The People Behind Our Products: Boas Grafik Whimsical Illustrations

The People Behind Our Products

The People Behind Our Products: Boas Grafik at Olson House
Meet Annette Boas, the friendly and joyful illustrator behind Boas Grafik. Annette lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark. Her detailed characters are sparking joy in homes across the sea and here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We connected with Annette over email to learn more about her inspiration, process and dreams for Boas Grafik. Read about this fun artist and shop her prints in various sizes in store and online at Olson House!
Olson House: Where do you live and where do you work from? Do you have a studio space?
Annette Boas: I live in Copenhagen, the Capital of Denmark, in an old house built in 1928. When it comes to my drawings/illustrations I primarily work from home. This is the best thing about being independent. I can sit all day in my backyard garden under our apple trees, stay inside next to the fire or sit in my home office. 
Annette Boas Home in Copenhagen Denmark in Summer and Winter
Olson House: Are you formally trained in graphic design or fine art
Boas: I’m formally trained in graphic design (and I studied fine art for a short period of time).
Olson House: When did you start selling your own artwork?
Boas: For more than 20 years I worked at design and advertising agencies. About 3 years ago I decided to quit my job. While I was planing my next move, or to be specific, what to do for the rest of my life,  I sat down and started doing some simple drawings. I have been drawing since I was a little child and it brings me a very meditative feeling.
Olson House: Could you share about your technique? What mediums do you use and what kind of paper do you use?
Boas: My original drawings are all drawn on traditional fine art paper and afterwards printed on environmentally friendly high quality paper. I often start with a rough pencil sketch and then I use an ink pen. The ink pen leaves me with only two options - either black or white. To get a softer expression (with shades of gray) I can choose different techniques. The "Rock Lizard” and the “Sleepy Seahorse” are examples of drawings comprised of only tiny ink stipples. This technique is quite time consuming, but the longer I spend on a drawing, the more stories it will “tell” me.
Annette Boas Ink Stippling Technique Shown on Lizard and Seahorse
Olson House: How long does each art piece take to complete?
Boas: Each piece takes at least 3-4 days to complete and often much longer time.  
Olson House: What is the most memorable piece you have made?
Boas: The most popular piece I have made is “the Ostrich," but my personal favorites are the “The Hummingbird" and “The Sea Urchin." 
Annette Boas of Boas Grafik Favorite Pieces
Olson House: Where do you receive your inspiration from? 
Boas: When it comes to inspiration, nature gives us a variety and complexity in natural forms, shapes, textures and pattern. The more I look, the more I see and often it is the little things nature has to offer that make the biggest impact on me. As an “observer” and artist I translate my impressions into art by adding a personal touch. Sometimes the best idea develops along the way. The motives then start “talking” to me and in these situations my pen becomes autonomous and starts telling stories of its own. “The Owl” is a great example. When the face of the owl first appeared on the paper, it stood clear, that this little fellow tried so hard to play it cool and be someone else (bigger). I added the oversized sneakers to express the feeling and his story. My great grand mother was a brilliant artist and in some ways she is also a big inspiration to me.
Boas Grafik The Owl
Olson House: Do you own any pets?
Boas: I have a cat and an icelandic horse. Two years ago my youngest daughter participated in a competition and won her own “dream” horse...) she was only 10 years old. One of my drawings is therefore an Icelandic horse.
Annette Boas of Boas Grafik Pet Cat
Boas Grafia Icelandic Horse Drawing
Olson House: Is there anything new you are hoping to try this year?
Boas: Over time I hope to expand my business and include other materials and interior pieces like ceramics and accessories. In addition, I am very concerned about nature and the environment. Next year I would love to help or collaborate with environmental protection organizations or companies using organic produced products. To combine my work with a good cause makes so much sense to me.
The People Behind our Products at Olson House: Annette Boas
Boas Grafik at home in Copenhagen

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