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The Full Story



Hi. I'm a Swede, currently living in Switzerland and working with my passion, my art. 

My story is a bit different. I have always been creative and designed, painted, built etc. After uni I spent 10 years at an orthopedic clinic building orthoses for babies born with clubfoot. A super creative work because there are not two legs/feet that look the same. I also had the pleasure to be invited to talk and have workshops in this treatment method in China, twice, together with my dear friends and colleagues. BUT I have always wanted something more, something else. I always felt different, not belonging, didn't fit in, and have been bullied a lot as a child, just because I didn't fit in.


One day (as an adult), on a vacation at Laguna Beach CA, I lost my hat in the ocean while swimming, when I came back to the beach the waves brought a tiny black plastic figure shaped as a bear, just in front of me. I picked it up and at that second my idea of doing this "Dare to be different" popped up in my head and I immediately had about 50 different ideas in my head and knew exactly how I wanted my art pieces to look like. 

I knew at this point that what had been kept in me for so long needed to get out.

To turn my passion also into a profession, I decided to go back to school and studied at the Copenhagen School of Interior Design (while I was living in Hong Kong). During that time I met so many fantastic and creative people and also started to collaborate in art exhibitions in Hong Kong. I started to feel like this is what I always wanted to do, but with my own art.


Jump to a few years later and during my time in France, I also organised an art exhibition in Paris for other artists as my own art had not yet come to life and I was still exploring. Eventually and given my partners work, we moved to Switzerland just about two years ago. With the pandemic in full swing, I found the inspiration to look myself in and fully focussing on creating my art pieces. I took plenty of time creating and trying different options, different material and techniques. The feedback on my work product has been phenomenal at once. People love my creations and the stories behind them! My art was born.

It was also fantastic to experience that people would come to me with their own stories and requested me to interpret that into their own Date to be different art piece. In these customised pieces, I usually hide additional details that are only visible to those familiar with the story at hand. 


So in summary my art is simple and complex at the same time:

At first glance it looks like an empty box in a frame. But look closer and a story starts emerging. 

Dare to be different - be you. 


Johannes Gustafsson, I dare to be different

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