Illustration, Photoshop, Projectionmapping, Stencils

I’ve spent the past three Saturdays with my sister tracing the stencils for our upcoming paint job in Oslo. As I mentioned in part one, printing these stencils would eat up our entire budget. So we projected them onto paper and traced the designs with permanent markers. We’ve never tried this technique before but we instantly fell in love with it. The upside of tracing stencils instead of printing them, is that can’t avoid mentally cutting, layering and painting them as you go. I guess you could say that this is the ultimate way of priming yourself for a big session when working with stencils.

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We’ve known the wall-sizes for a couple of weeks, but it’s not until you actually see the size of the paper you’re tracing your image onto, that you realize how big these stencils actually are. We’ve never painted stencils this big and seeing the designs right in front of you is quite a breathtaking (and sinking) feeling, partly because you know in the back of your head that each layer must align with the other. It’s easy to get lost in the image because you’re up close a lot with the markers. The resolution wasn’t that great at times so some details got a bit blurry. Smartphone with the design equals handy helper.

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One of our designs pictures three workers protesting in a bar. The thought is to convey ideas of unity between workers (and people), and that you can take pride in working hard (but being off having a beer is better). We wanted signs so that we could create actual signs out of cardboard and glue them to the wall. This to make the design pop a bit, and frankly, it’s always more fun to work with different materials and textures when creating art. We used three different fonts to sell the idea that the people in the design actually made their own signs. We had a fun time sinking into the minds of the different characters. The Nick Cave-looking drunk who just showed up for the beer, the woman who wasn’t to bothered with her A’s, and the proud butcher who took the time masking his frame the proper way, with tape, putting all his effort into writing the word NO.

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“Damn it Martha! All they need to see is the word NO! That says it all! The rest is just jibber-jabber. I’m not a signmaker I’m a butcher! I always write my prices large when I advertise my meat. At least I used tape when masking out my frame, not like the other two amateurs next to me who just slapped some paint on around the edges.”

The butcher to his wife (in our heads).


Since we’re painting in Norway, this dumb “Save the (wh)ales!” joke really brings it home.

All our stencils are rolled up, the paint is on its way and we’re mentally prepared to work long hours, go nuts and just have fun. So far we’re confident it will all work out fine. Let’s hope we’re right. Otherwise we’ll ruin four walls in a bar in Oslo and come home broke.

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Shooting Sins – The work behind the camera.


Sins In Vain is a melodic metal band from Sweden and I’ve been friends with some of the members for years now. The band decided to record a cover of Killswitch Engage’s song The end of heartache, as a way to thank them for all the years of inspiration.


Christian (guitar) setting up the mic for Lenny (vocals) in the studio.

The band wanted a video which documents the recording process in the studio and I wanted to give it a shot. A full day in the studio, and everything ran smoothly, probably because we all decided and agreed on the look and feel of the video beforehand. We decided to go for a grainy black and white, somewhat faded video, since the word “nostalgia” popped up a lot when I asked the band about their connection with the song. I shot the video in (FLAT) colour just in case the black and white feel would be a disaster and so I had to prep for this before hitting REC. The studio is very rustic and has a nice homely feel to it so I went with warm lights and tones. The point of the video was to show the love and respect Sins In Vain all have for the cover they were about to record. If I wanted them to look hard as hell and stone cold, I would have gone with a more blue and cold setup. But remember, black and white was always the main goal for the video, the decisions with the colourtemp was just precautionary planning.

Hey ho let's go!

Anders, Christian, Lenny and Jens toasting while Tommy is off rigging his drums.

A cosy studio usually comes with a lot of extra stuff (this one came with a rocking horse attached to the ceiling), and stuff casts shadows. Lighting the studio was a bit tricky so I often directed my redheads away from the subject, bouncing the 800W light off the ceiling instead. This way I eliminated many of the shadows which would have caused some confusion in the shots. I used vintage constructionlights to separate the subjects a bit from the background, and to add some quality to the cosy atmosphere I was going for. I didn’t use any makeup on the band because I wanted to capture the process in a raw and natural way. Some may argue that one should always use powder on subjects while working with hot lights, some don’t. We went raw and I personally think it adds to the “realness” of the video.


