Even Mehl Amundsen's latest project, TEGN, is a thrilling exploration of a fantasy world through the eyes of its artist...
TEGN (pronounced "tahyn” for the non-Norwegian speakers among you) is the latest project from renowned concept artist Even Mehl Amundsen. A marriage of Amundsen's beautiful art and creative world building, TEGN – Book One is a collection of 366 sketches telling 366 stories, gathered into the pages of the first volume of the three book project.
Who is Even Amundsen?
A self described Viking- adventurer, Even Amundsen is a Norwegian concept artist with a penchant for fantasy and medieval art; combining humour, drama and charm in a delightfully unconventional approach.
His eclectic sense of humour shines through the art, as well as the words, "He plundered in Cornwall, then in Quebec, in Prague, and then in California, but where roaming is grand in it's way, no harbour is sweeter than that one which is close to home. He now lives in Copenhagen, doing work as a freelance, lending his sword and spurs here and there.”
Amundsen isn't alone on this project, he's working alongside artist friends Anne Pogoda, who designed the successful Kickstarter campaign; and Spiridon Giannakis, who created the book layouts and badgered Amundsen into making the book in the first place.
What does "Tegn” mean?
As Amundsen puts it, ‘"Tegn” has three meanings in Norwegian, all of them serving as some sort of reference for the book. It can mean "Draw", the relevance of which is kind of obvious, it can mean "mark" or "symbol", and it can mean "omen".' While you ponder on the deeper meaning of "tegn”, you'll agree it makes a fitting title for a book rich in the fantastical, symbolic artwork Amundsen is known for.
The book emerged after Amundsen was urged by a friend to sketch something on January 1st, which then turned into a sketch every day for a week, and soon it became a daily ritual. "Once January was over, I wanted to see how long I could go, and decided that a year was a suitable challenge.” Initially only seeing it as an endurance challenge, he eventually started adding stories, tying each of the sketches together, to keep the project interesting for himself.
Motivation to stick with the substantial task came relatively easily, "Once I made the goal, I felt compelled to see it through, the discipline being its own reward in a way.” But admits this is in large part due to the community of friends and followers who provided feedback and encouragement for both the drawings themselves and the building of a frame work for the world.
Where can I get it?
The first of the three TEGN crowd funding projects is ending soon, with the following two forthcoming. You still have a chance to back the project over at the Kickstarter page
, with prints, premium copies of the book, and lots more goodies available.
Fortunately, the art books may not be the only avenue into the world that Amundsen has created, "I would like to try some longer form writing, and build the world even more as I do, so some form of patreon initiative or similar might well be in the future once the books are out.”
Regardless of the medium, Amundsen's art remains a great reminder of how good fantasy can inflame the imagination, and inspire people to pick up a paintbrush. Whatever it is; we can't wait to see what he does next.
Check out the TEGN – Book One Kickstarter here
See some of the fantastic art at Even Amundsen's portfolio
Read Even's interview in Graphite 3