• DKK
Anne Strandfelt and
Lizet Hee Olesen
Founders of LA Graphic Design
KOKOON Portraits # 3

Anne Strandfelt was in her second year studying to become a fashion designer when she realised she spent most of her time doing the presentation books –handcrafting, drawing and binding them – and that the clothes had become secondary. Long story short, she changed her path, applied to Central Saint Martins and did her BA and MA in Graphic Design in London. Not once has she regretted this decision.

For Lizet Hee Olesen, creativity has always been part of her life and she recalls drawing from way back in primary school. Since then she has worked in different media, from fine arts to film, advertising and more, but graphic design has always been at the core of what she does.

How is work for you on a daily basis?

L: The daily highlight is often the time we spend together, the space we create where everything is possible – at least in theory. I like working in the area between artistic expression and functional relevance. It includes both detective work as well as technical problem solving. It’s not all inspiration and playing with colours.

A: One of our big challenges is that the work we do tends to become very personally interrelated for us. That can be quite hard and takes a lot out of you, but on the other hand, if we feel too removed from our projects we both feel a lack of involvement, which is not inspiring at all. We’re not graphic robots, so we have to honour that and nurture this sensitivity.

What turning points have helped define who you are today?

A: Living in London for six years when I was younger influenced me a great deal. It is such an intense and huge multicultural beehive and it makes your tolerance and curiosity expand a lot. Strangers talk to each other in London. I miss that.

L: My daughter! Before her, choosing to do courses at the old manor Krabbesholm College after high school really opened my eyes and I could immerse myself completely in a world of my own, secluded in the north of Jutland.

What is important to you?

A: I am an overly curious person. I am that person who actually enjoys looking through your holiday photos from the trip you had to Mallorca with your granny in 1989. Seriously though, I love to engage myself in a lot of things. My friends mean the world to me and food, films, art, concerts, travelling, reading, meditating, taking French cooking classes with my dad, growing kombucha in my cupboard, drawing and cultivating flowers and greens on our tiny balcony at home. I sound like a super hyper person, which is actually very far from the truth, because one of my favourite things actually is to sleep. Lizet and I often talk about how we need to get a small daybed in the studio for powernaps.

L: Love, my friendships and being able to travel and continuously explore new ways of life, reading, observing and eating. Recently, I went to California, and it left such a big impression on me that I promised myself I would go again soon. The light and nature were mind-blowing and there were so many places I didn’t get to see because we didn’t have enough time. 

Have you met a person who made you see things differently?

L: My partner Anne Strandfelt is a constant inspiration, she brings unexpected views and approaches I often would not have come across myself. My boyfriend always challenges my perspective with his clarity. We discuss various topics and things in many ways, be it politics, travel, the meaning of life and who does the cooking. (I always do, but he brings the takeaway).

A: My husband has made me look at life in a different way. During my twenties and early thirties I was charging ahead, always searching and wanting to experience a new, better and more exciting world. He’s very earthbound and made me appreciate the fact that true happiness comes from within, there’s no need to search around the world for it. Sounds corny, but as I become older, this shows itself to be very true and calming.

What annoys you?

A: This question, actually! Haha.

L: Traffic, laundry, exploitation, waste.

Do you cry easily?

L: Yeah! I do, and I guess I take it as sign of being able to engage emotionally. 

A: Yes, I do. Don’t know if it’s a good thing. It can be quite annoying in arguments where you want to seem on top of things.

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Downtown L.A. Art Book Fair View from the garden of the Eames House / Case Study House no.8

 

Jeppe Hein’s mirror in art museum Ordrupgaard’s gardenAnne and her best afternoon nap buddy, Tabby

 

Rose Avenue, Venice BeachKonitoraya udon restaurant in Paris

 

LA’s handprinted paper collectionPerfect pasta lunch in Sardinia

 

 

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