When drawing you don’t really need much material to succeed. The key, according to Mattias, is rather the quality of what you use. After several years of searching, he finally has found the perfect paper that suits him.
– It took a while but now I'm satisfied. This paper is flat and does not absorb to much ink, and I also like when it's a little yellow. It might be inconvenient when scanning in to a computer but nice on the eyes. I also like when there is a torn edge around, it feels real in some way, he says.
Both Mattias and Cecilia works every day with paper as their primary tool, but in totally different ways. Cecilia is doing artwork of paper from old books that she finds in second hand stores and Mattias is drawing pictures of figures in different environments. The puzzle picture, also called "The Grande Hall", is a solid, detailed work that took around 80 hours for Mattias to complete. The artwork forms a large hall where a lot of different things happen, a couple are playing chess, a robot is filming a dog who is a chef, someone is shooting with a crossbow. Figures that are doing something unexpected, and on top of that little gadgets and stuff everywhere.
– That drawing took a little longer to finish than expected, which you perhaps can see in the end of the picture where it's not quite as detailed. I began this picture by drawing the perspective, then I continued inwards from the lower left corner, and then I drew in a wave kind of shape. I used to always have to start drawing from the upper right corner, because I had an ink that dried very slowly, says Mattias.
Mattias illustrations are well known outside of Sweden. He attends comic festivals and art exhibitions around the world, holds lectures and signs his book, a collection of his artwork. On his last visit to Taiwan, where his artwork was showed at a space exhibition, he felt like a member of The Beatles.
– There were fans in large groups, and no one dared to come up to me, but eventually, someone dared and the others followed. I felt like a superstar, which is very different but a lot of fun, he says.
Mattias is humble when it comes to his work, there is nothing special that he is most proud of or something he points out. You are never better than your last drawing, he says. But the fact that he has done projects for companies like Hollywood Reporter, Disney and Nickelodeon he still finds quite remarkable. He has also managed to do a job for a Canadian astronaut program. Some of Mattias characters have been in space, and many of them are robots.
– I often draw robots if I don’t have any other idea. They are so easy to draw. Otherwise I get inspiration from people around me, and I usually portray myself and my loved ones, my wife for example. She is usually portrayed as a lion, says Mattias.