Per Gustavsson

Porträttbild av en man med skägg och glasögon
Photo: Susanne Kronholm


Born: 1962
Currently lives in: Stockholm
Jury member since: 2019

Per Gustavsson is an award winning illustrator and author of many popular children’s books, including the series about an outspoken princess whose first book, Så gör prinsessor (What Princesses Do), appeared in 2003. He also illustrates books by other authors and has collaborated with Anders Sparring, Lena Ollmark, Mårten Sandén, Åsa Lind and Ulf Stark, among others.

What’s your top tip for inspiring children and young people to read?

"Read out loud. I think reading out loud is fantastic. I’ve been in my share of raucous classrooms, but as soon as someone starts reading out loud, the room virtually always goes quiet. There is something fundamental about reading out loud. We need it."

Do you ever get “illustrator’s block”? If so, what do you do?

"I once read an explanation of how to understand creativity. Imagine a bicycle with a dynamo-powered light, the kind that only lights up when you start pedalling. If you aren’t moving forward, there’s no light. So even if you haven’t a clue what you’re doing, the trick is to keep drawing, keep writing."

A lot of children like to draw. What is your advice for young illustrators?

"Always be drawing. Draw your friends. Draw your dinner. Draw your feet. If it comes out weird, just draw it again. Try not to think in terms of a drawing looking good or bad. Be glad whenever you draw anything at all!"