← Load previous

With April’s CreativeMornings Gothenburg approaching fast, Christer Hedberg caught up with Annalena Mayor Ekeblad – this month’s Featured Artist that will exhibit her art during our breakfast.

Who are Annalena Mayor Ekeblad? (interviewer’s note: You can’t beat some Swenglish as an opener in an interview, right?)
She is a crazy person! Just kidding! I am a LOT. It is kind of funny you say are and not is. People often tell me how unique it is to be very creative and very organized and good at production managing – at the same time. So ARE is good in this case. Isn’t that a myth that you are either creative or organized?! Why be a dog-person or cat-person when you can just love animals?!

What does ”being creative” mean to you?
Always thinking of different projects and always doing stuff. Making things with your hands. For as long as I can remember I have produced things every day. Writing something. Drawing something. Building something. And having the luxury of having other people like it and strangers buying things.
Being creative for me is to do and to produce, not just talk about it. If you make a lot, half of it can be ugly. Make a lot and some of it will be good. Some of it will be FUCKING fab!

You first caught my attention with your brilliant wood type art a few year’s ago. What’s the story behind them?
I fell in love with books as a child. My mother always read to me and my brother. I started writing when I was about 5 years old and I loved the shape of letters. We always went to the library and to me books were treasures. Stories. I dreamt about becoming a teacher a librarian or even a writer.
I stumbled over the wood letters in an antique shop. People were buying them as decoration and they were really expensive. I became obsessed with the thought of finding a whole alphabet so Ingrid at ”Antique Unique” in Linnéstaden started helping me find old types. Then I just started putting acrylic paint on them, handprinting words and making patterns.

When I was a teenager my grandmother Elsa Mayor – a supercool American lady – took me to MOMA in San Francisco. I remember seeing huge paintings with printed letters on them.

When I started making the ”text paintings” I wrote cute things. Love, happiness and so on and people liked that. My main focus was to write/paint beautiful patterns made from letters and words. So the pattern was my focus. It was a bonus that some people could read what I actually wrote. Then I was invited to hang the text-paintings on the walls of Björns Bar, just for fun. A week past and I sold out! They rang me from the bar and said: You need to make more. People loved them. They drank wine, ate cheese and bought my paintings from the waitresses. It was madness and happiness som I just kept making them and selling them. The text-paintings gave me the courage to quit my day-job (as a production manager at Nudie Jeans) and focus 100% on my own art.
I never made “önsketavlor” where people could tell me what to write on them. I only made my own texts.

In the back of my head I always dreamt about writing darker things on the paintings. But since people loved the happy-love stuff I was to afraid to break the winning concept. Until now. My “Om jag ligger helt stilla och håller andan” project has forced me to start showing people my “darker, sadder texts”. The next step is to doing paintings with the same kind of words on them. The exhibition at CreativeMornings will be the premier for this.

I’ve had the chance to see your exhibition at Rum för papper and found it to be really powerful. Can you share the story behind the project?
To keep sane, or even, to survive severe illness you have to play games with your mind. Or at least that is what I did.

Last year I had to go through two large operations and spend a lot of time at the hospital. For a long time I was in pain, the kind of pain you can’t run away from but the kind that hurts even when the doctors put a tap with morfine directly into your spine. Maybe it was the mix of pain and morfine, or just the way my brain works, but I started making up stories and scenarios to get by. Like: If this was an American movie, there would be a happy ending. You can not be in this much pain and not get a happy ending.

For me painting and creating have always been healing. When you get absorbed in creative work you don’t feel pain, hunger or time, you just paint. So I started painting small squares. I was too tired and sick to go to my studio so I just used watercolor. It is quick and easy and you can do it in bed, on the floor or even standing up. I started making little circles and forms with watercolor. Then I scanned them into my computer and started twisting them, turning them, duplicating them – making them into patterns.

Then it just hit me – this is my happy ending! I will make patterns and then make the patterns into cards, notebooks, fabric, silk scarfs and so on. And then I will sell these patterns and become famous. This is my happy ending!

So what’s next in this project?
This project will keep on growing. I am hoping the Nordiska Akvarellmuseet in Skärhamn will let me show my work in their beautiful location some day. And there’s more to come! Sp keep an eye on this project because my patterns are definitely going places.

