Digital industries

Images of the artistic industry

Imagine this: you are a person who lives on your creativity in a small town in northern Sweden, but you feel a bit lonely in your community. What do you do? Some would say "move to a bigger city, there are probably like-minded people there". Johan Lindström had a different idea.

Almost exactly a year ago, illustrator and animator Johan Lindström started the Instagram account Skellefteå Creative, where followers get to meet a new Skellefteå resident working in the creative field every week. Johan, who runs the company Joxon Design, invites artists, web designers, potters, filmmakers, musicians - everyone who in some way makes a living from their art form - and lets followers share their creations, everyday life and thoughts.

- The account was actually born out of egocentric thoughts. I felt a kind of frustration that I felt nothing was happening in the cultural work sector in Skellefteå. Where are all the young people who haven't worked in it for 40 years, like? I thought that there must be more people working professionally with this," says Johan, who wanted to get in touch with more people and make them visible.

Testing a primer

Said and done. Initially, he used his own contacts to fill the account with content. They, in turn, recommended other interesting people and that's how it's continued. A year later, Johan can see that there is no immediate shortage of artistic professionals.

- I've also received lots of tips about including out-of-towners from Skellefteå who are doing amazing things, but then that loses the point. My basic thesis is that there are creative people here who can make a living from it. And it does - we're just a bit disorganised, says Johan, who believes the Instagram account could be the start of a new network where creative people can meet.

- I would love to do something more under the name Skellefteå Creative. I can see the need for it, you can get so much inspiration from people who do things other than yourself. But that's difficult. As soon as you get together around something that's actually quite vague and it's supposed to lead to something, you risk losing a lot of people. Maybe the best thing is not to be very specific and just meet," Johan philosophises.

Don't want to be a cliché

He who lives shall see. One challenge with the account has been to strike a good balance between genders, but also between cultural backgrounds.

- I'm a white male approaching 40. It would be super easy for me to just cherry-pick other "dudes", but I don't want it that way. In general, I also think that women actually do more interesting things, creatively speaking. I've put a lot of time into it and have succeeded quite well. However, I don't have a large network of people who aren't
native Swedes. I hate to feel like a cliché, but there it is. I've tried to find more and I think they exist. Hopefully, working on this account will help me find more," says Johan.

The article comes from Skellefteå magazine issue 3 2018.


Senast uppdaterad:
2 March 2023