In this interview, we speak with Viktor Hammarberg, a freelance graphic designer who has worked on some of the biggest albums of 2022 and won a Latin Grammy for his work on Motomami. Viktor shares his experience working in the creative industry, including his transition from a job in Social Media to freelance work during the pandemic.


For you personally, what was the most exciting project you worked on in 2022? What was exciting about it? What were difficulties, if there were any.

All of 2022 feels like one big exciting project to me; working on 3 of the biggest albums of the year. Winning a Latin Grammy for Motomami is top of the list for sure. It was difficult just comprehending the magnitude of these projects.


What would you say are characteristics of the creative industry?

In a generalised nutshell; hectic, amazing & keynotes.


How was the transition from gastronomy to the creative industries?

I lost my job as social media manager at a local restaurant/bar during the pandemic, so it wasn’t an entirely voluntary transition. It was right when my instagram account was starting to blow up, so I took a chance on freelance. Both jobs offer a lot of freedom, but this new venture offers even more freedom.


What do you like and dislike about the creative industry? If you don’t like something, how would you like it to be different?

I personally haven’t had significant bad experiences. Sure, sometimes I will get offers that are ridiculously low, but I’m fortunate enough to be in a position where I can counter-offer and say no if they don’t meet my budget. It can also vary from having 2 months to do something, to have less than 24 hours to do that same thing, but I see it as part of the freedom of the job; sometimes it’s super chill and sometimes it’s crazy hectic.



Have you ever thought about going back to a restaurant job? Is there anything you miss about that?

I love DJ:ing and I really miss it. I also miss getting my daily social requirements met just by going to work and interacting with recurring colleagues in real life. I also miss filming and editing videos without much pressure. But I don’t see myself going back, other than to DJ.


Your graphic design skills are self-taught. Do you feel it makes a difference to designers with college degrees that specifically studied design?

I graduated high school with a D- in art, and I was rejected from all art colleges/universities I applied to. So, I’m not sure how I feel, it all worked out either way.


You’ve lived in many countries. What did you like the most there? Has any country particularly influenced your work or lifestyle?

In China (age 9-14), I loved the food and buying bootleg video games and DVDs. In Singapore (age 15-19), I also loved the food, and having lots of friends with endless things to do. In Sweden (age 0-8 and 20-now), I love the clean air, the beautiful summers, and its culture feels most like home to me. I think the culmination of all places has had a meaningful impact on my work and how I see the world.



Do you have any place where you want to live in the future?

I want to build my own house with huge floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows, by a large lake, facing west so I get a sunset over the water everyday.


What is it like to work with stars from the music industry? Do you work with the music artists themselves or more with the team around them? Is there anything you particularly like or dislike?

It feels surreal and normal at the same time. Even though all “stars” are just people, it’s hard to get past being starstruck. I do like the fact that it seems like a lot of the “stars” have found my account through other “stars” recommending me, and I really appreciate that they take an interest in my work. The majority of the process usually involves their surrounding teams.



Is there any album cover or designer that inspired you at the beginning of your design career?

Not really, I was too busy creating my own world, but Eric Timothy Carlson comes to mind. I love his work and his covers have definitely been inspirational to me.


We can imagine that you have a lot of exciting projects coming up in 2023. Any project that you are especially looking forward to in 2023? If so, would you like to give us a sneak peek?

Even though I’m fully booked the entire year, I’m not overbooked. So I’m looking forward to more personal time and projects: releasing more items on my Gift Shop, maybe starting to DJ again, using the PS5 I just bought.



Photo credits: © Viktor Hammarberg, 2023

Viktor Hammarberg will speak at the Forward Festival Vienna in October. Next to him you will be able to hear creatives like Max Siedentopf and Anthony Burrill.