Let’s round up with five quick questions. First one – what inspires you?
Everything and anything. Books. Libraries. Looking out of the window from an airplane. And I love to look at the pattern on the ground… And the mix (and luxury) of living smack in the middle of this town and having a small summerhous in the woods. It’s inspiring to start the day in the city and ending it in the woods…

What makes you happy?
I am so thankful for all I have. I am happy for having friends. Family. For being alive. Having a family and my DOG. I wake up happy.

Name something you love, and why.
I love coffee. It’s my drug. Not only is it good, it’s very much related to happy feelings. Sitting in the sun drinking coffee on an early morning.

What superpower would you like to have and why?
I have a superpower. My look! I am a small. Almost tiny woman. Not ugly not beautiful. I do not, at all, look like the way I feel on the inside. Perfect! I get away with anything!
People see me and associate me with… nothing. And then I just BOOOM surprise them with MEEEEEE!

And finally. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
That is the best part of having an english-speaking grandmother. For real! She actually gave me advice like: When life gives you lemons. Make lemonade! She also said: Well – it must be noon somewhere. When she had the first sip of ice cold vermouth at 10 in the morning…

Don't miss Annalena's exhibition at CreativeMornings Gothenburg on April 28!


One week to go till the next CreativeMornings. Who’s excited? We’re excited! The theme is TABOO and we have an awesome speaker-duo who will share their own perspective on this tantalizing concept.

“She did not. Just. Say. That.” Why are some topics off limit? Who decides what makes a taboo? And what happens when you realise you need to break it? Norm creatives and agency owners Kajsa Schedwin and Maria Hellbjörn want you to acknowledge the elephant in the room. They also want you to pet it, befriend it and introduce it to your mother.

The next CreativeMornings is on Friday, March 24. The tickets drop Monday, March 20. They’re free, and they go fast.

Remember to follow us on Instagram (Gothenburg_cm), Twitter (Gothenburg_cm), and Facebook (@CreativeMorningsGBG). Our hashtag is #cmgbg.


Ready for another CreativeMornings event? Not only will you get an awesome talk this time, illustrator, art director and designer Mimmi Smith will have an exhibit for you as well. So come early! 

Mimmi draws and colors her universes with a hint of escapism and melancholy. The characters and expressions in the illustrations visualize the feelings and situations of everyday human life. In twisted, beautiful, crocked, and humorous ways.

Linda Larsson caught up with Mimmi for a short interview: 

1. Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Mimmi Smith, from Gothenburg – designer, scribbler, and aspiring art director. I create various things within fashion, art, magazines, and advertising. 

2. What does “being creative” mean to you?
Working with the ideas that pop up inside your head. Bring them to the table and visualise them with colours, words, shapes or sound. 

3. Can you describe the time when you first realised that creating was something you absolutely had to do?
Making my own fishnet-stockings by using the white plastic net that came with my dad’s wine bottles. If not then, I realised it when I got my first pen and paper. 

4. What work do you most enjoy doing?
Everything from design that feels unique and strong, to art and visual work that you get a good feeling from. As long as you get your flow and surround yourself with nice people. 

5. What inspires you? 
Movies, music, people, cities far away, nature, fantasy. 

6. What are you trying to communicate with your art? 

7. What makes you happy? 
Music that gets you going or sipping wine abroad.

8. What superpower would you have and why? 
Time travelling or healing.  

9. Name something you love, and why. 
Family and friends – I can be weird or confused and still get their advice or support. 

10. What is your dream project? 
Still waiting for it… 

11. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? 
Trust people – You can't control everything.

The next CreativeMornings is on Friday, March 24. The tickets drop Monday, March 20. They’re free, and they go fast.

Remember to follow us on Instagram (Gothenburg_cm), Twitter (Gothenburg_cm), and Facebook (@CreativeMorningsGBG). Our hashtag is #cmgbg.


February Recap

As the next CreativeMornings event is swift approaching, here's a reminder of how awesome the last one was.


We got to be in the Grand Concert Hall in February, which meant getting in through the main doors at the Concert Hall. And you all found your way, no problems. Also, kudos for being such a cheerful bunch so early in the am!


We did the check-in, the wardrobe bit, and the nametags on the entry floor of the Concert Hall building, before heading upstairs. 

This time we wanted you to write down something about ”A moment that changed my life” on your nametags, and you guys are getting steadily better at filling in these DIY staples of CreativeMornings. Hopefully they made for great conversation starters!


