Linnea Strid – an amazing artist and a bus stop dreamer

The painting on our album cover was created by the artist Linnea Strid. She calls it “The Drowning Artist”, and it wasn’t created for the album, even if we think it was a perfect fit; it was Lasse who discovered it on the Internet and asked Linnea if we could use it on our album.

We’ve gotten many reactions on the cover from our listeners. It does seem to stir emotions and cause reactions, like it’s impossible to be neutral to the painting. It’s also interesting how different we react; some get an eerie feeling from it, while other praise the beauty and the details, and some get mixed emotions. There’s a story here as well, that raises some curiosity about what has happened, and/or what is going to happen, and which plays with our minds. Add to that the title, which gives the experience of the painting a new twist.

A certain taste of life - © Linnea Strid

A certain taste of life – © Linnea Strid

If you look through Linnea’s art catalogue, you can see that these features goes through all her art, like if she was one of those fantastic photographers I admire, that can catch the moment in just the right second and from the right angle, when the ordinary turns into something more than just the ordinary.

Often she uses water in some way in her paintings: running water, still water, drops, sweat, tears, and I come to think about a parallel with those 20 words for snow that the eskimos is said to use; maybe we should have 20 words for water?

I took the opportunity to ask Linnea some questions:

Bus Stop Dreams: How does it feel to have you art exposed on an album cover?

Linnea: It feels great! I believe I’ve had my paintings on album covers at least five times before, and it’s always an awesome feeling when a band appreciates my art to the extent that they want it to “represent” their music. It’s one of the greatest form of flattery!

Tear me apart - © Linnea Strid

Tear me apart – © Linnea Strid

BSD: Can you relate to anything in the music with your painting?

Linnea: For me, art (both images and music) is something highly personal that everyone could and should adopt and make into stuff that means something just for them. When I make art, my paintings has a very special significance to me, but I want them to have that effect to other people observing them as well. I don’t like to pin point out exactly what to feel and think about my pieces. That’s really up to everyone to decide for themselves. That’s what’s so wonderful about art! With that said, I can’t say that I can completely identify my painting with the music, since I made the piece first and had very personal stuff in mind for that. But there are elements in the album that I can defenitely relate to. It’s an awesome album that everyone should get a hold of!

BSD: Thanks a lot Linnea. I’m so happy you like it! About how the music and your art came together; the story about how Lasse found you and your art is maybe something that is an everyday experience on the Internet, but still fantastic to me: A woman from Ukraine on Google+ shared the image of “The Drowning Artist” there, uncredited. Lasse asked her where she found it which led to a Ukrainian appliance company (which was obviously using it to illustrate their business), and after an image search he found your site and discovered that you live in the same town (Stockholm). Surely the world of art, as much as the music world, must be affected in many ways by Internet. What has Internet meant for you as an artist?

Linnea: Haha, yeah that’s a very funny story. The Internet’s ways are inscrutable.. It has meant a great deal for me and has opened so many doors since I started to work as an artist full-time in 2009. I usually say that I feel truly lucky to have been born as an artist in this century. If I hadn’t started posting my art on flickr and sending pics to art magazines online I had never been able to show my art all over the world and selling my art through my website to collectors in the US and Canada and all over Europe. That’s mainly how I manage to survive because it’s really hard to make a living as an artist in Sweden only, after all, it’s a small country with limited possibilities.

Kiss (homage to Terry Richardson) - © Linnea Strid

Kiss (homage to Terry Richardson) – © Linnea Strid

BSD: What is the best moments for you, when you create your art?

Linnea: I love the starting up phase, where I have just begun with the painting and things are starting to fall into place, when I know it’s going to be a good painting that I can be proud of (at least for a year or so, then I grow tired of it, haha). I also enjoy the moment when the painting is just finished and I can sit back and study all the brush strokes, look for flaws and details that I’m particularly happy with.

BSD: What is the best moments when you show your art to people?

Linnea: When someone decides to buy a painting. That’s the ultimate proof for me that I should continue doing what I’m doing. I still think it’s kind of a surreal, strange feeling when people actually want to pay me to have my art in their homes, hanging on their wall. It’s really cool and I appreciate it so much. If no one bought my paintings and drawings I had to get a normal job and that’s something that I’m afraid I’ll have to do one day if my paintings don’t sell.

BSD: Thank you so much Linnea. Best of luck in the future.

Check out Linnea Strid’s site and Facebook page.


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