Do-What-You-Love Stories: Monika Forsberg

Monika Forsberg is a Mother, Animator, and Artist based in London. Her work is so imaginative and unique and browsing her website is like taking a walk through a magical land filled with colorful characters and beautiful blooms...beyond creative!

Today Monika gives us a little peek inside her life and business, and shares her Do-What-You-Love Story...



Tell us who you are, where you are from, and what it is that you do. 

I'm from a coastal town in the very north of Sweden. I grew up with snow forest endless summers and a lot of imagination. I moved to London in 1995 and became who I am now. I studied illustration but spent most of my time hiding away in the darkness of the animation room. I graduated eventually and had my first child and started working as an animator and also did a brief stint of textile designing.


What made you decide to pursue this career path?

I've always drawn and made things…me and my friend Linda used to sit and one end each of a table and draw and make stories up. Sometimes we'd record them on a tape player and make sound effects to go with the stories, sometimes we just drew girls with big dresses on and made elaborate patterns on the dresses. We'd made cut out dolls and built 3D stables for our toy horses and organise little horse jump competitions (we'd make the 'jumps' out out match stick boxes etc) and we also spent an awful lot of time in the outdoors playing Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn (I was Huck). I remember us telling Lindas mum we wanted to become artists and or writers and her mum said it was impossible.

I decided to become a photographer aged 16 as it was the oat creative career path i could choose where I lived and when i started studying something creative it felt like I'd found home.


What is the best part about running your own business? What is the most difficult part? 

The best thing is that I get to do what I love, the hard thing is to have to do all the boring bits such as hunt for jobs/commissions/sell things and doing admin. I found it hard that what i do (draw) isn't always taken seriously as a job. 

What is your most popular product/service? Why do you think people like it?

I been doing animation for the longest so it's what I'm the most successful at but generally people seem to respond really well to work that is the most personal and work I've had most fun doing it is and the more fun i had whilst making it. 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue their creative dreams as a career? 

I would totally say Go for it, if it's what you love doing. I couldn't do anything else. It is hard work and its seldom 9-5 with a secure a stable income so you've gotta really WANT it to do it. The quicker you take responsibilities for your own ups and down the better…If you get rejected it's easy to lash out and blame the person that turned you down rather than admit to yourself that maybe you're not good enough (for that job (yet)) or that you didn't communicate your ideas clearly enough or that because  a client asked you  for a square peg and you submitted a round one you cut your chances in less than half. Learn to listen and learn to look see. Observe. 

I'd say it'd be useful to enjoy being in your own world. It can get lonely (if you don't enjoy hanging out with yourself for stretches of time) and do it for you and not to  get approval from someone. ````and do what you love.


What are you currently working on?

I'm working on a few things I cannot yet talk about as well as trying to establish myself as an illustrator/licensing artist rather than solely being an animator .


Where would you like to see your business in 10 years?

I'd like to be a bit more finically secure not having to worry about having money for the most basic of things…I'd like to still be curious and adventurous in my art. 

Tell us about your workspace! What is your favorite thing about where you work? What would you splurge on if money were no object?


If I had the money (and the space) I'd build a shed in the garden and it'd be my studio. My studio for now is wherever i can find the space. I often work in bed whilst my youngest son (and our cat Eddie) naps next to me. With children (I've got two) you've gotta grab the time when you get it. I also draw/paint in the sofa at night whilst we all settling down for some family time. I paint a bit at the kitchen table whilst cooking and i have a sketch book and pen and a camera in my bag and draw doodle photograph whilst waiting for a friend or going places on the bus. The favourite thing about working like this is that it there is no defined line between work and play, I'm just having fun…You don't need the best trainers to be a good (football)soccer player. You don't get anywhere by making excuses, there is no cheating. There is hard work  and the more effort you put in the more you move forward. Focus on the positive and acknowledge (and deal with) the shit but theres no need to dwell the negatives. Make goals for yourself.


If you could have one superpower what would it be?

I'd like to be able to duplicate myself so there could be more me's so I'd could produce more. There are so many ideas and so many things to do that my brain is always seven steps ahead of my fingers.

What is your biggest pet peeve? 


If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you hope you had?

I'd bring a knife (so i could cut things down and construct things) a dog (as they can find fresh water and also are great company) and a stamp collection (so i could sit and look at all the little pictures and dream of far away land).



All images and video in this post are by Monika Forsberg and can be found, along with her other beautiful work, at her website Walkyland