Sweden-based illustrator Patrik Svensson has an eye for simplicity. His black-and-white drawings, somewhere between a Rorschach test and Japanese ink wash painting, are the visual equivalent of a swift one liner, a clever pun or a classy double entendre. His newest series of drawings features six images that, when flipped upside down, tell a different story, showing the multivalent power of a few well-placed shapes and lines.
Blink once and you'll see a teeny bikini morph into a sunglasses-donning dude, a rocky mountain into a mountain lion, a Christmas tree into a lumberjack's beard. "I’m interested in the way we look at things, how a different approach brings out a different meaning," Svensson explained to The Huffington Post. "I enjoy working with visual puns of some kind, and this upside down thing was something I hadn’t done before."
Svensson hopes the multiple meanings will encourage viewers to slow down and truly take in the images before them, in all their simple complexity. "Even if a picture is simple and flat I want there to be more to discover if you just take the time to study it a little closer," he told deMilked. And at the end of the day, it's up to the viewer to find meaning in the images, whatever they may be.
"It’s up to the viewer to see and interpret the way she or he wishes," he concluded. "I really just bring the visuals to the table. If I know I’ve caused a smile somewhere with my work, then I’ll fall asleep happy."
The unvarnished images and the hypnotic powers they hold just may inspire you to begin doodling and see what happens. Svensson's advice? Start by collecting memories.
"Collect memories like a street cleaner collects garbage," he said. "Every now and then you’ll find an extra nice cigarette butt that you can keep in your pocket instead of throwing it in the plastic bag. Then one day when your hand reaches for that cigarette butt you’ll find that it has turned into a little diamond."
Can you identify the objects in the mirror? Take a gander below.