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What is your passion? What motivates you? Under which circumstance do you develop the most and perform the best? Where do you want to be in five years?

I been asking myself these questions for the last couple of years. I do this because I have a strong urge to develop my skills as a designer and my ability to work in a professional and competitive environment. It's important to have a vision for your life and a serious plan of how to get there. Constant practise, always trying to improve, to learn new techniques and tools, never satisfied with the result , this usually equals a pretty good development curve. It might sound hard, but it's the way I like.

My name is Mikael Lugnegård and I'm 28 years old. I live at the edge of civilization, in a town called Umeå in the very north of Sweden (northern Europe). Seven minutes from my home lays a top modern facility, it's called The Institute of Design, UID, or as we say here “Design hog”. I begun my studies at this school in 2002. It was awesome. It was my dream. I was fully loaded, with markers, with inspiration and a with great desire to design.I'm going to tell you, my fellow designers, a bit about my journey from the total wannabe to a somewhat independent designer. I'm going to tell you how I found my passion. I'm going to tell you about my vision for the future.

I enjoyed my first years at the Institute to the fullest. Sketched day and night, set really high goals for myself. Copied the “masters”, learning their techniques. It worked, I developed a lot. But something happened inside of me. My mind was frustrated by all the methods which should “aid” us in our creative process. For me, it was like being stuck in a sticky spider web. I felt trapped, tied to an old way of thinking. My artistic energy was being killed by lack of inspiring projects and a way to theoretical approaches to design. This made me sick. So I took a break from school and tried to get some new perspective on life.

What is your passion? What motivates you? What are your talents? Where do you want to be in five years?

Therefore, I begun to ask myself these questions. During a three year education you learn a lot of stuff. Some are boring, some feel less necessary than other. Some can really appeal to your creativity and personality, some don't. Some people excel when writing papers, or debating over some old architects work. Some seem to be born in the workshop, some seem to have entered the world with a Copic in their tiny little hand. I didn't think I fit any of these categories, but I found myself to love to communicate my ideas. It didn't matter if it was through marker renderings or high finished models. It gave me a great sense of satisfaction to see my thoughts and visions come to life. I felt that in someway was I finding my passion in design.

Like many design students (transportation in particular), I really admired (and still do) the work of Syd Mead, Chris Bangle, Yanick Dusso, Ross Lovegrove, Feng Zhu and a lot of other great people. What made these guys so good? How did they get to where they currently were within the industry?I began to analyze their work and methods. I looked at the people and things that they got inspired by.I tried to find a new horizon. I was very inspired by how they worked and thought.

I liked to sketch, no doubt, and I enjoyed rendering even more. The process of going from a rather rough Verithin sketch to a large, fully detailed, carefully composited illustration was so exciting that I couldn't stop.Creating imaginary cars, environments and just beautiful images showing some extravagant design soon became my “area”, my niche and my passion. I didn't enjoy doing interviews, conducting deep research, reading books, taking ergonomic measures. I felt at home when I had free hands, with some image boards for inspiration and a couple of brainstorm session with my buddies. Under these conditions I felt inspired and creative.

Since school wasn't giving me what I thought it would, I begun to do my own project, under my own company label. I soon realised that beautiful images had a market. All the long hours by the drafting table and wacom tablet finally began to pay off. Two years earlier Designhögskolan was my world. Now, I began to feel detached. I was becoming my own. The school could say” do this” “ do that”, I smiled and said – Sure. They were not going to affect me any more, it wasn't worth it.

It feels great to be my own boss. I love to run my own company, to choose my own projects, to develop my own process and finding tools that suited me. As a part of establishing myself, I designed a pretty basic website, where I could show my work. This was one of the turning points in my very early career. Suddenly people from all over the world got in contact with me (Hi Gui, Duke, Scott R). I never thought people would notice me, but most of my commissions have come through contact via the website.

Daylight Production, that's my company, and my base as a designer.
I feel very fortunate. I've been given the blessing of very inspiring project from the start of my career. Projects that suit my way of working perfectly. Architecture, car design, game design, I love that stuff! Some time ago I thought I was going to the car industry (and I still might), but today I find it more rewarding and educational to stay free and use my creativity in as many ways as possible. When I set up Daylight Production, I wanted to create a broad base for my creative business, a platform from which I could work toward different industries.

Today, a cloudy april day, life feels pretty good. Teaching sketching techniques (at Mittuniversitetet), designing a signature kit for a BMW aftermarket company and creating a new “superswede” (von Braun), what more can a car crazy guy ask for (perhaps a BMW of his own ;D).I hope this has been at least somewhat interesting to read. Drop by my website, take a look around, sign my guestbook, read my blog, but most importantly, get inspired!

Regards, Mikael Lugnegård
page last updated; 2014-06-15
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