Swedish Designer and Illustrator: Lisa Fernández Karlsson 

Meet Lisa Fernández Karlsson, a multifaceted Swedish designer and illustrator! In our interview, Lisa shares the intricate chapters of her creative journey. From her initial steps into the realm of illustration to her blossoming career amidst the vibrant landscapes of Malaga, Spain, Lisa’s story is one of transformation and artistic exploration.

I have a background in Urban Planning and European Projects, working for the local  administrator on foremost visual presentations. But, about 12 years ago, I took the  final step to become a freelance designer, coinciding with my motherhood.  

Looking back, I think this step was necessary for me to grow professionally, I had an  urge for creating something on my own, my own artwork. I started with offering my  personalized designs to local museum stores, focusing on illustrations representing my city of residence, Malaga, and its most famous painter, Picasso. Also, I discovered I very  much enjoy making minimalist portraits, that I slowly incorporated into my  personalized motives.  

The city of Malaga has very much inspired me, having all these amazing museums and  a very active cultural city life. I’ve got a push to start as a freelancer from other  entrepreneurs, active in many different fields. But what’s been most essential to me  was the support of many museum shop managers, who all happen to be women.  

My focus on the city was a natural starting point, since I offered design souvenirs. Later, this led into other projects, making city profiles for other Spanish cities.  

I think I try to approach every project on its own – not worrying too much about having a  cohesive style. I think that the fact that I’ve started off with designs for merchandising,  has forced me to work with vectors – having to be able to re-dimension the artwork.  This has also made me think more about visualizing the world in shapes, and in a  minimalist style, due to the limited colors that may be used for printing the designs. 

Representing women foremost in the work I make for the joy of creation, has come like  a natural part of my need to express my own reality. I think I express my concerns and  battles in some way, and I also feel a need to highlight other women that have  influenced me and that I can relate to.  

Certainly, I have noticed a change in the creative sector, where women are being more  visible than before, although there is still a considerable gender gap considering  leadership positions. Initiatives of promoting women illustrators, and giving them  opportunities to get exposed to the media, are important steps for a more equal society. Finally, I hope this leads to real work opportunities, and more women creative directors  supporting other women.  

I have foremost been supported by women shop managers when I started my freelance  journey, taking a chance on my personalized designs, and recommending my work to  others. Also, on social media, I feel there is a lot of support among women designers  and illustrators – encouraging each other, working as a community, exposing artwork and supporting inclusive projects. I think this has inspired me to promote other  women that I admire and want to collaborate with.  

I think women naturally give a woman perspective on life, bringing up concerns and  ways of seeing things in our own way. Getting away from how women “should” act or  “should” present themselves, simply by being ourselves and do what we want to do  (with no excuses). I hope that the next generation will feel free to express themselves  in their own terms, confronting stereotypes and cultural limitations.  

I’m currently exploring the editorial world, working on illustrations related to women  empowerment, as a personal project. Also, I’m developing new city motives and  paDerns for my brand, 952 design, that will be offered to local stores shortly. 

You may support me by following me on Instagram and share my work – just happy to  be out there and get seen by fellow creatives.  

I interpret Raw Femme as a platform with an attitude for promoting women artists of  many different disciplines. Not afraid of showcasing different and unique talents,  empowering women around the globe.

Follow and support this incredible artist!