First We Take Berlin (Part Two)

In the second part of the interview with the graphic designer and photographer Hanna Skoog we talk about the office must haves, favorite magazines and coziness the Swedish way. Oh, and the speech clouds by Kaaita, of course.

Ms. Hanna Skoog

In Berlin it seems everyone is co-working.

In the future I would probably like to share or even start a freelance office. But when you are out doing photos it is not that necessary to have one. It did take us four months to get the internet though. I know all the cafes in the neighborhood with wireless. After a few hours I felt like I should order the third coffee. I was all shaky when I came home.

Apart from the internet, which other basic tools do you need in your office?

My laptop and my camera, of course. A printer, which I bought not that long ago. Before I was always sending emails to my boyfriend to print me this, this and this, so it was time to get myself a printer.

So what do you print apart from plane tickets?

Yeah, a lot of tickets and invoices and other boring stuff. But also scans from magazines, layouts, nothing fancy schmancy, just test prints. What else do I need? The mood board on the wall is updated frequently as I need something to look at, or when I am working on something specific. Sometimes I have to go to a cafe just to get the impression of people, see something different. Up here you can start thinking about doing the laundry...

That is what always goes through my head. For women it is even more important that we don't work from home. Sooner or later we start thinking about doing lunch instead.

We can definitely multitask. It is nice to take whatever kind of break from time to time. And to have the privilege to sit in your pajamas.

I also see you like having notes around.

Up there on the lamp are actually notes from my friends for my thirtieth birthday. We had a great party.

So we picked the right person for the speech clouds! Do you think it is important to write things down?

Just recently I started doing lists. I don't know why I haven't done that before, it's heaven. It really keeps my mind focused. Now I always have a piece of paper with me. But then I have to find those notes, they are lying everywhere.

What would you write down for yourself to keep you going when it gets tough?

I need an end date, than I can work my ass off. But if I feel like it is never ending, I don't think I can focus. There has to be busy periods, but I have to know I can relax after that. And then start again.

What do you do in those relaxing moments?

I go to the gym, run a lot, but I also like to just go for a coffee and read a book. Watching plenty of movies. Sometimes I have to catch up on magazines. And I am desperate to get my own dog, but I have to get my life in order first.

A small dog?

Yes.  Well, not that small. A borderterrier, I’d bring it everywhere. A lot of my free time would then be spent with it, but also with my family. My work and my free time are just melting together, I take my camera everywhere, updating my blog. And I love to travel, so I shouldn't complain about going back and forth, right?

You probably know some really good magazines, can you recommend any?

Swedish Elle Fashion and Interior, danish Cover, Eurowoman and Costume. A Swedish magazine called Icon has great long articles, some fashion and really good graphic design. And Styleby & Sköna hem, natürlich.

I have to ask about Elin Kling (the mega swedish blogger and fashion director of magazine Styleby).

I met her only briefly but she seems so nice, smart and very down to earth, very professional. She deserves all the credit and she is a girl to envy, that's for sure. And she has a fantastic wardrobe...

And probably a great office!

Yeah, probably!

I think the whole Europe is really into everything Scandinavian, be it fashion or graphic design or furniture. What is typically Swedish about you?

My design is quite minimalistic, clean, straight lines, not over-thought or overdone which I think is very Scandinavian. So is my home. If my wall with the mood board is messy then everything else has to be clean to create a balance. Although it has to be cosy, that's very important for Swedes.

How do Swedes do cosy?

With lots of candles! Every Swede loves candles, which probably comes from all the dark and cold winters. In Berlin they are really good with cosiness, too, with lots of wood. I also wanted a different carpet, an oriental one, but my boyfriend didn't approve, so we ended up with a beige one which was fine too.


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