A quick walk-through of the lighting approach used for this video.

The video was shoot with my trusty Canon 700D and I alternated between two prime lenses. The classic 50mm f1.8 and my latest addition, 24mm f2.8. The 24mm lens gives you a shot which is close to what you see from your own point of view  so composing your shot is quite easy since you kind of get, “what you see” from where you stand. The 50mm brings you closer as you probably know and is great for more emotional closeups. I kept the shots stable and consistent always using a tripod or a 60 cm slider. Not going handheld forced me to focus on creating a good composition before each take, keeping the rule of thirds in mind whenever possible. I did shoot some handheld B-roll I labeled “goofing around in the studio”. The plan was to let these images slip into the video towards the end, but while editing it just didn’t match the overall feel I was going for. Instead I used some of those shots in the intro for the video accompanied by sounds captured while setting everything up.


The Canon 700D running on the Magic Lantern firmware with matte-box and a 50mm f1.8 prime lens. Videotripod with fluid head for smooth tilting while filming.

The camera was running on Magic Lanterns firmware. This enabled me to view the shots with bars. I love shooting with bars. They are not permanent but it’s another safety when it comes to editing. You compose your image to match the bars but they’re not there on the actual footage. When you add bars in post you have more control over the image and are able to reframe your footage. Before Magic Lantern (which also lets you shoot in RAW if you wish) I used masking tape on the viewfinder where I wanted the bars.

I’m not going to write a full report on how I edited the video but I had lots of footage to choose from. I shot three takes of each member (Wide tripod / Close tripod / Slider) except Tommy on the drums who got two extra slider-takes to capture the footwork from both directions. The video drops on Valentines day, but until then you can watch the three promo videos below which I put together for the bands Instagram.

Curious about the music? Listen to Sins In Vain on Spotify

The Tony Rissla cover.

Illustration, Photoshop

Sometimes fun jobs appear by chance. This was a very spontaneous quicke for Tony Rissla which landed on my lap via Facebook. He sent over a sketch of his vision (sometimes the simple sketches are the clearest) and I fell for the idea.


“Two dudes with hoodies, nothing but black inside. One is holding a joint, the other a can of beer. And then a big crying moon in the background. In a park. Keep it depressing.” – Tony Rissla

I’ve been quite busy animating for a while so I really enjoyed pulling out the inkbottles and fountainpen. I decided to do colouring in Photoshop to have full control over the tones (I knew Tony wanted the cover in colour, but I thought I’ll give him the chance to change his mind). After scanning the illustration I used high resolution watercolour images and blended / masked them out in the right places.


We decided to do the titles by hand so I drew up a set of styles and scanned them as well. This was a really quick job all in all but I really enjoyed it since it gave me a break from the screens. It’s so nice to just play around with ink, especially when it ammounts to something people enjoy and make use of. Tony decided to go with the fully coloured version while I’m more a fan of the one with moon and bench in colour.

Which one do you prefer?


Curious about the music? Check out Tony Rissla on Spotify and Soundcloud.

Make your portraits stand out.

Photography, Photoshop

Yesterday I tried a new approach to facial lighting while shooting portraits. I wanted to bring out the beast in my model so I decided to give scissorlighting a shot, and I think it turned out great. This is not a standard approach when it comes to setting up your lights but in this case I think it worked quite well. For this technique you’ll need two sources of hard light, I used my 800W redheads. The photo was shot with a Canon 700D using the 50mm f1.8 lens (wide open) and a .3 ND filter.

The idea is to shine the light on the sides of the face, slightly from the back of your model. The model is placed in the center where the two lights cross. Here’s a sketch:


I shot my portraits in RAW so I had a lot of wiggle room in Photoshop. Which light setup is your favourite when lighting for portraits? Drop me a comment – I’d love to know.

