About me

I'm a big lover of design and illustration and have been working within that field since 1999. Mostly I've worked on digital projects - both big and small - but I've done my fair share of print as well. I love design and solving problems and it doesn't matter what medium or channel that is part of the solution.  

My journey so far
I'm based in Stockholm, Sweden, where I studied Virtual Reality, programming and digital art in the late 90's. VR wasn't that big back then so I ended up working as a designer in the booming digital industry just before the big crash in the year 2000. After almost 15 years at agencies such as Moonwalk/Starring, Tewonder and Söderhavet I took the big step of starting my own agency called "Friend of mine" with an old friend and fellow designer. It's hard work running an agency and I learned a lot during that time that I never would have learnt in any other way. The best part was to work with a great designer and friend and to be able to have discussions from a designers point of view. The hard part was to handle all the administration and sell new gigs; being creative and doing design turned out to be a small part of what we did. I need to be creative and focus on what I'm good at and most importantly enjoy doing the most. 
In the summer of 2015 I decided to start my own business as a freelance graphic designer, Art Director and illustrator. I have during the last year worked with clients such as Telia Company, H&M, Registercentrum, Företagsuniversitetet and collaborated with agencies such as Antrop, Ottoboni, Why and Knight Digital.
During September - October 2016 I joined Hyper Islands online course Leading Teams in the Digital Age which was amazing! The course focuses a lot on leadership (individual leadership, leading teams and organizational leadership) and how to build effective teams. A lot of fantastic learnings and insights and definitely a path I will continue to explore!

With a passion for education
Since 2012 I'm on the Steering Group Committee for iAD (Interactive Art Director) at Hyper Island. iAD is a one year course that mainly addresses creatives that are already in the industry. Our job in the steering group is to make sure the iAD-students gets the skills and knowledge needed to get a job - or to create their own job for that matter.
I really enjoy being involved in education in different ways and have given lectures at schools such as Hyper Island, Berghs School of Communication, Konstfack and Linköpings Universitet. I also mentor students and young creatives as much as I can - it's incredibly inspiring to be a part of talented peoples lives if only for a short period of time before they set off for new adventures.

Power in equality
In 2007 I founded She Creatives of Sweden together with Karin Ernerot - a network for female creatives. Within a couple of years we had more than 1500 members and chapters in Stockholm, Malmö, Gothenburg, Jönköping and Oslo. Back then there was no forum for female creatives to inspire, strengthen and lift each other so we saw it as our mission to be the energy to boost many creatives needs. Apart from having a mailing list and a Facebook group, we arranged many talks and to me those were the best - so full of energy and inspiration! 
I truly believe that we made a difference in changing the narrative - female creatives were no longer competing with each other; instead they were inspiring, boosting and helping each other to new carrier opportunities, new valuable connections and new confidence. There would always be someone who had your back and you were no longer alone. The power in (female) networking is amazing!

To stay creative is hard work
During stressful periods in life creativity disappears and is hard to find again - both in client projects and in personal ones. One of the reasons why I decided to do my own thing - both with Friend of mine and as a freelancer - is to find time for creativity that is not connected to a specific client project. 
Creativity feeds more creativity - the more creative I can be on my own; the more creative I can be in client projects. I've tried different things during the years as a working creative: illustrating books, doing my daily journal in illustrations, renovating appartments, knitting... 
The last 4 years I've stuck to one thing and that is painting on old ceramics that you can find in any flea market, second hand store or in other peoples garbage. I call the project Improved by me and is currently a blog and an instagram account. The project has been featured on several blogs and in newspapers since I launched it for the public in the summer of 2015.

Photo by Janerik Henriksson

Selection of clients
Telia Company, H&M, Företagsuniversitetet, Saco, Captor, Prinsparets stiftelse, Registercentrum, Fiat Group, ICA, Rikspolisstyrelsen, Kommunal, Riksgälden, Myndigheten för Samhällsskydd och Beredskap, Finansförbundet, Saltkråkan, Fastighetsbyrån, Nordiska Kompaniet, SOS Barnbyar, Palina, Stockholms KBT, m.fl. 

Skills
I work a lot in Sketch, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Keynote. I am fluent in Swedish, fairly good in English and can order a table for two in French. 
Other software I use and handle: Office (and equivalent software from Apple), Marvel, InVision, Zeplin, Slack, Evernote, Trello, Asana, Basecamp and many more.

Want to know more?
Please visit my LinkedIn page or contact me on hej@jessicaolander.com or +46 707 687 691.
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