusing to navigate it. I’ve learnt so much over the years and fallen into a lot of pitfalls. Something that always seems to stay consistent is that I grew the most when I’ve managed to pick myself up after a rough patch of doubt or disappointment.
Something that is really important to remember is that you should take the time to invest in yourself and your skillset when you can. Always explore new ways of working, be inspired by others but also try to find your own voice.
(Charlie: I love this answer from Jesper. In an industry where it’s so hard to find your voice when there are too many incredible artists out there, you need to stay true to yourself. Keep experimenting, keep learning and most of all keep making!)
10. Thank you for taking part in this for me, Jesper! It’s been great having the chance to talk to you and learn more about you and your process! For the people who will read this interview, what are your social media links for people to follow your future work? (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Websites etc…!
If you haven’t seen his work before, I urge you to go check it out! Jesper is an amazing designer and an absolutely lovely person to chat to! He was one of the people who inspired me to pursue 3D design, have they inspired you to check it out?
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