Ekstrem Illustrated

Posted on August 30. 2019



Ekstrem Illustrated
Photography by Lars Johannes Nynäs

In Viktor Sakshaug’s universe of bulky and rounded characters Ekstrem fits right in. The young Oslo-based illustrator has spent the last year refining his personal style and is happiest when he gets to draw characters doing things. Sitting on iconic pieces of Norwegian furniture for instance.

Hi Viktor! How did you get started in the world of illustrations?

Hi! I always loved to draw. As a little boy, I spent most of my time drawing and building Lego. But illustration didn’t get serious before I started working as a graphic designer and got the opportunity to illustrate for different clients.

You previously worked in an established communications agency, what made you go freelance?

Yes, I was hired on as an apprentice. With no prior experience and almost without any knowledge I was thrown right into deep waters, working on big projects with key clients. It was two great years of learning the profession of graphic design, and also illustration. But because I sort of skipped the life of a student where you find your way, I wanted to take a step back and find out what I wanted to do with my career. After finishing my apprenticeship, I have spent most of my time further developing and specializing my illustrations.


Your works have a very distinctive look. How would you describe your style and how did you develop it?

It makes me very happy that you say that! Trying to find a personal style has been an important part of my life the last year. I would describe the style as soft with many smooth shapes, but also sharp from the digital tools I use. It’s hard to say how I have developed it. I would say it’s a mix between trying to just draw things my way and being inspired by many different talented people that I like.

What’s your favorite thing to draw?

I love drawing characters. If you were to take a look at my sketchbooks, you would see pages filled with characters doing all sorts of things.


What is your relation to Norwegian design?

I love design in general, and Norwegian design to me is simple yet very expressive. I think it’s fascinating how small details can have such a huge impact on how something is perceived. That is something I think a lot about when I make illustrations. I try to capture different feelings and moods with few lines.

What made you draw the Ekstrem?

It started out as project where I wanted to illustrate Norwegian furniture classics. When I did some research into Norwegian furniture history, the Ekstrem chair popped out to me as a really bizarre, yet extremely beautiful piece of furniture. It also fits very well into my universe of bulky and rounded characters.


What are you working on right now, any cool projects?

I just finished a really fun packaging illustration for a Norwegian coffee roastery, which will see the light of day somewhere around Christmas. I work on many personal projects for fun and keep myself busy with that. Hopefully in the future more people will find my style of illustrations applicable in commercial projects so I can make this a living!


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