Viktor Sakshaug: ‘Working in the space between what I have sketched, and what I imagine is a fun place to be’

We caught up with Oslo-based illustrator Viktor Sakshaug who works with bold colours, clean lines and negative space so well…
Who is Viktor Sakshaug?

I’m Viktor Sakshaug, educated as a graphic designer, and now working as a freelance illustrator and designer. I love Lego, colours, climbing, typography and cooking.

You have quite a unique style, how did you come to develop it?

Thank you for saying that! I have spent the last year refining my illustrations, trying to find a style I am comfortable with. I think it’s hard to say how I have developed it.

I would say it’s a mix between trying to just draw things my way and being inspired by many different talented people that I like.

How did you discover Affinity apps?

A friend I made while traveling recommended it to me approximately two years ago (a great illustrator and photographer: Janosch Kunze, check him out!). I was intrigued and when I got back home in front of the computer after six months away from digital drawing, it was the perfect time to start fresh with a new software.

We love your use of negative space, what is the secret to doing this well?

Wow, thank you. That is not the easiest question to answer, because a lot of times I do not necessarily plan it. But I do often try to think in the sketching phase of an illustration how this can be translated to a digital format.

Working in the space between what I actually have sketched, and what I imagine it can become in Affinity is a fun place to be in and explore. That’s often where ideas around negative space appear.

What do you find most useful in Affinity Designer?

I do not have the most complicated illustrations, but a lot of them have some sort of idea behind them.

So for me being able to capture an idea quickly, and easily translate it into a digital illustration is key. Affinity Designer feels super-fast and snappy to start up and I can quickly work the Pen Tool and get the feel of an illustration.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Because I have done mostly personal illustrations the last year, I try to come up with ideas to what can become a nice clever illustration, often based on ideas around shapes and form.

I have actually tried to gradually disconnect myself from the vastness of inspiration from the internet. It often makes me less happy with what I am able to make because I am comparing myself to something I am not. I therefore try to find inspiration in completely different arenas. It makes it harder to make a direct comparison and therefore feels more fun to have as the source.

What is a typical day for you?

The last year I haven’t really had a typical day. I work part time in a startup as a designer, and combine that with freelance work. But I try to get out of bed around 8am on workdays, and sometimes work from home, sit at cafés or I sit together with the startup.

I try to climb a couple of days a week and hang out with my girlfriend as much as possible.

What would you like to see added to Affinity Designer?

What a fun question! I would love to be able to drag and drop colour palettes into my affinity file. I am obsessed with creating colour palettes, and I always use at least one in each illustration as the starting point for choosing colours.

Do you have some wisdom you can share with our readers?

I don’t really feel that I have worked enough professionally to say this at all, and it may turn out to be entirely wrong, but here goes… I think people in general like to find patterns in your work and put you in a category. If you can find a style you like and stick to it, you will be more memorable to people.


Check out Viktor’s website and follow him on Instagram.