READ IN: Español

We talked to Carolina Lindberg, the Spanish artist and designer based in London who has illustrated the latest album by Miguel; American R&B singer and songwriter.

Carolina Lindberg

Photo by Jaime Venegas

With her own distinctive style, Lindberg‘s works are brimming with a particular imaginary that she materializes through the creation of images, textiles and installations. The album “Art Dealer Chic 4” is illustrated with stickers that the artist designed after working closely with the singer. Through the youthful and fun appearance of the drawings, the stickers show the rawer side of the songs; as in “So I Lie”, whose lyrics deal with the singer’s introspection and fears.

HIGHXTAR (H): What references do you use in your songs?

Carolina Lindberg (CL):

For me it has always been fundamental to develop a unique style, whether creating illustrations, designing or building installations. Over the years, I have developed an extensive “visual archive” and have drawn from many sources, and then passed that water through my personal filter. Coming from the graffiti subculture, my illustration style is clearly influenced by those cartoons that appeared in the pieces and that come from the old American comic. On the other hand, nature and its forms is also something that inspires me greatly.

(H): Stickers are emblematic of your designs, why did you choose this element?

(CL):It’s another of the legacies of my background as a graffiti writer. You make stickers to stick them everywhere so you don’t get caught making tags he,he,he. Outside of that world, it’s also a resource that has always been used in a promotional way. In my work it made a lot of sense to use it because it’s something I’ve always done.

(H): What is it like to adapt your work to Miguel’s R&B music?

(CL): It’s been a super organic process! I love R&B and I’ve always listened to Miguel‘s music. I haven’t really had to adapt my work, I would say more like reinterpret his inner world with my tools. As for the messages, I feel quite in line with what Miguel has expressed on his latest album. For example, in the track “Thinking Out Loud”, the singer reflects on the most recent events of 2020; or in “So I Lie”, a journey of introspection in which he expresses how, sometimes, we appear to be fine in front of others when you are [email protected] inside. It is a pleasure for me to work on commissions that make so much sense.

(H): You work with a lot of symbolism in your stickers, could you tell us what the ones we see on Miguel’s cover symbolize?

(CL):In Triangle Love”, Miguel talks about a love triangle. For this, the handcuffs symbolize being imprisoned in a relationship and in this case it is the third person who holds the key that frees, who has the power. Also the position of the three hands create a triangle with each other, representing thought, feeling and emotion. The scorpion in “So I Lie” comes from Miguel‘s zodiac sign; and the drop of poison coming out of its stinger reflects how he truly feels, very Scorpio. Another example -this one more my personal one and a classic- appears in one of the designs that represents the theme “Funeral”: the butterfly and its transformation.

(H): Does it mean something that Miguel’s face is hidden?

(CL):For the cover, they wanted to give priority to the singer’s inner world rather than his face or facade. Also, as in this album Miguel reflects on somewhat raw themes, they wanted to reflect this through black and white photography and give prominence to that world more of adolescence, full of energy and color that appears on the stickers.

(H): You have also designed a collection of virtual kits that are available on FIFA21’s VOLTA Football in collaboration with Arsenal’s Héctor Bellerín. What can you tell us about adapting your work to a video game?

(CL): Working with Hector has been the best! We are colleagues and it was the first time we worked together. The fact of collaborating with this trust has resulted in a project in which Hector‘s values and my universe fit perfectly. For example, for the “PermaClub” team, I did not hesitate to propose him my numerography inspired by nature or the readaptation of a pattern of one of my works for the LGBTQIA+ club. A very nice synergy was created. In addition, the EA Sports team did a great job, respecting to the maximum the designs we sent them when adapting them to the 3D format. It was a dream for me to have my universe appear on the screens of millions of users around the world and to be able to use these designs.

(H): Do you have any other projects in mind?

(CL):Yes, a lot! At the moment I can confirm a couple of collaborations with fashion brands. One national and the other from London. Sustainable projects that I feel really in tune with. I am also working on a new work that I will be exhibiting later this year.

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