Upstairs, we fed you coffee, Heleanna to be exact, from our partner Per Nordby (pernordby.com). It was steaming hot and fabulous. Per is fantastic at roasting perfect blends. 


You also got sandwiches from awesome tech and communication agency HiQ (hiq.se), who was February's breakfast partner. We're so grateful we get such great partners each month!


Eva Essvik and Vincent Hashmi, from our main partners The Gothenburg Symphony (gso.se) did a bit of a preamble before leading you into the Grand Concert Hall. These guys are simply amazing. When Christer mentioned that having a gong to direct people's attention to the balcony would be kind of awesome, they just Made. It. Happen.


And speaking of The Gothenburg Symphony, not only did they let us use their Grand Concert Hall, pulling out all the stops, they also got us the most beautiful pre-talk mini concert with Hvilakvartetten. Starting off the day with Mozart, how much better can it get?

Watch the concert with Hvilakvartetten


Local CM host Christer Hedberg, did the usual pre-talk introduction. And in case we weren't clear on that, we'd just like to reiterate that our partners and sponsors are a-ma-zing. Without them, no way would we be able to afford making this event happen for you each month. 

And hey, if you want your company to chip in, please, feel free to let us know. Just email Linda Larsson at linda.larsson07@gmail.com.


February's main speaker, illustrator, typostrator, and Hyper Island Programme Leader Tash Willcocks (https://tashatime.tumblr.com/)  was flown in from Manchester by our partner Stendahls (stendahls.se) to wake us up with a brilliant talk about finding friends, building communities, and doing awesome creative work.

She also introduced the people who were courageous enough to sign up for sitting #Upfront during the talk. #Upfront (http://weareupfront.com/) are all about inspiring people to brave the stage themselves, by letting them feel the spotlight for a bit, with 0 pressure to perform.


Tash wanted to get us all to smile to one another more often and she certainly got us not just smiling, but laughing out loud as well.


Not only did Tash want us to remember to focus on building friendships, instead of simply adding contact upon contact to our LinkedIn profile, she also wanted to inspire us to Do. The. Work. Tash does at least one illustration every single day and says it really gets her creative juices flowing.


And speaking of illustrations: Tash had a challenge for us, and for her, to tweet her two awesome Swedish words @tashwillcocks, so that she might choose some of them to turn into beautiful works of art. Check her channel on Twitter, or Instagram (also @tashwillcocks), for the result.


It was such an energetic talk, you really need to watch it live. Fortunately, you can do just that in our video section: 

Watch Tash Willcocks' ”Make Friends, Not Contacts”


Thank you, from the Gothenburg CreativeMornings gang. It really is a pleasure to make this event happen for you each month. We enjoy it at least as much as you do! Oh, and when you see us at the events, please feel free to strike up a conversation, or ask any questions you may have. We love talking to you!

February event photos courtesy of Sandi Habinc, Sina Farhat, Ola Hilmarsson, and Christer Hedberg.

All these photos, and more, can be found at our Flickr account

Don't miss our next event, on Friday, March 24. The tickets drop Monday, March 20. They're free, and they go fast.

Remember to follow us on Instagram (Gothenburg_cm), Twitter (Gothenburg_cm), and Facebook (@CreativeMorningsGBG). Our hashtag is #cmgbg.

Blogged by: Terese Mörtvik

CreativeMornings Gothenburg is #upfront!

#upfront is a global organisation elevating and encouraging new voices on and off stages. They are making conferences stages around the world more accessible and diverse and they do this by inviting keynote speakers to share their stage and their power. Here’s what it looks like in action.

What does that mean?

When asked why people aren’t on stage they tell us they don’t know where to start. They tell us the thought of standing on a stage facing a sea of strangers is overwhelming. We’re solving this problem by being #upfront.

You can be #upfront next Friday

During her talk, Tash Willcocks, our speaker will share her stage with you. You’ll sit comfortably on a couch, in front of a sea of friendly faces whilst our speakers talk. You will not need to speak and Tash will be there to facilitate. Oh, and you’ll meet her beforehand too.

If you are someone who would one day like to speak on stage but you’re not yet ready, being #upfront is a great way to start being comfortable on stage. You get to feel what’s it’s like to be on stage without the pressure of performing.

If you want to be #upfront on the CreativeMornings Gothenburg stage, in front of three hundred people, and claim a space on the #upfront couch please send an email tohelloupfron t@gmail.com with the subject line CreativeMornings Gothenburg February 2017. The team at #upfront are happy to answer any questions you might have.

