INTERVIEWED BY Lindi Brownell Meiring
We caught up with Swedish illustrator Maja Säfström of MAJASBOK to find out more about her adorable illustrations, her book and how one cat became an inspiration.
How did you get into illustration?
Now that illustrating is such a major part of my life, it’s hard to remember a time when it wasn’t. I used to draw a lot when I was a kid, and then I started drawing again for real during my architecture studies. Drawing little animals was the perfect break from what we were doing in architecture classes. Before I knew what had happened those drawings had taken over and now I don’t do architecture anymore!
Growing up, I remember one thing I adored – and that was if someone could draw really well. My grandmother, for example. I could just sit and watch her with amazement as she would create these worlds with just watercolour on paper. It was like she had magic powers. I couldn’t even dream that I would one day be able to make my own worlds just like that.
Describe your aesthetic in three words.
Cute, simple and fun!
What made you decide to create a book?
I was contacted by an American publisher two years ago and they asked me if I had ever considered making a book. It was such a fun question because my nickname – MAJASBOK – actually means Maja’s Book in Swedish. So I guess I must have had that dream for a long time. As I am now working on the sequel, my friends are joking that I have to change my name to MAJASBÖCKER (Maja’s Books).
Is there a cat that inspires your cat-specific illustrations?
Good question – yes! I grew up in the countryside in the south of Sweden and I had a cat that I loved like my best friend. She really was a special person (cat). She was an outdoor cat, but as soon as we walked in the door and called her name she would come running and purr – it was the cosiest sound when we cuddled her.
Where to next for MAJASBOK?
So the big project now is making the next book. It will also be about animals. I am really excited to share more details about it as it comes along. And then on the side, I have so many fun plans for my webshop. It is the best (and most unreal) feeling ever to send my work in nice packages to followers all over the world.
Follow Maja on Instagram to keep up to date with her creations and find out more about her work at majasbok.com. Maja ships for free worldwide, so make sure you pop in to to her online shop too at majasbokshop.com.