For as long as I remember, I have been drawing and making up stories. My sister and I loved when our mother read to us, and she in turn loved to read.
I have kept quite a few of my earliest efforts, and in my recent work I see a return to my childhood sketches. Isn’t Teddy and his friend a bit like something a child would draw? In fact, even my Motley characters look a bit like Cephalopods - the toddler’s first representation of a human figure: Large heads, resting directly on a pair of legs, with tiny arms and dots for eyes.
I believe my stories have been greatly influenced by my own childhood, and by the times in which I were a child. But I also have the ambition to bring our own age, the ever-present Now in which we find ourselves, into my work.
No doubt my two decades as an illustrator for Sweden’s largest morning paper has shaped me. Drawing political subjects and author’s portraits, capturing fashion and nightlife on the fly, has been my university.
At present, I have left the world of daily news to devote myself fully to my own projects, but I maintain a vivid interest in contemporary cultural currents and expressions.
Ever since graduation from the Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in 1992, Stina Wirsén has worked as a professional illustrator. She is today one of the most well known illustrators of Sweden, and has written and illustrated many children's books and animations as well as illustrated for various fashion brands, department stores, newspaper and magazines, restaurants and commercial advertising campaigns. She has been granted many awards like the Expressen’s Heffaklump Award for children’s literature; the Elsa Beskow Plaque; Nordiska Tecknare’s Award; Svenska Tecknare’s Kolla! Award and was nominated for the August Award in 2005.
- Stockholm City Cultural Award
- Heffaklumpen Cultural Prize (awarded by national newspaper Expressen) for the book ”Supershow with Rut and Knut”
- Huckepack Bilderbuchpreis
- The Elsa Beskow Prize for ”Rut and Knut Have an Exhibition”
- Nordic Illustrators’ Award
- Gold and Silver medals, and an Award of Excellence from The Society of Newspaper Design (during the years at Dagens Nyheter)