Projects & Books


Please click on the covers for more information about the projects and books!


In progress



Finished



Other Art Projects

MerMay 2019


Junicorn 2020


House of Many Ways


coming soon

Concept Art













About


Hi there, my name is Dina Norlund and I'm a digital artist from Oslo, Norway. Currently I spend my days in my own little world, imagining up small stories that hopefully will end up as finished illustrated comic books. But I also do freelance concept art on the side when I have time (and when interesting projects come my way).

I have 2 years professional experience working in the concept art industry full-time. Summer of 2018 I decided to quit that job to focus on creating books of my own stories instead! Since then I have worn plenty of different hats: author, illustrator, comic artist, small publisher, small shop owner and designer. I love learning new skills and have a small issue with perfectionism. But I am slowly learning to accept the wabi sabi of art.


Contact

If you're looking to hire me for any freelance work or any other professional queries please email:
dina.norlund[@]gmail.com,
thank you!


If you're a student or artist looking to ask me questions for your project or about the purchase of my books, please read through the FAQ first, you should be able to find all the answers you need there! If you can't find it please ask the question via Twitter, live on Twitch or anonymously on CuriousCat


Artist looking for Agent

I am currently looking for an agent in the graphic novel publisher sphere! I would really like to publish my books in other languages and especially English. Currently I am only published in Norway with my publisher Egmont Story House, who also acts as my agent here. If you are scouting and think we could be a good fit, please contact me via email!


Education:
Diploma in Industrial Design (FZD) - Secondary education with art.

Current tools:
iPad Pro 12.9” (2020) - 512GB - Apple Pencil 2nd gen
Procreate - Vizref - MacBook 15” (2015)

Previous tools:
Jan 2019 - June 2020
Krita - XP-Pen 22 Pro - Generic PC

June 2015 - Jan 2019
Photoshop CS5 - Wacom Cintiq 16” (2015)
Macbook 15” (2015)





Want to interview me or invite me to an event/workshop?

I would be happy have a chat! Please contact me via dina.norlund[@]gmail.com for rates and info, thank you!

I follow the rates from Forfatterssentrum's websites in Norway.

As featured in...


Haugesund Billedgalleri - Digital Art Workshop for Teens - 3 Days, Learn to draw digitally. Norwegian 9 - 11.08.2021

Lillestrømbiblotekene Comic Festival Interview - Norwegian 28.06.2021

Nerdenes Marked - Festival with Kanoncon - Book signings - Norwegian 19.06.2021
Empirix.no - Review - "Sympathetic Cats and Evil Foxes" - Norwegian 8.02.2021
Serienett.no - Review - "Red and Blue Balance" - Norwegian 8.02.2021
Kulturplot.no - Interview - "Dina sends The Snow Cat Prince into the world" - Norwegian 21.01.2021
Serienett.no - Interview - "A new world of fantasy creatures!" - Norwegian 09.01.2021

Future appearances!


Oslo Comic Expo - Date pushed possibly September. Oslo, Norway - Talk at a panel + Signing books

Raptus-festivalen 17-19 September 2021 in Bergen, Norway - Signing books!



Dina Norlund



Fern & The Moon Rabbit


This is a small, unpolished story about a young troll named Fern and her mysterious quest to return the moon to the night sky.


   
Type:Poems & IllustrationsFormat:Softcover
Finished:September 2017Pages:31 poems/illustrations
Genre:FantasyLanguage:English


October 2017 I participated in a challenge called Inktober. It's a challenge created by Jake Parker that has grown tremendously over the last few years and more and more artists gather online to show of their ink drawings everyday through the month. I decided to take on this list and go all out by creating a story connected by all of these words, stringed together to finally form a story at the end. It might seem like a random story at times, mostly because I had to draw one drawing everyday and didn't have time to plan out the story from beginning to end before I started.

After the first day I quickly noticed that the drawings needed more context, that is when I added the poems. Something else to connect them than just drawings. I love the old fairy tale children's stories with poems and rhymes, so now every image had to be accompanied with 4 lines of text. This is when I realised I would love to print this as a small book. Even though its silly, rough and only created over a month, I wanted it on paper. Maybe just as a pat on the back to myself for completing the challenge, or maybe to show other people that your work doesn't have to be perfect to justify completing it and having a product at the end!

