Art of Science Fiction 086: Joakim Ericsson

Swedish concept artist and illustrator, Joakim Ericsson comes from a traditional art background and worked as a classical painter for years before he transitioned to digital as a way to expand his skill set and to make a living.

In his own words:

I was a classical painter for fifteen years (figures, landscapes etc.), showing works at galleries all over, but in the end, I started feeling like it wasn’t my right element. I was always passionate about movies, games and storytelling, and it started to grow more and more. In the art world, people wanted me to do pretty still life paintings, and I just couldn’t do them anymore. My final decision came when I had done the two best paintings of my career, and they eventually ended up on my own studio floor, covered in bubble wrap, unsold and collecting dust.

On his transition from a classical painter to concept designer:

I honestly can’t tell. When I was a classical painter (oil and charcoal you know), people told me they thought my work was dark, serious and depressing, a lot of the time. Some loved it, some hated it. Burning horses and demons mourning their dead offspring are a tough sell in the gallery world, though 🙂 In games, movies and other forms of storytelling, that imagery seems to be more appreciated.”

You can read the rest of the interview here.

Joakim now works at Starbreeze Studios, an independent creator, publisher and distributor of high-quality entertainment products, most notably video games.

As usual, below is a small sample of the artist’s work. Each image links back to the respective galleries of origin. Enjoy!

After studying at the Florence Academy of Art for three years, Joakim returned to Sweden to paint. He would later spend his summers in Norway under the tutelage of Odd Nerdrum who had inspired him during his developing days as an artist.  He later returned to Florence to teach at the Florence Academy, during which time he was co-Director of the Painting Program. In 2006, Joakim was asked to become Director of the academy’s first branch outside of Florence, in Mölndal, Sweden, where he has been teaching and painting since its opening in January 2007. That is until he crossed over to the digital world of art. You can view his classical work here.

I don’t have much to say except that I think Joakim is extraordinarily talented. His work, both classical and new resonate with me, but then, I appreciate his obvious talent and I have always been attracted to dark and gloomy art.

Oh, and the first two images remind me of a character featured in “The Carrion Hunter” from the recently released anthology, Armistice.


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Woelf Dietrich

Woelf Dietrich mostly writes tales of dark fantasy and the supernatural, which is maybe not such a far cry from his lawyering days. Sometimes he writes other things. He resides in New Zealand with his wife and kids and a dog.

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