ARTIST Q&A: Meet The Great Nordic Sword Fights

YUNG CLUB's animation artwork for SS16 was created by The Great Nordic Sword Fights. The what? Yes, exactly. Since working with director duo Ricky Jonsson Jr and Kristel Brinshot, they were commissioned to make films for MTV’s new visual identity dedicated to a “louder, shorter and hyper-visual” look and feel with a ‘new ugly’ aesthetic. Busy, spastic, custom emojis and memes explode on the screen as they helped the 1981 music brand regain its youth and internet cred.

We’re tickled psychadelic to introduce you to YUNG CLUB’s founding artist collaborators who will bea taking part as well in our big surprise.

I have to ask. Where did that name come from?

Haha, both of our dads are Scandinavian, that was the first thing we learned about each other, and jokingly we realize part of our process is a lot of picking fights until we get results that really ignite something in us.
 If it doesn’t make us feel something, we trash it, pick up the pieces and put it together again. destruction is very much a part of our process.

*What is TGNSF know for and why? *

Most people know us for pushing phased-out and newer technologies together in unorthodox ways to tell our weird stories.

Where do you live and what’s it like?

Los Angeles with our extended animation/vid family at It’s hot.

With all that sunshine, how do you have time for psychedelic animations?

Ricky: The sun actually keeps us inside. Kriz: (that’s his icy Nordic side talkin)

Why animation?

Ricky: Animation is special in a way where anything can become possible. Ideas can be explored through form and movement not seen through reality. It’s nice to exaggerate and linger on emotions.

Who does what in your creative process and why?

Ricky: I’m mostly working on the technical side of things (character development and animation). Usually I look for something fun or interesting and see how far we can push it. Kriz: storyline, visual concepts, and directing all of our team and elements together to make magic happen.
 I love directing and challenging people to make their best work.

Many of your animations are so full of colour, odd characters and internet-influenced elements. How do you come up with your films and what makes them resonate with design press and brands (It’s Nice that, Creative Review & MTV)?

Not sure really! But we care about what we do and how we do it, we push ourselves conceptually pretty hard and I think that’s what turns heads — it’s beautifully strange, it calls you to stare at it.

Your animations are so playful too. How important is it to create fantastic worlds and why?

Kriz: I feel a deep responsibility as an artist to make work that transports you from the everyday, it may challenge you, it may make you laugh, or get angry or feel relaxed, as long as it’s not taking you to a deadspace. I appreciate work that questions ur reality.

What is the biggest misconception about creating animations?

The process.

Kristel, you’ve also explored fashion this year. How did you decide to take your creations from virtual to physical? Fashion actually led me to animation :) As a young designer trying to find myself I was very inspired by the weirdness of the antwerp 6 and in a lot of ways I still find their influence in me when developing characters — I think a lot about their texture, color story, and silhouettes- those elements are important in defining their personality and story.

Can you tell us about any projects you’re working on?

We are swimming in the world of VR and looking fwd to inviting people to step into our animated worlds :)
 Our ultimate goal has always been to build from the ground up a world and lifestyle that is distinctly TGNSF.

What made you want to collaborate with YUNG CLUB?

We like people that think differently, and look toward the future. YC is the future of fitness.

How would you describe the four animations you created for us (SEA, CITY, SPACE & WILD)?

words i used to make the illustrations: SEA: serenity, glistening waves, sushi SPACE: architect, clarity, focus CITY: energy, lights, tequila WILD:
 organic, sweaty, lush

How did you get the music to interact with the visuals?

A little mix of Unity 3d and TGNSF collaborator Ben Vance (Buffalovision).

What do you think about immersive fitness or helping people “exercise their imagination” while staying fit?

Amazing and necessary in today’s world — we are so ‘connected’ to the network, why not work the body + mind in the same creative space. The future is virtual and being aware of its place in our everyday lives is important/exciting. The mind is just as important of a muscle to exercise! It’s what tells us to push harder, run faster, think different….

Your work overall feels so yung and playful. How do you think visual youth culture will evolve in the next few years and why?

Kriz: I have a feeling the newer gen of youth will rebel against ‘digital’, and come back to more physical forms of art making. Rebellion will def be in using our hands again and becoming disconnected from social media, and other ‘networks’.