Chocolate balls and clementines adorn 2022 diploma

Each year a different Swedish illustrator is asked to create the diploma for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. The 2022 diploma for laureate Eva Lindström has been illustrated by Emma AdBåge with calligraphy by Henning Trollbäck.

Emma Adbåge debuted as an illustrator in 2001. She is the illustrator of many solo books and books by other authors.

Tell us what it felt like to receive the commission for this year’s diploma.

– I was already thrilled about Eva receiving the award this year, so being asked to do her diploma, in particular, felt extra special. I got to congratulate her in a concrete way, not just feel happy for her! Of course, I also felt honoured to be chosen and it felt quite glamourous – and it meant I got to work with Henning Trollbäck, whom I think is so good. I had rarely worked with anyone on a physical picture, but I liked the fact that the assignment involved a challenge, and it turned out that it wasn’t so hard, mostly inspiring and a learning experience.

What is your relationship to Eva Lindström’s picture books?

– I would describe it as long, close and warm. I don’t remember the first time I came in contact with a Lindström book. It might actually have been one of her comics, when I was a teenager. I’m very fond of how her books are so unaffected, so un-cute, so unaccommodating, both in words and pictures. It’s a quality that is so profoundly comic but also so emotionally moving. There’s a sense of simplicity but also resistance. I can literally say that I love it.

How did you approach the commission?

– The first thing I did was to gather all of my own Eva books. Then I hit the library and picked the ALMA table clean. After I apologized to the librarian, I went home and read all the books in one fell swoop, trying to figure out what I wanted the diploma to look like. I found something like a rhythm or a beat, a visual repetition that runs through the books via all the small recurring elements in the pictures. Certain details and figures recur rather frequently, and I started to think of these as little collections. Almost like little stockpiles! Eva’s stockpile of campfires, axes, volcanoes, knitted hats, water pitchers, logs for the fire, little shoes, sticks, tree stumps – and chocolate balls and clementines, of course.