Eva Lindström has written and illustrated many highly acclaimed picture books. She was awarded the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2022, and has been nominated once for the Hans Christian Andersen Award and eight times for the August award which she won in 2013. Lindström was born in 1952 and lives in Stockholm. She began her career as a comic artist and cartoonist, and has had a major influence on the new generation of comic book artists now emerging in Sweden.
A Bird Day is a book from a while ago. Can you tell us about how it came about and what you love about it?
The idea came from driving on small roads in the country where there are often one or two birds pecking and walking around on the road in front of the car. When I get dangerously close to them, they fly away. It is as if they are playing a game with me.
Those birds on my drives in the country were my inspiration for this book.
To answer the second part of the question, what I love about it is the story. It is kind, it has a nice mix of emotions and the pictures are warm.
Do you base your stories on observations of people, or are they from your inner world?
I think that I use my observations and my imagination and my inner world all together and at the same time.
Can you tell us about your illustration process? Which comes first, for example, story or illustration?
If I work with words first, there are always pictures appearing in my head while I’m writing. And when I draw, the words come from my drawing, so both ways are good ways for me.
Congratulations on being awarded the ALMA. What is your experience of being the ALMA recipient so far?
Thank you so much for your congratulations! So far it has been great because I have been able to work as usual.
I was a bit afraid of not being able to do that, that the prize would make me more critical of my work than I was before. And that this new critical eye would not allow me to continue working.
But thankfully that has not happened; my appetite and enthusiasm for work is very much as it was before. And that is a relief.
What mattered to you as a child?
I loved to draw, that was sort of my hobby as a child. I also loved to sit by myself working with scissors, glue, paper, crayons and paints.
But I wanted to be an archaeologist when I grew up!
What matters to you as an adult when it comes to children’s picture books?
I still love to sit by myself, drawing and writing. I want my pictures and my words to be true to my inner world, and I think that I am true as long as my working process is fun and playful.
A Bird Day is available from July in all good bookstores and on our website.