Artist of the Month : Anders Kvammen

Nov 1, 2021

Anders Nordmo Kvammen (1985) is a cartoonist and illustrator. His debut was the comic book Ungdomskolen . An autobiographical work and a childhood story about a turbulent youth. Kvammen often dramatizes personal stories that evoke emotions that are universally recognizable. Kvammen is a storyteller of the rare and he conveys characters and captures the spirit of the times in a very unique way. His drawing style is detailed, at the same time as he simplifies the line with strong black and white contrasts. Anders Kvammen has a background from Einar Granum Art School. For Ungdomskolen , Kvammen was awarded the Brage Prize in 2017. During the autumn of 2021, the comic book novel was staged as a theater at Oslo Nye, Trikkestallen in Oslo. He followed up with the novel Job in 2020, a memoir about the journey from young to young adult. This book was named the most beautiful book of the year by both NRK and Klassekampen. Anders Kvammen lives and works in Oslo.


TF: Anders, can you tell us a little about your artistic practice?  

AK: My artistic practice is first and foremost about creating comics. At least it has become so more and more. The great thing about comics, at least for my own part, is that I very rarely run out of inspiration. I always have a load of ideas on the notebook, and if I am invited to, for example, an anthology or similar, then just choose one of the ideas that is relevant and draw it out. The same goes for my longer books, the last in the autobiographical landscape, "Job" became very long, but there is still a lot to take off.

TF: How do you use drawing in your work? Tell us a little about your work process!

AK: A colleague of mine who I once traveled to a comic book festival with, sat and drew all the time. In many ways I was a little jealous of this - he could sit and draw for fun, and most of what ended up on the block was gold enough that it deserved a place on e.g. Instagram. I prefer an assignment, the assignment itself does not have to be more specific than someone says, draw three comic pages, but then I am at least started. It takes a lot of peace and quiet, for example in connection with a holiday, that I really find the peace to draw "for fun". That said, I still think every second of the drawing process even at work is fun.


TF: What inspires you? Do you work from a theme?

AK: I get very inspired by reading other people's works. Lately I've been reading a lot of Simon Hanselmann, a hit on Instagram, and I have to say his subtle universe has opened my eyes to make a little more burlesque stuff. A topic can be very helpful, as I mentioned above, to get my mind moving, and if someone, for example, says "make a cartoon about housing", then the road is very short to get something down on paper. "Do what you want" may be a little worse, but I usually have the ability to find something exciting to make a cartoon about then as well.


TF: What are you currently working on?

AK: At the moment, I am slowly starting to get started with my third comic novel about Aksel (known from Ungdomsskolen and Jobb). But just these days I am doing a DKS tour where I go from school to school in Oslo and tell the students about my work. This is in connection with the fact that the students have first been and seen the play "Ungdomsskolen" which is based on my cartoon with the same name. It is sometimes very demanding, but most of all rewarding, and it is nice to hopefully be able to inspire students to take a closer look at the comic book medium and maybe sit down afterwards and make something themselves.


TF: What does drawing mean for you / your work?

AK: The lecture I mentioned above I have chosen to call «Comics is life». To me, this is the case. I work almost all the time, all day, and I also think that it is important that one's artistic work should be a passion for one to be able to hang in. For me, drawing has become the great passion that makes me live to work and not the other way around. I feel very privileged to be able to make a living from telling stories through drawing, but after all, it has been my dream all my life and I have worked hard to make it happen.


TF: Tell us a little about your work in Tegnerforbundet's sales department!

AK: My works that I sell in Tegnerforbundet's sales department are div. originals, but also digital prints. Most of the original drawings are taken from books such as Ungdomsskolen and Jobb. These are originals I have had in my archive that rarely see daylight, so I think it's nice if they can reach out to collectors who appreciate them instead of being left in a drawer. Some of the more colorful works (digital prints) are among other things taken from my gradually rich side business as an illustrator, and I have tried to choose some of those who have given the most feedback in social media and the like.


See available works by Anders Kvammen in the online store.