The story is simple yet very unrefined. Imagine having to come up with a chapter of a book every single day but by following certain themes and somehow have it look like a coherent story at the end. Well that is what it was like. I managed to plan some days in advance but some days I had to wing it and take some liberties with the prompts. I'm not happy with some of my drawings, but I think that is ok and good. I had to learn to swallow the urge to redraw and just finish. I do have my favourites though, that turned out better than expected.

The Story

The story is about a young troll called Fern that embarks on a quest to revive and return the moon to the night sky. But there to complete her urgent task she needs to travel through some unforgiving places and fight some horrid creatures. She'll meet poisonous mountain frogs, a long underwater snake, a gigantic wyvern and other mythical creatures! Some will aid her, other will aim to stop her, and some that plan to steal the moon for their own selfish reasons.

Mythology

The story was based (in the beginning) in Norway and roughly based on the Norwegian folklore about trolls. But it has since evolved to not only include Norse but also other mythologies like Greek and Chinese. Roughly inspired and probably not very accurate, but inspired non the less.


The printed book



Dina Norlund



Greylegs


Eva lives in a magical garden filled with strange flowers, curious trees and the weirdest birds you will ever meet. She could not imagine a more perfect place to call home. But one day she glimpses something blue, green and grey lurking in the shadows. What is it, and more importantly... what does it want?


   
Type:Children's BookFormat:Softcover
Finished:October 2018Pages:30 full page illustration
Genre:FantasyLanguage:English
Availability:Only digital copy  

Looking for publisher!



Timeline

Here is the timeline for Greylegs. Enjoy scrolling through the process of creating the story from sketches, development and final illustrations.

Spring 2017

I suddenly got the idea for a book with a predator as its main focus on a car ride home from visiting my boyfriends parents. I grabbed my sketchbook and started thumb-nailing pages already then to get my idea down on paper before it dissapeared. Shortly after this I sketched my main character, no official name yet, but the design just wasn’t working so I left the idea for a 7 months. You can see those first designs in a video further down this timeline. At this point the project was called “Blackbird”

Initial thumbnails! Some of the spreads changed in the final versions.

13 January 2018

The first time I mention my project on YouTube along with the first time showing my face! I had started developing the story more and the character. I think of this as the official start of the project! It was the Christmas 2017 when I decided that I wanted my goal to be storytelling, books and personal projects instead of full-time or freelance concept art work. I redesigned Eva, finally gave her a name, and even though she did change a bit more later I actually prefer this version of her now after the book is finished!

20 January 2018

I keep working on the illustrations for the book, but something feels off. This was my first time working on such a big project and I had a lot of expectations for it and it was making me nervous! It turned into a slight burnout in my next vlog but also prompted me to change the style a bit so that it felt much more comfortable to draw the pages!

9 February 2018

The burnout / art block slowly dissapeared with this illustration! I let myself be a lot looser with the art and I still very much enjoy this drawing and I occasionally use it for promotion.

25 February 2018

I keep aiming too “high” with the style of the project! On one hand I did the nice illustration that you saw in the previous timeline post the week before, but then attempting to design and paint the house I felt scared again and could feel another burnout approaching.

11 May 2018

After attempting and feeling like I failed at that last big illustration of the house (looking back I think it was quite good though) I took a few months break from the project. Something just felt off and I could not put my finger on it. During these few months I also decided to quit my full-time job as a concept artist to do freelance and YouTube full-time. After my last day and with my first day as fully free I felt ready to tackle Greylegs again! I redesigned Eva to have a bit more character and gave her the role of a warrior! So no longer only a normal child in a garden. And she took on a bit of a transformation.

15 June 2018

Full steam ahead with Greylegs! My only freelance client didn't have any more work for me, so I was left without anything to do and all my time to myself… and I decided there and then to do a Kickstarter to fund the printing of Greylegs! This also gave me a deadline, which is a great motivator to finish something.

22 July 2018

This week I jumped right into the lineart! I decided to do all the lines by hand and colour it digitally. I did end up painting a lot over the traditional linework in the colouring stages though… oops?

29 June 2018

More planning for the book, designing page layout and the cover art!

6 July 2018

All the lineart is done so I dive headfirst into the colouring of the pages! I think I coloured half of them before I started the Kickstarter. There are lots of nice process videos in this weeks vlog!

13 July 2018

Super close to the Kickstarter launch! Planning rewards and setting it up. At this point I realised that without any freelance work coming my way I needed to get the Kickstarter up and running sooner rather than later so I wouldn't go broke.

