Eva Eriksson is one of Scandinavias most known living illustrators. Born in 1949 in Halmstad, Sweden, she studied to become an art teacher before she began working as an illustrator with “Blåsjöbarna i Vilda Västern” (translation: The Blue Lake Kids in the Wild West), written by Björn Nordström and Jonas Sima, being her first published work in 1977.
Later she has illustrated both stories written by herself and by others, her most frequent collaborator being Barbro Lindgren (The Max books, The Wild Baby books, The Story of the Little Old Man, etc.).
Eva Eriksson is an illustrator who generally doesn’t create magical or surreal worlds, her work isn’t super detailed neither does she try to work in quirky style. Yet, her books are some of the most beloved in Scandinavia, and have been so in 40 years. Why? Simply because Eva Eriksson is an master of her craft.
What I feel distinguishes Eva Eriksson from other illustrators is her ability to communicate character. She understands that a characters personality is not communicated in what she looks like. To a extent it is done through what the character does, but mainly in how she does it. In other words, in the acting.
Eva Erikssons focus on characterisation makes her characters easy to empathize with, gives them more depth and makes them feel more real, which helps strengthen the experience of the story for the readers.
Many illustrators think acting is giving the character a happy or sad mouth, but real acting is about how that character reacts in the situation and how she specifically shows her emotions.