Illustration Happiness and Angst

“Min idé med Piceas arkeologiverksamhet är att vi ska förmedla det förflutna så att det blir relevant och fattbart i dagens samhälle. Rapporterna är inte en sanning utan ska visa hur det kan ha varit. Jag tycker att Ninas illustrationer fångar en rörelse, ett liv, och händelser som gör just detta fattbart. Hennes linjeföring, färger och komposition fångar en känsla och gör det möjligt för alla att förstå. Ninas omslag och layoutarbete har lyft våra rapporter till en ny nivå.”

Benjamin Grahn, Picea kulturarv

I am not a fluent illustrator or painter. Still, I sometimes enjoy it. When feelings fly high inside my mind I use art as a form of theraphy. Other times I have a job that needs to get done. Preferably I work on large papers or canvases without fussing around with details too much.

Reconstructive drawings - when one picture speaks a thousand words

Being an archaeologist I am sometimes asked by colleagues to draw reconstructions of how a certain place might have looked at a certain time. This is a very difficult task; one where you can not but fail. The archaeological text talks about results, findings and interpretations. It is a very unprecise buisness, with only a few details known. Making the place come back to life again in a picture requires detailed knowledge, one which not even the most distinguished professor possesses. Still, reconstructive drawing has its points. I do my best.

Vitlycke museum 2020
PICEA Kulturarv: archaeological report cover illustration
Arkeologgruppen AB: archaeological report, reconstruction of Lindesberg in historical times
Västarvet: illustrations for the book ”Berättelser kring elden”

Digital fun

Come evening, sitting on the sofa, relaxing, I sometimes draw on my iPad. This style is more related to my old profession as a fashion designer and also a style that comes more natural to me.


This is the style I like the most when I work on paper.

Vitlycke museum 2020: the Hjortspring boat
Vitlycke museum 2020: timeline
Securitas paper
Securitas paper and Johan & Nyström labels

Finds drawings

This is also fun. Being extremely picky. Dot by dot drawing finds and enhancing their characteristics.

Vitlycke museum 2020
Bohusläns museum 2008
Bohusläns museum and private
Created By
Nina Balknäs


Nina Balknäs