Beautiful Imperfection: Stina Persson Talks Art, Travel and Life

Don't know Stina? You're about to be obsessed.

Stina Persson

Livingly's Inspiring Artist series asks talented women of all creative mediums to share their work and how they live life beautifully.

Inspiring Artist: Ana Zaja Petrak

I'm not good at picking favorites, but when it comes to fashion illustrators, no one tops Stina Persson and her dreamy, fierce, magnificent artwork. From vibrant dripping watercolor to dramatic black ink, each piece is powerful and evocative—and exactly what I'd love to cover my walls with. It's no wonder she draws in mega clients like Coca Cola and Target, Vogue and Harper's bazaar.

So you can imagine my delight when I had the opportunity to ask the renowned artist—and my personal illustration idol—about her favorites, her fears and her most beautiful life.

How would you describe your art?

A modern take on traditional illustration. Striving for beauty but avoiding perfection.

Stina Persson Watercolor
Stina Persson Watercolor


What are you most proud of?

My family. I have three amazing boys and a wonderful husband. And a decent career. On the gloomiest of days this always makes me feel proud.

What's the scariest thing you've ever done?

I wish I could say parachuting or free diving or some other daredevil activity. But it's not. It's moving and all the "what ifs" that comes with it. I am a great traveller but a hopelessly sentimental nomad. Which I have been after years in Tokyo, Florence, Perugia, New York and now Stockholm. But the mere thought of wrapping up our home creates this knot in my stomach.

Stina Persson Watercolor
Stina Persson Watercolor

Stina Persson Watercolor
Stina Persson Watercolor

Where is your favorite place in the world?

Someplace very warm. I love heat as it makes me relaxed but energised. Maybe Sicily or Puglia.

Who is your favorite artist?

I love the linework of Egon Schiele, the brushstrokes of Jenny Saville, the dreamlike quality of Meri Bourgard and the brilliant simplicity of Matisse's collages.

What song or album do you think you've listened to the most?

Oh, probably something in the eighties, with cute lead singers and embarrassing hairdos. Now I listen to my brother's band R.A.B.B.I.I. and other electronica from Sweden a lot.

(My art is) a modern take on traditional illustration. Striving for beauty but avoiding perfection.

–Stina Persson

Do you have a favorite quote?

"Don't let the sun set on your anger." My father said that to me and my five siblings as we were kids. And I think it has given me a brighter childhood and a lighter heart.

I tell my kids the same.

Stina Persson Watercolor
Stina Persson Watercolor

What does living beautifully mean to you?

Eating and cooking together while the kids are immersed in play in their imaginary world, seeing trees outside my window, but still not being too far away from a flea market or thrift store. And my life is often amazingly close to this.

See more and shop Stina Persson's art here

Stina Persson
Stina Persson

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