Sommarnatt is the second colouring book from Swedish artist Hanna Karlzon and has unsurprisingly been a runaway success with colourists across the world. Sommarnatt features summertime wonders of the natural world inspired by Hanna’s home in the North of Sweden, interspersed with a healthy dollop of fantasy: frogs carry many turreted houses on their backs, birds hoard gems and mice pluck stars from the sky. The luscious locks of beautiful women cascade across the pages, adorned with tattoos, piercings, flowers, feathers and beads. It’s a heady mix that is a joy to colour, and interspersed within this blog are many stunning examples finished by super talented colourists to further whet your appetite. Even more brilliantly, Hanna Karlzon and her publishers Pagina have very kindly gifted me a copy of this must have adult colouring book to give away.
Congratulations on your new book! It’s had a great reception in the colouring world, especially from American fans who are eagerly ordering the Swedish version. How does it feel to be so in demand?
Thank you! Well, what can I say, I’m grateful, I get to work every day with a thing I love, drawing, and it feels amazing that people all over the world want to buy and color in my books, but at the same time it feels kinda surreal, I guess maybe in a way I can’t really grasp it. And to be honest, I don’t think about it that much, I’m busy with work and everyday life, taking the kids to school, cleaning, thinking about what to make for dinner, haha, well, you know how it is. But as I said, I’m grateful, truly grateful.
Some of the most popular pages have been portraits of beautiful women, where do you find inspiration for their unique styling?
I just draw things I like and that’s the uncomplicated secret behind the “styling” I guess. I have always been into expressing myself with my clothes and accessories and growing up I was a punk rocker (I still am, at heart), changing my hair color every week haha, so I have never been timid when it comes to appearance, I like it when people stand out of a crowd, and maybe that shines through in my drawings. And well, I love art nouveau and find much inspiration in that style, and jewelry, diamonds, gems, anything that sparkles is super fun to draw so I just add that to the mix. And then the “tattoos” and piercings, I have tattoos myself and I have had many piercings so once again it just comes back to the simple fact that I like these things. And yes, I know that some people don’t like that I add tattoos and piercings to ladies in my books, I get comments about that, and I understand, we all have different preferences, but at the same time I have to stay true to what’s me, the things I like, and keep doing that. If I don’t, there will be no soul in the drawings.
What pages did you most enjoy producing in this book and why?
Hard to say really, I enjoyed all of them, in different ways. I mix simple and more difficult designs in my books and that’s the way I like to work, some days I like drawing really detailed stuff and other days I want to draw more simple designs. It’s just a way to keep my creativity going and in the end I think it makes for a good mix of drawings in my books.
What are your favourite type of plants and flowers to draw and why?
I mostly draw plants that you can find in nature around here in the north of Sweden, where I live. It’s the plants and flowers that I have had around me since I was a kid. Growing up, during the summers, I remember that we played in big fields of high fireweeds, my grandma loved fuchsias and had big pots of them in front of her house and in the ditches along the forest roads the lupines grew wild and free. And, that’s what I draw, the flowers, plants, nature, that is close to my heart.
Sandra Zahavah Wibberley
I understand the publication of the US version has been postponed so that the publisher can find better quality paper. I bet this is a relief! How much say do you have over paper choices and graphic design?
Well about the graphic design and layout of the books, I do all that myself in InDesign, but concerning the cover, of course I cooperate with my publisher to find a layout we both like. With Dagdrömmar, my first book, I was the one to decide what measurements I wanted for the book, hard or soft cover, font etc. and I liked how that book turned out so I have kept the same layout for my other books. When it comes to the paper in the books, in the Swedish edition it is my publisher Pagina that decides what paper to use, and it’s a really good paper they have chosen so I’m happy with that. When it comes to all the translations of the books, it’s again my Swedish publisher that has all the connections and dialogues with the translating publishers so I’m not really involved in that process. But I know that Pagina recommends all the translating publishers to use the same layout, the same paper etc. as in the Swedish books but in the end not all translating publishers choose to do that.
With the success of your colouring books have you become more in demand for other types of illustration work? Have you got time to do anything else? If so what?
I have been running my own business for about 3 years now so I didn’t start up from scratch doing coloring books, I have made lots of other stuff before that. Illustrations for magazines, pattern design for wallpapers, textiles, wallpaintings to name a few, but right now I only have time to work on my upcoming books. I can’t fit anything else in, but I do get a lot of questions about commissions that I sadly have to turn down. (I surely could use some more hours every day!) But, after these books are done I hope there will pop up some interesting stuff for me to do, maybe some more pattern design, that would be super fun!
I hear your new colouring book is called Magical Dawn? It sounds really exciting, what can we expect from this one?
Yes, it will be called Magisk gryning in Swedish, (Magical dawn). In my last book, Sommarnatt (Summernight), I really wanted to focus and find my inspiration in the nature here in the north of Sweden where I live. In Magical dawn it’s still all about the nordic nature but I have added more magic, potions, spells and even more ladies, so I hope you will like that!
You also have another small postcard book in the works, how will this follow on from the previous one?
Yes I’m also working on a new postcard book with a winter theme, (like Vinterdrömmar that many of you might know about). This postcard book will be called Vinternatt (Winter night) and contains 20 designs that will be perfect for coloring this fall /winter. It’s not pure Christmas designs, with Santa and stuff like that, instead, think about a dark, crisp winter night with sparkling stars and magical animals, that’s what you will get in Vinternatt!
So, I guess this was the last question! Thank you for having me and thank you all for coloring in my books, you are the best! *it’s been an absolute pleasure!* – Amelia x
You can follow Hanna Karlzon on facebook here and instagram here, where she showcases many sneak peaks of her new work. Buy Hanna’s books at the Pen Store. Gibbs Smith will publish in the US (and other english speaking countries) in August. To win your copy of the Sommarnatt please visit this post on my Facebook Page and leave a comment or a sticker. The winner will be chosen at random on Sunday 24th July. Open to UK readers only (if you are based abroad and would like to enter then please be prepared to pay for postage, which could be up to £12: it is a heavy book. If someone based abroad is chosen then I’ll wait 2 days for postage payment before drawing another winner). Good Luck!
Many thanks to the members of the following Facebook colouring groups for the use of their beautiful coloured pages:
Daydreams Colouring (fans of Hanna Karlzon, Dagdrömmar and Sommarnatt)
Hanna’s Coloring Creations
Adult Colouring Book Reviews
- Dagdrömmar by Hanna Karlzon: Colouring Book Review and Artist Interview
- Magisk Gryning by Hanna Karlzon: Exclusive Interview and Worldwide Giveaway
- Blomstermandala by Maria Trolle: Colouring Book Review, Interview and Giveaway
- An interview with Jo Taylor: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.
- Jungle Paradise by Lorna Scobie: Colouring Book Review and Artist Interview