Take a glimpse into the creative world of Swedish born sketch artist, Jonas Claesson. A world where perfect waves break in outer space…where a moose, a bear and a dingo share empty lineups and the surf is always 6ft and offshore…The type of world a surfer dreams about.
With a passion for the ocean, Jonas mixes strong references from his new home in Australia with his Scandinavian roots. You may have stumbled upon @Jonas_draws whilst flicking your thumb through Instagram on a quest for something refreshing and something exciting, and found yourself immersed in the fantasy surf world that Jonas lives in.
A couple of weeks back, we were lucky to have Jonas perform a live illustration at our event at the art space of the 107 Project for Sydney Beer Week.
Surrounded by a crowd of partygoers and beer lovers, he took to a piece of plywood with a sharpie to free draw peeling right handers in Byron Bay, with our beer truck ‘Clyde’ parked up on the beach…An illustration Jonas says is the largest he’s ever done. He’s now adding the final touches to the Byron masterpiece and It’ll have you dreaming up your next surf adventure.
We caught up with Jonas to discuss the piece and have a chinwag about all things art…
So, where are you from Jonas?
I am from Sweden, moved to the Gold Coast in 2002. About 2 years ago we moved down to Freshwater / Sydney.
How did you get into this style of illustration?
I think it is just a natural progression and always changes a little bit over time I have noticed. In general I like to draw the things that I like to do, or aspire to do.
Lots of influences, but I find more inspiration in everyday things I see and photography usually. I think Instagram is amazing for following all the great photographers out there doing great work.
How long have you been drawing for?
Since I was a kid, always did extra art classes in school. Then one year of art school in Stockholm before 3 years of design studies in Australia.
Describe your illustrations in 3 words.
Hmm, tricky…. Ocean Peaceful Fun – Super hard to try and describe something you create.
Do you have a favourite piece and why?
I think one that is called; Searching – Part 2. Just really liked how it came out and did not end up at all as I was expecting. Another one that comes to mind is called: Migration. That was cool because during the night when it was drying on the balcony a possum jumped on it so it tilted and the paint made this really cool sky. I like to think it is probably my only ever collaboration with a possum, but who knows.
Are some of your illustrations real moments that you’ve experienced?
Some are definitely inspired by real events, for example sitting in the line up and seeing whales playing further out. I feel that that we as surfers are so fortunate to see the world from the water as we do. So many magical moments that is hard to explain to someone that does not spend much time in the ocean.
Is the moose that features in your drawings your spirit animal?
It was not in the beginning, but I think it might slowly becoming just that
Tell us a bit about the piece you are working on at the moment.
Right now I am working on my second ever piece on plywood and the largest one I have ever done and it is for you Stone and Wood guys. It is inspired by the Byron area and your cool Landcruiser.
What do you enjoy most about Byron Bay?
The natural beauty is the first thing that comes to mind. I have had some really nice days in Byron, and the stretch between Byron and Ballina I think is one of my favorite stretches of coast anywhere.
Where can people find the work of Jonas Claesson?
Instagram and my shop:
Here’s a deeper look into the creative world of Jonas Draws