15 July 2018

Kickstarter campaign launch! Here is the trailer video and you can find the campaign page exactly how it was in 2018 HERE

15 JULY - 15 AUGUST 2018

The Kickstarter launch went amazing! The goal was only £500 and we soon hit the stretch goal for Spot UV coating on the front cover. I also had to come up with some fancy new stretch goals like pins, stickers and prints! Here is a cool graph to show how the campaign went overtime.

August - September 2018

A lot of preparing for printing, finishing colouring pages, sending extra stretch goals and rewards off to print. Just a lot of behind the scenes work that I don’t really have a lot to show from!

17 October 2018

The books arrive! And I start shipping all the rewards out as soon as possible. I am very happy that I did vlog a lot of the packing and shipping process so here is the video about all that!

September 2018

I shipped out all the books to all the backers and the project was complete!

Finished!

I see Greylegs as the start of my interest of making stories and books. There is something immensely satisfying about finishing a project, even if it’s not printed and ended up a bit different that what you imagined. Looking back at it now I am just so happy I did it. I hope it will lead to many more projects in the future!

If you would like to support those projects, see early behind the scenes work and sketches and other fun rewards, please consider supporting me on Patreon!

DINA'S PATREON

Thank you for reading/scrolling through this timeline of Greylegs!


The first 8 pages



The Printed Book



Dina Norlund



Sprout


There is nothing unusual about sprout, maybe except her name. She has a normal family and a normal life, but one day something terrible happens: a sprout starts growing from the top of her head!


   
Type:Short ComicFormat:Softcover Zine
Finished:May 2019Pages:20 comic pages
Genre:Urban Fantasy/slice of lifeLanguage:English
Availability:Only digital copy  


“Sprout” is one of those projects that comes when I least expect it to. It was a procrastination project for when I was getting bored with “The Snow Cat Prince” and although it was unnecessary to spend a full two weeks on it, I think I needed it. It gave me a break from the computer and the biggest project I had ever started, and it was fun attempting to put it together so fast!

The idea for this small zine started, funnily enough, in the bathtub. I let it brew for a bit in my head but then I quickly got up and started sketching! I wanted to try and tell a visual story on the changes that happens when you start changing in your teens. Everything just feels off and you don’t fit in anywhere. But eventually you find your ground, the people you like and what you, as your own person, enjoys. These likes and dislikes are represented as sprouts in this short comic.


A few pages

The Printed book



Dina Norlund


The Snow Cat Prince


Syv, the youngest of the Snow Cat princes, is a little different from his brothers. When their father the King dies, the older brothers argue over the throne while Syv finds himself agreeing to a dangerous journey across the Horizons in search of magical crown that could break the curse on their land. Syv’s bravery is tested by mad beasts, dark powers, ancient enemies, and – most frightening of all – if he fails, he will be marked with three black stripes and never allowed to return home.

Please check this website for updates on editions in other languages and formats!

   
Type:Graphic NovelFormat:Hardcover
Finished:January 2020Pages:134 Comic Pages
Genre:Urban Fantasy/slice of lifeLanguage:Norwegian, English
Published:2021 in NorwayISBN:9788242969651

Are you an agent or publisher from another country?
Please contact  tonje.tornes [@] egmont.com for publishing rights!



Timeline

Hello and welcome to the project page for “The Snow Cat Prince”. Here I have decided that the best way to showcase this book is through a timeline. Please scroll through for videos, some sketches and other fun details about the process of making this 124 page graphic novel!

DECEMBER 2017

The idea for “The Snow Cat Prince” was sparked when visiting Norway during Christmas. We saw a cat walking through the snow and Phil said it looked like a "snow cat prince” and I promised I would make it into a book. Funny how such a small idea ended up as a 124 page comic!

August 2018

The first official mention of “The Snow Cat Prince” happened during the Kickstarter Campaign for “Greylegs”! At this point Snow Cat was supposed to be just another small 30 page children’s book and I was aiming to publish it in January 2019… oh how wrong I was!

15 August 2018

The first official concept for the Snow Cat Prince! I did draw a quick doodle of a cat for the Greylegs campaign, but this was more of an effort to try and make a proper character.

19 October 2018

Style exploration for the project! I originally wanted to do the Snow Cat Prince fully traditionally, but I had to abandon this idea once it grew into a much bigger project than just a children's book. I still do really enjoy the look of watercolour and pencils!

16 November 2018

Still really in love with the idea that this book would be watercolour and pencil! But this video was the turning point for the actual story, it changed from being about an actual white fluffy cat to a mix between lizards and big cats. I used this new creature to build a whole new section to my world where all my stories and books take place.

