I am a freelance illustrator based in Helsinki, Finland.
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Making art, making illustrations, is a way of communicating with the world. Depending on how I decide to portray our environment, the characters, their reactions and feelings in my children’s books, I communicate messages that either cement or shake the existing norms and stereotypes of our society. Having this kind of power thrills me, but at the same time I’m aware that the privilege this enables is accompanied by great responsibility. I am confronted with big questions every day. I feel that we have the obligation to stay critical and constantly work towards a better and more humane society. This is the most exiting part of being an artist.
I enjoy exploring the big questions we struggle with during childhood. Difficult feelings of identity and belonging, as well as joyful feelings of happiness, freedom and play. In creating my illustrations I try not to be too rigid, and instead to be more free and wild. A thin sensitive line characterizes my illustrations, and I tend to use many different materials in my collages. I seldom have a clear plan of what the outcome should look like. It feels like solving crosswords without definite answers, like trial and error. Sometimes the mistakes are the most beautiful part of the picture. Serendipity gives me wonderful kicks.
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Published children's books
Lita på mig (text Monica Vikström-Jokela), 2019 for Förlaget publishing company, Finland.
När vi blev vuxna (text Minna Lindeberg), 2018 for Förlaget publishing company, Finland.
Snön över Azharia (text Minna Lindeberg), 2017 for Förlaget publishing company, Finland.
Vildare, värre, Smilodon (text Minna Lindeberg), 2016 for Förlaget publishing company, Finland. Vildare, värre, Smilodon was nominated for the Runeberg Junior prize 2016 and nominated for the Nordic Council Children and Younge People’s Literature Prize 2017. Additionally the book was also shortlisted for the Rudolf Koivu prize.
Dröm om drakar (text Sanna Tahvanainen), 2015 for Schildts&Söderströms publishing company in Finland. Dröm om drakar was nominated for the Nordic Council Children and Younge People’s Literature Prize 2016.
Flickan som blev v-arg (text Sofia Hedman) for Vombat publishing company, Sweden (2014)
Singer (text Katarina von Numers-Ekman) for Schildts&Söderströms publishing company, Finland (2012)
Education, work and memberships
I studied Children's book illustration and creation at the university of Gothenburg, The School of Design and Crafts (HDK) 2010-2011. During the year 2013 I studied storytelling at the same school. Before this I also got myself a Master of Social Sciences degree and a bachelor's degree in social psyochology.
Together with my fellow illustrator friend Linda Bondestam we make art collaboration as a duo and call ourselves Vombatcombat (not to be mixed with the publishing company Vombat förlag. Just a sheer coincidence).
My mother tongue is Swedish, I speak Finnish and English fluently and if I'm having a good language day I might want to try my rusty French.
I am a member of The illustrators in Finland (Kuvittajat ry), The Graphic designers in Finland (Grafia ry) and The newborn organization Fibul rf, (Författare och illustratörer av barn- och ungdomslitteratur, Authors and illustrators of literature for children and teenagers in Swedish)
You are welcome to contact me on: info(at)jennylucander.com and +35850 5900855
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