Mat Dolphin's Ten Questions 029

August 15th, 2012 
By Mat Dolphin

From his home in Norway, Magnus Voll Mathiassen produces some stunning design and illustration work for a wide range of clients. It’s difficult to describe his style, as he brings a completely new and different approach to each project. In 2009 he parted ways with Grandpeople, the studio he co-founded, and set up shop under his own name. Since then his work has effortlessly crossed the boundaries from hard-edged graphic illustrations to experimental typography treatments to loosely sketched drawing styles to abstract, organic watercolour. Always different and always brilliant, he has collaborated with the likes of Nike, Intel, Microsoft,Sony, Varoom Magazine and Adidas as well as a number of personal projects and exhibitions.

We got in touch with Magnus to ask him if he’d be interested in getting involved with our Ten Questionsseries. He swiftly obliged and here’s what he had to say…


Mat Dolphin: How do you describe what you do?

Magnus Voll Mathiassen: Illustration and graphic design. Small odd jobs, sometimes larger commercial work. Everything that seem interesting to me seems to be the common denominator. Be it commercial or not commercial at all. 

MD: What made you want to do what you do?

MVM: It may be accidental that what I do has become my living, but I have never been prepared for a non-creative work situation. It just happens to be one of many directions I could have taken within a creative landscape. In my teens I did a lot of models of houses on my spare time. I sniffed on architecture.

MD: How would you describe your workplace?

MVM: Very unimpressive. I work from home, but luckily I got a big apartment so I roam around there. My surroundings have never been important for me to be able to do work. Sometimes I use the local library. Or a café.

MD: What is your favourite colour?

MVM: Every color has the right to live, and they all do so, it's just a matter of how and why you use them. I like them all, but violet has a special aura. To me, it is the only autonomous colour.

MD: Who is your favourite artist or writer?

MVM: After so many years of trying to find them, I have concluded that no such inspiration exists, that I am not capable of being a big fan of someone's work. I am usually more interested in the person behind the work and why they do it. But I enjoy seeing new and old weird things, and enjoy surreal novels. And stupid blockbuster movies.

MD: What was your previous job?

MVM: Worked at Grandpeople, a studio I co-founded in 2005.

MD: Do you work within a team? If so, how many people do you work with?

MVM: Just by myself. I'm pretty self-contradictory so it feels like I'm my own team.

MD: Do you listen to music whilst working? If so, what do you listen to?

MVM: Oh, all day. I guess on average it takes up something between 5-6 hours, and maybe two hours of radio. Usually listen to some playlists me and my friends share, or podcasts, or once in a while I use one workday to listen to an artists entire discography. My taste in music is all over the place, but I'm not so much into pure pop music.

MD: Who inspires you to do what you're doing?

MVM: The people that find my work inspiring. Domino effect. This means enormously much to me.

MD: Which advice has helped you the most?

MVM: I'm trying hard to think right know… I don't believe there has been any advice coming my direction that has been "the one". I guess seeing what people do and how the energy they give to their surroundings is what helps me most. 

Magnus is a brilliant designer and a really nice guy. You can, and should, check out more of his stellar work on his site and follow what he has to say on Twitter.

Thank you to Magnus for agreeing to take the hot seat and thanks for reading. We hope you enjoyed it, let us know what you think.

Phil & Tom


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