Here is a short video from #upfront founder, Lauren Currie explaining what it’d be like to sit #upfront. You can also read blog posts on our website from others who have sat #upfront.

We do hope you’ll join us and the #upfront team in demanding more equality by sitting down to stand up. Here’s to more and more diversity, a variety of ideas, creativity, storytelling and change!


We’re thrilled beyond belief to present February’s speaker Tash Willcocks – an amazing illustrator / typostrator from Manchester, England.Don’t miss Tash’s “Make friends, not contacts” talk at CreativeMornings Gothenburg on February 24! This will be an inspiring talk about collaborating with people in different ways and making those moments special. And oh, there will probably some crazy kittens somewhere in there as well. The tickets will be released on Monday, February 20.


Hey, creative people!

It’s been a week since our January event and about time we summarized it for you, before our official video is released. This is also gonna be a bit of a recap on how a #cmgbg event works as well; something to refer your beloved co-workers, clients, friends, or friendly strangers to, if they want to know more about the what’s and the how’s, and so on.


The volunteer team met up at Stenhammarsalen early Friday morning, around 7. We got everything together and ready for opening. Photographers Julia Reinhart & Petri Olderhvit got their amazing exhibit in order as well.


At around 7:50, we opened the doors for all you guys to come inside the Gothenburg Concert Hall. Spirits were high, naturally, because you’re all awesome people!


You checked in with our volunteers inside the doors, who had lists and lists with your names on them.


After check-in, you proceeded up the stairs, to the nametag table and the wardrobe area. At the nametag table you got to create your own nametag, by writing your name on a sticky-sheet, and writing down your answer to the question of the month.


This month’s nametag question was: What is the greatest mystery of all time? Your responses, of course, were splendid, and sometimes hilarious. We’d say we’re sorry about making you think such deep thoughts before your first cup of coffee. But we’re not.


Once you’d divested yourselves of your coats and gotten your nametags sorted, some of you hung around to chat for a bit. Most, however, ambled along to the breakfast area, where there was some brilliant coffee, courtesy of Per Nordby. You can order his luxurious Crencencio blend, and other types of coffee, at his website: https://www.pernordby.com/


Along with the coffee, you got a tasty sandwich, wrapped in info about this month’s breakfast sponsor: WinterBoost. WinterBoost is a cool event that’s meant to function as a mental vitamin injection this winter, on February 7th to be exact. So, surf on over to: http://winterboost.se/ and secure your ticket now!


In the breakfast area, you had a lot of interesting conversations, some were about nametags, others, not so much.


The breakfast area was also where the photo exhibit took place. And, not to brag, but we kinda think you liked it a lot. We certainly did.


At 08:20, the first bell rang, and we opened the doors to Stenhammarsalen. You were great at finding seats in a timely fashion, thanks for that!


Christer started talking at 08:30. Then we had three brave ladies come on stage who all made a 30 second pitch.


Malin Rockström (@funkymellie) was looking for an art director internship.


Alonnika Ritchey (@alonnika) was looking for a copywriter internship.


Joanne Lau (@tictactoc) moved here from Canada in December and was looking for new people to hang with and a job in UX design.


Headliner Isadora Wronski told us all about the Burning Man festival.


Burning Man has 10 Principles: Radical Inclusion, Gifting, Decommodification, Radical Self-reliance, Radical Self-expression, Communal Effort, Civic Responsibility, Leaving No Trace, Participation, and Immediacy.


We thought its sounded amazing. Learn more about it at the website: http://burningman.org/ And, hey! There’ll be a Burning Man event in Stockholm on March 4. Don’t miss it!

Thanks to volunteer event photographers Magnus Rönnkvist, Ola Dyrhill & Sina Farhat for all the great photos!

You can see all of their pictures from the event on our flickr-account: https://www.flickr.com/photos/creativemorningsgbg/albums/with/72157675880586924

Burning Man & the Future of Participatory Culture

The theme for Creative Mornings Gothenburg on January 20 is MYSTERY. And what can be more mysterious than a music festival where they build a whole town in the desert, only to burn it down as part of the festivities? Burning Man Swedish representative Isadora Wronski will tell us all about it at this month’s event. Don’t miss it, it’s bound to be awesome.

Tickets go live at 11am today! 🔥