Lotta Jansdotter- An inspired nature.

Lotta and  her son, August
I decided I wanted to celebrate Mother's day this month, by talking with mothers about creativity, life-balance and their views on motherhood. I'm kicking this series off with Lotta Jansdotter.

I met Lotta about 15 years ago when we were both living in San Francisco. I was working as an office manager at a internet start-up, living in a ware house space, and making clothes to sell at boutiques on the side. We were the same age, but even at that point, Lotta seemed to have a clear vision of how she wanted to live her life. As part of my month-long tribute to Mother's day, I talked to Lotta about being motherhood, work-life balance, and being inspired by her son.
Name: LOTTA
Hometown: STOCKHOLM , SWEDEN AND ON ÅLAND.
Where you live now, and how many years: BROOKLYN NY FOR 7 YEARS
Job/Passion: I AM A PRINT/ TEXTILE DESIGNER AND MY COMPANY IS CALLED LOTTA JANSDOTTER
Isobel: I think I remember you saying you grew up in a small town in Sweden. How is raising your son, August, in Brooklyn different from your upbringing? What are the challenges and advantages of city living?

Lotta: YES, I GREW UP IN THE SUBURBS OF STOCKHOLM, SURROUNDED BY TREES, LAKES AND FIELDS. I ALSO SPENT ALL MY SUMMERS ON THE ISLAND ÅLAND , LOCATED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BALTIC SEA.  I AM BORN THERE AND MOST OF MY FAMILY STILL RESIDES THERE. IT IS A RURAL PLACE AND I WAS SURROUNDED BY NATURE: THE PINK CLIFFS BY THE OCEAN AND THE WOODS WAS MY PLAYGROUND WHEN I GREW UP AND I SO TREASURE THAT CHILDHOOD. 

BROOKLYN IS A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE AND WORK, MOST OF THE TIME; SO MUCH CULTURE, EVENTS, INTERESTING AND DIVERSE PEOPLE, ART AND AMAZING FOOD. I AM VERY HAPPY THAT MY BOY CAN GROW UP WITH SO MUCH DIVERSITY AND OPTIONS...BUT  I DO STRONGLY WANT AUGUST TO HAVE THAT NATURE EXPERIENCE AS WELL..SO EVERY SUMMER WE GO HOME TO ALAND FOR ABOUT 6- 8 WEEKS  WE LIVE IN A 30 YEAR OLD TINY,TRAILER LOCATED RIGHT BY THE OCEAN: NO RUNING WATER, NO INTERNET AND AN OUT HOUSE...A REAL HEALTHY GOOD ANTIDOTE TO NY LIVING.. WE GET REAL CLOSE TO NATURE AND LIVE RIGHT IN IT. WE PICK BLUEBERRIES AND CHANTRELLES AT 11 PM UNDER THE BRIGHT SUMMER EVENING SKY, SWIM IN THE BRISK  WATERS AND BBQ DINNER ON THE CLIFFS MOST EVENINGS.

Lotta and her mum


Isobel: What was your mum like when you were growing up?
MUM WAS A REAL FASHIONISTA ON THE ISLAND, DRESSED REAL SHARP AND WAS SUCH A NATURAL BEAUTY, NO MAKEUP OR FUSS, JUST A HAPPY AND REAL ATTRACTIVE SPIRIT. SHE LOVED MARIMEKKO DESIGNS AND ALWAYS WORE GREAT JEWELRY, SIMPLE, BOLD AND PERFECT.

Was she stay-at-home or a working mom? 
SHE WORKED PART TIME AND TOOK CARE OF 3 KIDS PART TIME 

How do you think that effected your view of motherhood and work/live balance?
SHE WAS VERY PLAYFUL WITH US: DANCED, HUGGED US ALOT, WE OFTEN HAD PICNICS....SHE WAS A BUBBLY, POSITIVE MOM..AND I THINK I GOT THAT FROM HER TOO:  A RATHER GOOFY, PLAYFUL AND KID LIKE MUM: WELL, (NOT ALWAYS OFCOURSE: BUT OFTEN !)


I AM ALSO VERY DIFFERENT THAN HER, MUCH MORE DRIVEN AND INDEPENDENT. AND I AM RUNNING A SMALL BUSINESS WHICH IS OFTEN HARD BALANCING WITH HAVING CHILDREN.  IT IS HARD NOT TOO FEEL GUILTY WHEN I DONT FEEL LIKE I SPEND ENOUGH TIME WITH AUGUST AND GUILTY WHEN I CAN NOT SPEND TIME AT WORK..BUT THAT IS MANY MOTHERS FEELING I SUPPOSE WETHER YOU ARE SELF EMPLOYED OR NOT . I TELL MYSELF THAT I WILL NOT MISS THE HOURS AT WORK WHEN I GET OLD, BUT I WILL MISS HOURS WITH AUGUST...SO I STICK TO THAT "MANTRA". BEFORE I KNOW IT HE IS 16 AND CANNOT WAIT TO BE ON HIS OWN...AND OFF HE GOES... :)



Isobel: You and I met when we were both in our 20's as fledgling designers. Is there anything you'd want to tell yourself at 26 if you could? 
Lotta: TRUST YOURSELF LOTTA : THINGS USUALLY ALWAYS WORK OUT !

Isobel: I really admired how your aesthetic has always stayed true to your voice as a designer. Can you talk a little about what informs you creatively, and what you are inspired by?
 
Lotta I DO TRY TO HOLD ON TO THAT PLAYFULNESS IN LIFE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, STRIVE TO BE OPEN AND KID LIKE, IN MY LIFE AND ART : MY DESIGNS AND STYLE HAS ALWAYS BEEN SIMPLE, PLAYFUL AND HAPPY. I DO HAVE A SENSE OF WONDER OF THE WORLD..AND MY INSPIRATION IS EVERYTHING AROUND ME: I JUST NEED TO TAP INTO IT AND "SEE" IT AND CHANNEL IT THROUGH ME AND MY HANDS, IN MY WAY AND STAY TRUE TO MY OWN STYLE AND NOT TRY TO COPY OTHERS. 

I AM INSPIRED BY TRAVEL, PEOPLE, MY OWN CREATIVE PROCESS WHEN MAKING PATTERNS AND MOTIFS IS VERY INSPIRING IN A VERY NATURAL WAY. FOR AN EXAMPLE :I MIGHT FIND AN INTERESTING NEW SHAPE I LIKE IN THE NEGATIVE SPACE OF SOMETHING ELSE  I AM MAKING .

I ALSO LIKE WATCHING AUGUST DRAW AND CUT PAPERS....HE HAS SUCH A STRAIGHTFORWARD, FEARLESS APPROACH TO CREATING: I TRY TO DO THAT TOO. ...SHAKE THE FEARS AND INSECURITIES SIMPLY DO IT .
(HARDER THAN ONE MIGHT THINK :) ) 


2 comments :

  1. This is a lovely interview! So important to keep a sense of play - such a good reminder!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great interview! I admire your work Lottta!

    ReplyDelete