Flying V

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More birds on their way. Last year we made a screenprint called Birds Migration. We have a huge collection of photos of birds flying over the studio. This is Flying V – which actually was the working title from the beginning.

We tried hard to find “the image of ” birds on their way, and this one we think is pretty close.  And maybe you find a music reference as well ; )

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Arctic Paper was here

As we love paper and specially Munken, that we use for most of our screenprints, it’s a big honor for us that Arctic Paper wanted to interview us and feature us in their series Paper Passion.

Interview with Esa and Lisa Tanttu

Love, screen printing and a whole lot of bikes

The creative agency Jollygoodfellow is run by spouses Esa and Lisa Tanttu. Together, they create everything, from brainstorming and sketching, to actually pressing motives of screen prints in their own workshop. In just a few years, they have gone from easygoing hobbyists to selling their handicrafts on an international market. 

When Esa and Lisa met in a Stockholm rock club in the early 2000s, they never thought that, one day, they would make handcrafted products together. Today, under the name Jollygoodfellow, they run a creative agency and sell products through nearly 30 retailers from Tokyo to New York. When they met, Lisa studied arts and crafts at Österlenskolan, and had thoughts about becoming a volunteer abroad, and Esa worked as a graphic designer at an agency in Stockholm. But something drew them together, and already after a second date they discovered that they shared a common interest; handcrafting.

– We tried out screen printing together the second time we met, which was extremely fun. It became a part of our relationship from that moment on, says Lisa Tanttu.

Careful choices and motivational motives

After a few years together in Stockholm, the couple moved to Malmö, in South of Sweden, to continue working on their hobby. At the same time, Lisa, who was a recent graduate from Konstfack University of Art, Crafts and Design, worked as an art teacher and Esa freelanced with various projects. The name of the agency, Jollygoodfellow, was thought of during a time when skulls and “cool stuff” was seeing popularity, whereupon Esa and Lisa wanted to stand out and instead have something witty or almost silly.

– One might think of the birthday song at first, but the name also has a double message, just like all of our motives. We make sure that everything we produce is made of carefully selected materials, and therefore we see the products as “good fellows”, says Esa Tanttu.

The motives, which Esa and Lisa screen print on posters mostly, but also on t-shirts, bodysuits and bags, they make themselves. They can be based on photographs, which later are processed digitally, but also sketched freehandedly. Esa and Lisa always strive to make simple, everyday motives, which also can be ambiguous and have an underlying political message.

– The bikes, which are our most popular motives, we developed to celebrate the bicycle as transportation. Another example, is an image of a forest with the text “we’re open”, which we produced to celebrate the Swedish legal right of access to private land, a fantastic legal right that many people tend to forget, says Lisa.

Lisa and Esa Tanttu in their studio. Behind them several of their well known motives. Photo by: Daniel Ekbladh.

Lisa and Esa Tanttu in their studio. Behind them several of their well known motives. Photo by: Daniel Ekbladh.

Lisa in their studio, cutting some of the posters. Photo by: Daniel Ekbladh

Lisa in their studio, cutting some of the posters. Photo by: Daniel Ekbladh

Esa and Lisa working from home, in their own workshop. Photo by: Daniel Ekbladh.

Esa and Lisa working from home, in their own workshop. Photo by: Daniel Ekbladh.

The screen printer Jollygoodfellow uses for making their beautiful poster. Photo by: Daniel Ekbladh.

The screen printer Jollygoodfellow uses for making their beautiful poster. Photo by: Daniel Ekbladh.

One of Jollygoodfellows famous bike prints. Photo by: Daniel Ekbladh.

One of Jollygoodfellows famous bike prints. Photo by: Daniel Ekbladh.

Environmental thinking – from idea to product

It’s very important for Esa and Lisa that all material they use is produced in an environmentally friendly way, and if possible, manufactured in Sweden. The color they use to print with is made on the island Gotland, and the paper they use for the posters are produced in Munkedal on the Swedish west coast. In addition, they also ensure that they use as much of the leftover material as possible, which sometimes becomes exciting combinations that they sell on the website as specials, under the category “Unique Fellows”.

– The prints can become slightly different from time to time, even if the point of screen printing is to make many identical prints, then we sell them as specials instead of throwing them away. We recycle sample prints, we save waste materials and make covers for notebooks, for example. We have also tried to braid strips from when we cut posters. We try to re-use as much material as possible, says Esa.

Living their dream

Now, Jollygoodfellow have been around for almost ten years, and much has happened since the beginning. They have gone from selling bags at Christmas markets to selling hundreds of posters through a number of retailers around the world. Esa and Lisa believe that they live in their dream project, and that the attention they get from customers is incredible. They also appreciate that they get to work with materials and techniques they feel passionate about.

– Paper has always been a big part of our work, and I’m particularly fond of uncoated paper. We use it every day in our creative process and it’s extremely important for the final outcome of the work, says Esa.