December 2018

I started writing the manuscript for the story! A lot of nonsense and bad writing, my dad was a gigantic help managing to weed through my rambling and find a storyline.

14 December 2018

I introduce a new character: Kit! I really wanted another animal in the story and Phil told me he would really like a fox. So I did! Still a children’s book at this point and still traditional. Probably still my favourite drawing of Kit!

January-February 2019

Story development is in full swing! I’m writing, rewriting, sketching and thumb-nailing. Again, my Dad is a huge help and somehow managed to understand my very messy manuscripts and text. I think I ended up with over 30 pages of text at some point.

20 January 2019

The first thumbnails! At this point I was still optimistic it would only be around 50 pages max, told my Dad it would not be a comic because “I could never do that” and it was still a children’s book.

25 February 2019

First vlog documenting the process of creating the Snow Cat Prince. The change was finally made to make the project a graphic novel and not a children’s book, yay!

4 March 2019

The manuscript is done and the comic pages are being planned out and concept art is being done. I also realise how big of a project this is and how long it will take to complete it!

12 March 2019

The style of the comic is still not decided at this point so I spend a bit of time exploring options! However, I didn't end up doing very many, I have a habit of just going with whatever feels the most comfortable, especially when the project it so big and overwhelming.

18 March 2019

This vlog wasn’t focused on The Snow Cat Prince but there is an interesting part where I talk about inspirations, styles I like and other thoughts about the project.

23 March 2019

First two “test” pages! Not really proper test pages because I never really thought of it as a test and I used them for the final book. I should’ve tested out more styles, but this one felt comfortable so I stuck with it.

29 March 2019

A video to show the style of the Snow Cat Prince and update YouTube on the progress of the project!

April-July 2019

After that video of the process of drawing a comic page I was relatively quiet on social media about the project! I was still working on it, but other projects like MerMay and Sprout distracted me for a little bit. Honestly it was probably for the best to allow myself a bit of a break from this giant project. Of course I did start stressing about finishing it so I made this spreadsheet to help me keep some sort of a schedule… I did not keep it. But it is very fun to look back at!

August 2019

I started focusing on The Snow Cat Prince 100% instead of just in the background. I decided to launch the Kickstarter the 1st of September so that I would have a definitive deadline and it could push me to finish the book. There is nothing to really show from this period, but by the time I launched the campaign I had finished the lifework for chapter 1-6 and coloured 1-3 (there are 7 chapters total). Inbetween all the actual art, I also was preparing stretch goals, contacting manufactures and getting quotes on book printing and other rewards. This process is time-consuming but very necessary because you need to be prepared for all the costs involved with running a Kickstarter campaign. If you want more details about numbers you can find a post about this on my Patreon for $5 link HERE

1 September 2019

The Kickstarter launches! And what a first 24 hours that was… not in my wildest dreams did I expect to hit £20 000 in my first day and 457 backers! Which meant there was more people backing this project in the first 24hours than Greylegs had in it’s whole campaign. I also set a personal goal of hitting 1000 backers for this project! Here is the trailer, and you can find the full campaign and how it looked when it launched on the Kickstarter page HERE

30 September -1 October 2019

The whole month of the campaign I think I was in disbelief over the amount of support and also the amount of work that was ahead of me. Yes, the money and the support was the best thing ever, but the workload was a lot. Luckily I had set my deadline for shipping out the books for February 2020, which meant I had plenty of time to make the book the best that it could be. Here is a fancy graph showing the growth of support during the Snow Cat campaign!

October 2019

Working steadily on the pages and also prepared a “preview” copy of The Snow Cat Prince. I wen’t to the comic convention Thought Bubble around the 9-10th of November and I really wanted to show off this project at that event, but since the book wasn’t done I printed a few preview copies to sell at the convention and also tell people that they could pre-order the book online. This is the cover I made for it!

November-December 2019

Working on the pages for The Snow Cat Prince is priority at this point! Yes, I had other things I needed to work on like YouTube videos and Patreon rewards, but all other hours of the day I was pushing to finish all the pages before I went away on holiday the 19th of December. I also did a bit of Vlogmas over on my new vlog channel and documented the day I finished colouring the LAST page! It felt amazing. You can watch all those other videos HERE

January 2020

The biggest workload of the project is done, but there was a lot left to do: editing the pages, hiring a proof reader, formatting the book, sending book to print and a ton more! After the holidays I did feel a lot more chilled out and ready to finally be done with this project that had at this point taken a year longer than I originally planned when I announced it during the Greylegs Kickstarter.

