In conversation with Erik Johansson


We recently caught up with Swedish photographer and retoucher Erik Johansson on his creative process as we get geared to hear him speak at MAKE IT on May 5,2016.


Can you tell us a bit about your background as a creative artist?

I’m a photographer and retouch artist from Sweden. I don’t capture moments, I capture ideas. To me photography is more about collecting material and then I create my photograph in the computer using Photoshop.

How did you start?

I always had a big interest in computers and drawing. As I got my first digital camera when I was 15 it was the first time I realized that I could combine those interests. To me, it became natural to start manipulating photographs and to start to create worlds of my own.

How would you define your style?

I think surreal realism, I always try to capture something impossible or unlikely, in a surreal style. I want to evoke questions and to make people think. Therefore the realism has always been important to me, to create a place that people can relate to and feel like they are part of, even if that place looks like it couldn’t exist.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I find inspiration everywhere.  Anything from things I see in my daily life to other artist’s work and music. I think it’s a lot about looking at the world from a different perspective. I get more inspiration from painters rather than photographers

Can you share one work that is close to your heart and the concept behind it?

To me, the next project is my favourite. But I like projects where I build things for real, where there is a tactile analog part in the process. To make it look realistic I always try to capture as much as possible in camera. I especially liked the process of doing “Landfall” where I played around with liquids to create a landscape melting like a waterfall.

Any words of advice for budding creative artists out there?

Trying is the best way of learning, it’s not always the fastest way but at least you learn that tools your way, limitations and possibilities.

Check out his work here:

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Posted on 04-20-2016

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