”Jätten från havet”/”The giant from the sea”

My new picture book is finally out! Written and illustrated by me. Published by Natur och Kultur.

An adventure story about an orhpan named Isabella and a living lump of clay named Oleg. 64 pages with colour illustrations, suitable for ages 6 – 9.

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Sample illustrations can be found at www.jonsmellgren.com/picture-books

Elsa and the Night – short film in production!

I’ll be directing an animated short based on my picture book ”Elsa and the Night”. The film has been in development for nearly two years – so I’m happy to announce that we’re finally in production! The film is produced by Nima Yousefi at HOBAB film.

Funding from The Swedish Film Institute, Film i Väst and The Swedish Arts Grants Committee. Co-produced by Dockhus Animation and Dutch animation company Cineté.

Teaser trailer below:

Pygostylia – work in progress

I’m working on a short dance film as part of a collaboration with composer Ida Lundén and artist Ulrika Gunnarsdotter. The title for this collaborative project is ”Pygostylia” – which is a scientific classification that refers to all modern birds.

I’ve also brought on Katarina Eriksson, who choreographed ”Transire” – an earlier dance film of mine. I’ve screened a version of this film – also titled ”Pygostylia” – at a live performance together with music by Ida Lundén. The idea now is to make it into a short film that can stand on its own.

Still from the film below – Katarina dressed in the gray ”bird” costume:

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Another commission from Matter Magazine!

”Less than zero”

I made an animated film about the water crisis for Matter Magazine together with Anna Mantzaris – and in collaboration with the art director from Matter, Erich Nagler. The sets and puppets we built were also photographed to serve as illustrations for an article on this subject.

Here’s the article: https://medium.com/matter/less-than-zero-71e362db9327

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And here’s the film – it became ”staff pick” on vimeo:

 

Some behind-the-scenes footage:

water_bts-1  water_bts-2  water_bts-3  water_bts-4

Lots of illustrations for Matter Magazine

I made twenty illustrations for an article in Matter Magazine about a doctor from Sierra Leone battling ebola. Head over to their website
to see all of them. Also – check out this behind the scenes story.

matter_for_newsmatter_bts

A production blog for my next book – OLEG!

I’m working on a new picture book called ”Oleg” (see update below.) It will be aimed at kids aged 6–9, so a slightly older audience than what I’m used to. I also have a production blog where I show some of my sketches and colourtests – stuff like this:

city_sketches_2 oleg_birds_nest oleg_captured Oleg_growing_sketch

UPDATE: The book is finished, and has finally hit the stores. The title changed – and it is now called ”Jätten från havet”/”The giant from the sea”

The production blog can be found here:

http://olegbloggen.se/

Hope you like it!

 

Workshop at the Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts

I gave a one week workshop at the Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts – for their animation students. The workshop was perhaps paradoxically called ”Abstract Lip Synch”. Here are a few examples of the student films that came out of it:

”Elsa and the Night”, ”Elsa und die Nacht”

My latest picture book – ”Sigrid och Natten” has been picked up by the publisher Gestalten.

This means that a German version of the book will be available in March 2014, and an English version will follow in August 2014.

http://shop.gestalten.com/elsa-and-the-night.htm

http://shop.gestalten.com/elsa-und-die-nacht.html

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Paperworld has arrived!

My stop motion animated short ”Paperworld” is finally done. It premiered at the 2014 Göteborg International Film Festival. It will also be screened at the upcoming Internationales Trickfilm-Festival in Stuttgart. Trailer coming soon…

 

Workshop in Kiel

I gave a one week workshop for a group of twenty students from the Muthesius Kunsthochschule. Their task was to build a cityscape with surroundings in a week, and then animate a transformation from winter to summer. They started out by building a rough ”sketch” in front of the camera – and then built the set with that as a reference. Some pictures below:

kiel_ws_1 kiel_ws_2 kiel_ws_3 kiel_ws_4 kiel_ws_5 kiel_ws_6 kiel_ws_7 kiel_ws_8

 

And here’s the final result!

(I highly recommend scrubbing back and forth along the timeline…)