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Elin Matilda


Elin Matilda Andersson is a Swedish-Australian illustrator, designer and artist based in Dharawal Country on the NSW South Coast. She creates colourful hand-drawn illustrations by mixing ink brush drawings, paper cut-outs and digital processes. Elin likes to work with people who do good things, and is represented commercially by The Jacky Winter Group in Australia, NZ and USA. 

Elin lives in the midst of the beautiful Australian bush with her partner, 1.5yo daughter and toy cavoodle named Party. Apart from illustrating she is into dogs, feminism and wine. 

 Why is Locker Room Talk important to you?

“The personal is political”. The longer I live, the more real this 70’s women’s rights slogan become.

I think perhaps sharing our stories are especially relevant today, in a time marked by a neoliberal, individualistic narrative. Injustices affecting women and minorities are harder to pin-point, as they are not upheld so much by laws, but by prejudices, cultural norms and glass ceilings. These days everything seems to be a ‘choice’, and no-one wants to be a victim (as if being a victim was shameful or a sign of weakness).

The strength found in collective experiences of oppression can fuel societal shifts (just look at #MeToo and #BLM) — but on an individual level, I truly believe that it saves lives. 

Personally, engaging with feminist conversations in my late teens made me turn from blaming and hating myself, to being angry, and eventually to channel this anger into activism and pride. Finding sisterhood is without doubt the single most impart thing that has happened to me. 

If locker room talk taught me anything, it is that loving yourself can be an act of rebellion.

If you had the chance, what’s something you’d like to tell your 16 year-old self?

It gets better. Don’t read beauty magazines. Fuck the patriarchy (like seriously). 

Is there a topic or issue that you wished we all talked about more openly?

I wish we’d talk more about work culture and how our society’s obsession with productivity and profit is both outdated and unhealthy. The fact that we still talk about choosing between having a career and having a family is absurd. Of course, as it is, women are the ones who miss out the most financially — but I believe everyone would be happier and healthier if we achieved a paradigm shift to where work/life balance is the starting point, not something to fight for.

Can you talk us through one of the challenges you’ve faced during your career?

As a self-employed creative, the biggest challenge that I’m still facing is self-confidence (who’s with me ladies?!). It can be sOoOoOo daunting to put one’s work out there. I’m often fighting being super self-critical and comparing myself to other ‘better’ and cooler and more successful artists. It’s super irrational but very hard to shake off. 

Simultaneously both the worst and the best aspect of being an artist, is that the work is so personal and rooted in a deep and mysterious place within yourself. I am very prone to equate my value as a person with the success of my work. And while being a perfectionist is not always a bad thing, it can be debilitating. 

A few things that have helped me manage these unhelpful feelings are:

+ Having other artists as friends, sharing thoughts and cheering each other on.

+ Therapy & anxiety meds (no shame here)

+ Quite plainly, getting older and more experienced. It’s not much comfort if you’re just starting out, I know — but it does get easier.

+ Make space and time for creative play. Remember to have FUN!

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