Making It: Oskar Lindholm

Korduroy Maker Oskar Lindholm began his own small business in order to work with the people he wanted as well as having the freedom surf and enjoy life when the time calls. In this installment of ‘Making It’, Oskar shares his insights into how he has managed to navigate his business around how he functions best.

Describe your business.

Flower Hell is a small business me and my girlfriend started as a way to enjoy life while working and a way of working with friends and creative people.

The main objectives are to be stoked at work and not having to do stuff that’s not cool (for different reasons) with people we don’t dig.

At times Flower Hell is just me freelancing with graphic design and other times it can be a short film project released under the umbrella. Whatever feels good really.

Can’t really say we have built a solid business that brings in loads of money just yet, but we have a foundation for it.

In the age of social networking, self-promotion is a given. How do you tastefully promote your work and what social mediums do you utilize (facebook, twitter, instagram, etc)?

Uhhh… this is embarrassing to admit, but I suck at promoting myself. I started a blog about 12 years ago and have had a few ever since. Same goes for portfolio sites I’ve had for myself with time.

I feel jinxed when it comes to finding the time and motivation to keep going on these things. I move on to something different. Honestly, I find that so many people that literally suck both as individuals and at what they do talk themselves up way too much. Especially through social media, where anybody and everybody can reach out. It makes me sort of a bit anti.

I like the type of people that are humble about themselves and what they do. Design, photography, surfing, cooking, creating… whatever it is they do. I’m far more impressed by people who don’t find the need to brag about their talent.

Working for yourself requires a certain amount of discipline. How do you maximize your productivity?

Surfing and gathering my thoughts & ideas out there during the day. Then I sit down to start working as it gets dark when the rest of the world slows down.

It is a great way to avoid crowds in both worlds. I don’t like participating in the rat race. Not that I have a problem with people, but I just find that it more effective to work in my own rhythm without distractions like phone calls etc.

When I am really into something, I will work on it for however long it takes. It can be 12 hour straight every day for weeks. Just gimme them right jobs.

Do you simulate a workplace experience with your desk, clothing or regimented times?

No way. I prefer to work late and sleep late. I try not to do meetings before 11 am. My headspace is not really clear before. But sometimes I have to adapt because there is a whole world out there working differently. Which I of course totally understand and respect.

Or do you like to work unconventionally – work in streaks, odd hours, different locations?

Yew, that’s me. I have been at places where I am forced to break my patterns though. Often I don’t end up working too long in those sort of environments.

I understand that shit has to get finished for deadlines. That is extremely important to me and my profession. But I never will understand people demanding certain ways for no reasons… I know I will get it done my way.

Fire Station No. 6 from Freshteh Piltan on Vimeo.

How do you balance your artistic passions with jobs that help you make a living? Is there a middle ground? If so, how have did you come to find it?

The past couple of years I have tried to some extent only to work with projects that are interesting to me personally. Stuff like surf, arts and ocean related projects.

I have been making peanuts for income really, but have been living a fantastic lifestyle. I’ve kept thinking that the chance would come for me to to work with interesting stuff and actually making an OK living off it, but still waiting.

I don’t have too much materialistic needs or greeds, but by making a living I mean paying rent + bills + food and a bit of traveling to where the waves are. So, I have been eating outta my savings a bit for the last few years.

What lessons have you learned through the years? If you could go back, what advice would you give yourself when you first started out?

I used to work on a friendly basis with a few of my clients a few years ago. Where there was no stress on money and things should and would work out for both at the end of the project. But it didn’t always happen like that unfortunately.

It happened to me more than once actually that I did lots of work but ended up with nothing. Businesses have gone under just as my invoice got there. People I trusted and thought were my friends have done shit like that.

Those kind of people (you know who you are), I don’t want anything to do with. That’s definitely a lesson I have learned one too many times by now.

Artwork included in this post are from various 2012 projects: 

  • Composition for an upcoming (Swedish) art exhibition.
  • Firestation No. 6 = A film my directed by my girlfriend that I worked on.
  • Mr Sunset – The movie = A feature film about the life of legendary Jeff Hakman based on the book.www.mrsunsetmovie.com
  • SSFF = Sydney Surf Film Festival identity. Hopefully will launch later this year. Photo by Murray Fraser / Sprout Daily.
  • Tunnelism = A few compositions from an exhibition in Sydney. 

For more, check out Oskar’s Makers profile!

Making It is an interview series where outdoorsy creatives talk about turning their passions into business in hard times.

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