Instagram: @jonarneberg Website: www.jonarneberg.no
1. What's your story? Where are you from?I’m from Oslo, Norway and have been living here most of my life, part from a year in Bergen (west of Norway) and Weimar, Germany for an exchange semester. I really enjoy Oslo now since I have a nice little apartment with my girlfriend and a desk in a great studio collective called Brenneriveien, just a short bikeride from home.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.When I was younger I remember a certain time when I wrote down this sentence in my sketchbook: “I want my stuff to look as good from far away as when you’re up reaaal close”. I don’t really know what that means, but I think that it kind of explains why I like working with mostly flat colors and simple shapes.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?Most of my commissioned work I finish digitally in Photoshop or Procreate, but I really enjoy the Pilot V-Ball pens for sketching or just drawing in my sketchbook.
4. What is your artistic process like?When I get a brief, the first thing I do is usually (depending on the brief) to sketch down whatever comes to mind before doing any research or anything. After that it’s researching stuff if needed or taking a walk if I get stuck. I try to cut down on details whenever possible, so after I’ve decided on a concept or idea I normally start of with a way too detailed and often pretty boring sketch, which I then scrap in exchange for something simpler. Hopefully better as well.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?Walking, my girlfriend, studio mates, Egon Schiele and people that knows how to do stuff I’ll never be able to do.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?I’m working a lot, so art/illustration/design plays a major role in my life in the sense that I’m around it pretty much all the time, both at the office and at home. I guess I’m naturally a pretty observant guy, which is a good thing since I prefer to work without too much photo reference on the stuff I’m sketching out. I’ve always enjoyed looking at details on cars, clothes, buildings, people and so on in both movies, magazines and in real life. That sounded pretty cliché, but that’s how it is.
7. Where did you study?I studied graphic design for two years before I applied for and got accepted at the Visual Communication BA at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years? Working in an agency?In five years I hope to be working freelance still, with a steady amount of (even more fun) commissions coming my way, but maybe some more time to do personal projects.
9. What about in ten?I think my answer’s the same here as to the previous question. I’m really pleased with how things are going right now, but I could always have some more time to my own projects or stuff I want to do with my friends Nils and Jonas in our club, Prosjektklubben (The Project Club).
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?A comfortable life, artistic fulfillment and world domination.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?I can’t pick a favourite type of food, but I really enjoy the days I’m able to have two dinners!
12. Favourite book?If I have to pick one right now I’d say ‘Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World’ by Haruki Murakami is (one of) my favourite novels. My absolute favourite book no matter the genre is a huge vintage book with a collection of Egon Schiele sketches I got for my birthday a few years ago, which my girlfriend had found at an old bookstore in Amsterdam. I was so happy I almost cried.
13. Favourite genre of music?I can’t really say I have a favourite genre. What I do have is a playlist called ‘Walking music’. It’s filled with music that makes me feel cooler than usual when I’m walking to the office in the morning or just strutting around the city.
14. What are your hobbies?It’s a pretty lame answer, but my work is my hobby. The aforementioned Project Club might be considered a hobby, since we’re not only doing commissions, but some personal stuff every now and then. I’d like to do sculptures in wood, so that might be a future hobby as well!
15. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?I worked as a communal janitor’s assistant for two months one summer ten years ago. I really enjoyed it – coming in to work around half past seven drinking coffee with super nice people, talking about random stuff before heading out to a nearby school to put up some benches in a wardrobe or paint the floor at a kindergarten. Maybe not a dream job, but it was an amazing two months back then! I’ve also imagined switching to being an upholsterer if I get burned out in the future, but maybe I can add this to my list of hobbies instead!