Joanna Hellgren (SWE b. 1981) “I’m from a suburb of Stockholm. Everybody there lived in nice houses and if someone’s parents divorced, they moved away. No hard reality knocked on the door.
When I was ten, we moved to town and I tried to get new friends. Horses were popular, so I got good at drawing them, which saved me for a couple of years. I read almost anything and made stories about people with interesting lives. Years later I got real friends, but drawing remained my first means of identification.
When I was in art school, I went to Paris. I could see no reason to go home, so I stayed for almost three years, served coffee and started to do illustrations. Then I wanted to become serious, so I went back to Stockholm with my comic book Mon frère nocturne (My Night Brother) and found a publisher in France. I made a second book called Frances for the same publisher, and also found a publisher for it Sweden. I still live in Stockholm.”
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