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: 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.
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."
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.
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.
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.