Being on the fine line between art and commercial products is nothing Esa and Lisa see as negative, however, it can be difficult in certain projects. In one of their largest projects, the “Urban Calendar”, where they made calendars with photos of different door numbers in Copenhagen, Helsinki and Stockholm, that particular issue became very prevalent.

– Some people thought there wasn’t enough space to write stuff down in the calendar. It was perhaps a little too artistic. It was a bit frustrating, but at the same time we like to push the boundaries, says Lisa.

One of Jollygoodfellow’s largest project, the ”Urban Calendar”. This one is from Helsinki. Photo by: Jollygoodfellow

One of Jollygoodfellow’s largest project, the ”Urban Calendar”. This one is from Helsinki. Photo by: Jollygoodfellow

The print that celebrates the Swedish legal right of access to private land. Photo by: Jollygoodfellow
The print that celebrates the Swedish legal right of access to private land. Photo by: Jollygoodfellow

One of the walls in the studio, a poster with three of Jollygoodfellows most famous motives, the bike, the forest and the cone. Photo by: Daniel Ekbladh

One of the walls in the studio, a poster with three of Jollygoodfellows most famous motives, the bike, the forest and the cone. Photo by: Daniel Ekbladh

Finished posters put out to dry. Photo by: Daniel Ekbladh

Finished posters put out to dry. Photo by: Daniel Ekbladh

A sample print that became a so called ”Unique Fellow”. Photo by: Jollygoodfellow

A sample print that became a so called ”Unique Fellow”. Photo by: Jollygoodfellow

FACTS
Name: Esa and Lisa Tanttu (aka Jollygoodfellow)
Title: Creators
Favorite material: Uncoated paper
Favorite tool: For Esa it’s a pen and for Lisa it’s a knife.

You can find more “paper interviewes” on the blog Paper Passion by Arctic Paper, have a look!

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Rock

This Rock is located here in Skåne, the east side also called Österlen. We love the place and took some photos more than 10 years ago. Now we have transformed one of them to a screenprint!

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Natural Dyeing

 

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We have talked for a while about dyeing, inspired by Färgningsmanifestet , a work by Lins Sofia Lundin.

So far we have used leftovers from the kitchen, and as soon as it’s green outside we will try some more : )

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RIDE – bike print

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Finally our new big bike print is on the wall!

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After months of watching and discussing just the two of us and with really nice bike people we decided that the bike that Eddie Merckx used for his “Hour Record” 1972 in Mexico City should be the object for our next XL bike print.  The bike is clean and nice, very close to the image that pops up in our heads when we hear the word bike. And Eddie Merckx seems to be a very nice cyclist who has continued his bike journey in a nice way.

We fell over a long essay about the mystery: which bike is the bike that Eddie actually used during the record? We started to compare the different versions and still were not sure about which of them is “the bike”  but at least we have quite good odds as we have used parts from to different bikes ; ) One of the bikes is shown at the Eddie Merckx Subway station in Brussels and we where on our way to picture it but halfway there we had to change our plans due to the awful terror acts in Brussels during Easter week 2016.

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Ride in the print shop.

“Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride.”
That is a quote from Mr Merckx that we really like and the reason we gave this print the name “Ride”.

 

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This time we are using a heavier off-white (or cream shade) paper from the Swedish paper mill Munken. It feels and looks very nice.

 

Short info:

RIDE XL

Size: 70 x 100 cm x 2
Paper: Munken Pure 300 g
Technique: photo based screenprint
Edition: 750

Handprinted in Arlöv Sweden
by Esa and Lisa Tanttu – jollygoodfellow

 

 

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If you want press images or have other questions please contact info@jollygoodfellow.se

 

 

 

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What is a screenprint?

Most of our products are screenprinted by hand, but maybe you wonder how it works…..

A screen print (or silk-screen) is a print where the ink is forced through a mesh (screen) using a rubber squeegee. Jollygoodfellow usually start with one or more photographs which is adjusted and rasterized in the computer. Sometimes with some added hand-drawing. The image is transferred to a transparent film and exposed on a screen which is prepared with photo emulsion. And when the screen is rinsed and dry it’s time to start printing in the jollygoodfellow garage printshop!

 

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Printing one of the posters for Världsmästarcykeln XL.

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Birds Formation

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A formation of birds. A lot of birds fly over our home,
it’s something that we are very happy about and we managed to capture a few of them.

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Birds and the big print, The hills are alive with the sound of skateboards, on the wall.

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Batterie

 

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We have thought about printing drums for a long time. In the beginning the idea was to make a print of a drum kit set up ready to play. And we were looking for a drummer with the right attitude and the perfect drums. But after a while we just took our own drums and started to try out. For us the best way was to put them in a pile and we were really exited!

After some calls we got access to a rehearsal hall with a huge collection of vintage drums. We looked and picked drums from the shelves like kids in a toy store. But then we fell in love with this little kit standing by the entrance.

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A tower of vintage drums in a variety of brands (which you can see on the drum lugs if you are a drum nerd like us).

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