I hired a wonderful editor named Kate Nascimento, you can find her website here: kneditorial.com and she worked through the whole comic and weeded out the awkward parts and dialogue! It was nerve wracking letting someone read the Snow Cat Prince for the first time that wasn’t one of my family members, but Kate was extremely professional, quick and kind. With her edits I felt a lot better about printing the book, my strength is in art and not really writing (also English is my second language haha)

The cover was finalised and I am so happy I decided to go with a deep purple cloth spine and holographic gold foil stamped for the title. I also made the choice to not add an ISBN because I am not planning on printing more of these books than the 1800 I ordered. I had sold 1360 through Kickstarter and 100 through HushBird’s shop and I only wanted a few extra. This book is so expensive and big that it was definitely an exclusive deluxe copy! But who knows, maybe some publisher will one day pick it up and re-print a second issue.

February 2020

This month I placed the order for the books and all the stretch goals! Contacted a shipping company about delivering the kickstarter rewards instead of Royal Mail (thank god for this because the weight of the book doubled from my estimates and I had charged way too little shipping) and on the 20th of February I received all 1800 hardcover books at my door in my little house in a residential area. They turned out gorgeous and I could not be happier! 24th of February - 9th of March was dedicated for shipping all the 1360 Kickstarter bundles and 270 pre-order books. Here is the vlog capturing the stress of fulfilling so many orders by myself!

June 2020 - January 2021

Norwegian Edition

Spring 2020 a Norwegian publishing house showed interest in publishing The Snow Cat Prince in my homecountry! We edited the text a little, did some updates on the story, added a few new pages and a new prologue. Plus we also made a completely new cover! I think it helped round out the story and finish it fully. I hope I get to translate and publish the English edition of this version soon!

Finished!

The journey working on this project was such a rollercoaster of changes, challenges and experiences! I wish I had documented more but also finishing a whole graphic novel by yourself is not easy, so I'll give myself some slack there. I hope you enjoyed scrolling down through the timeline and I hope you get to read the finished book one day in the future! At the moment of writing this the book is only currently available in Norway.

You can get even more behind the scenes, process updates, newsletters and sketches by supporting me over on Patreon! Please consider pledging a small amount each month to allow me to continue to invest all my time and energy into my projects <3


Read prologue & Chapter one



Dina Norlund


Watergirl


Maren has been dealing with trauma for years. Not only is it affecting her everyday life, but it also has a strange side-effect she doesn’t know how to control... other than by avoiding water.

   
Type:Short Digital ComicFormat:Scroll format
Progress:Planned finished end 22Pages:5 Episodes
Genre:Urban Fantasy/slice of lifeLanguage:English



Dina Norlund


Nettle & the hush-hush'


Nettle can see monsters that nobody else can see. She lives her life trying to ignore them, but lately they have been multiplying and getting angrier. One day, a monster attacks and Nettle is forced to realise... her pet cat is one of them.


   
Type:Graphic NovelFormat:Hardcover planned
Progress:On holdPages:130 comic pages
Genre:Urban FantasyLanguage:Norwegian planned


Dina Norlund



tamtam the pathfinder


Somewhere in the world, in a very dark forest behind a blue mountain, lives TamTam. He lives alone, far away from the village. It's not that he doesn't like others, it's just that they are so hard to understand. Objects are a lot easier. They don't ask questions or demand attention, they just exist. If you listen closely... they might tell you their story.


   
Type:Graphic NovelFormat:Hardcover
Progress:In the worksPages:50 comic pages
Genre:Children's FantasyLanguage:Norwegian Planned



Dina Norlund



Wild


When Ramona Woods was born she did not laugh or cry... She howled.


   
Type:Short ComicFormat:Softcover
Finished:25-26th of August 2021Pages:24 comic pages
Genre:Children's FantasyLanguage:English


The story in Wild is inspired by anger you can't control, that's just a part of you. You can try to contain it but in the end... it will come out.

Wild is the result of my first 24-hour comic challenge that I participated in on the 25-26th of August 2021! You have 24 hours to come up with a story and finish 24 pages. The event I joined was funded my a host of different publishers and supporters that allowed us to send the comic to be printed right after we finished, so 24 hours after completion I had a few printed copies in my hands. It was a great experience and I think I might have to do a few more short-comic stories in the future.



The first 9 pages