Model Marcus Witold Piorkowski is a talented musician and filmmaker. You can check out his portfolio here and listen to his music on Spotify.

You need to hear this one – The Cross Fox Philosophy promo.


The debut single from folky Cross Fox Philosophy is waiting just around the corner and I was happy to help out when they asked me to create a quick promo for Sorrows come undone. I had some photographs from the recording process and I ripped some footage from one of their live shows where they perform Blood and tears (G. Danzig). This was a quick job and I just gave it a vintage projectorlook using sound effects and some dust, grain, scratches and lightleaks from

The song is absolutely wonderful and I fell in love with it instantly. It’s very dark and moody with just a tiny hint of hope and I really hope it blows up when it’s out in about a week from now. If you’re into lonely moody folk – don’t miss this one.


The Oslo job – PT. I/III

Illustration, Photoshop, Projectionmapping

Before life was as complex as it is right now my sister and I used to paint together under the name Brohemia. Things were going quite well towards the end but as you all know, things happen (good and bad) and we just didn’t have the same time and freedom as we used to. We still did some jobs here and there but not like before. The funny thing is, Brohemia is always there, lurking in the dark like an old friendly demon you catch up with now and then – or actually, it kind of catches you. This time completely off guard.

Our old friend Peter Brobäck who started up (and turned it into a goldmine) just appeared out of nowhere, as he always does, with a massive job in hand. And as always, it was too good to pass up. So me and my sister are once again getting the spray cans, razors and markers ready for what will be the biggest job we’ve landed so far. We’re painting four walls, in an old industrial building turned into a restaurant/bar. In Oslo, Norway.

We decided to go with Brohemia. Vi like the style and the sense of humour in the images. I don’t want to put too many guidelines down, but if they could include some beer, industrial workers and humour into the designs I’d be very happy.” – The client
 Dreamjob! And a very generous paycheck. But with a great paycheck comes great responsibility as Spiderman would say if he ran a business. We began with a moodboard.
My sister and I drew up some sketches over a cup of coffee and we very absolutely buzzing with excitement. We’ve taken lots of inspiration from WW2 propaganda posters in the past (the USSR had some amazing artists didn’t they?) and this time was no exception. This is what our sketches looked like a couple of hours into our coffee.
After locking down our ideas I digitalized our ideas and sent them off to the agency. A week later we got the feedback. A few minor changes here and there (add local logo etc.) but all in all, we’re good to go. Here are the digitalized sketches.
Our next step will be the creation of the actual stencils. Since they’re massive, we can’t print them like we used to (the cost of printing would eat up our entire budget) so our plan is to project them onto papers in a large room and trace the images in the correct size with markers. And that’s something I’ll document for the second blog post.
Stay trippy! 😉

Animating Mediatool.

Animation, Film, Photoshop

I’ve been doing some PR-videos for Mediatool for a while now and one of the videos I created was the following animation. The concept is quite simple and understandable, since Mediatool was created to help out advertisers and media-agencies and make their day-to-day work easier and more manageable.

“Mediatool gathers all of your marketing in one place. Use it to get a comprehensive overview of all your marketing activities, campaign plans, and yearly summaries in one place. Gone are the days of sharing excel spreadsheets.”

I begun making some sketches and after getting those approved I begun animating. There were tons of layers, split layers, duplicated layers, shape layers (you get the picture), and towards the end my project file looked like something that could have used a Mediatool for animators. Somebody should create that.


The tiny icons were animated separately and exported with an alpha-layer. These videos where animated further using wiggle and bounce expressions. The lines and circles which reach out and grab the platforms are shapelayers using no fill and a stroke of 3px. I animated these using trim paths and I found this tutorial on animating lines in After Effects to be really helpful. After swapping icons and making changes here and there, we decided to give the animation a cinematic, bassy, transformersy-with-a-hint-of-organic-elements kind of sound. And here’s how it all turned out.