Something new

The old homepage was beginning to feel really outdated, something I had been aware of for years now, but all this updating is so time consuming. Besides, the whole concept of more or less static home pages had begun to feel like a dead dud in stale water, to be honest, what with the growth and spread of social media.

So I was looking for not only a more fresh design but also a different approach. Finally I decided to throw the old site in the paper bin and start afresh, from scratch, without much of a tedious plan, actually, just a vague idea. Something between a portfolio and a blog? Not that I’m a frequent blogger, either.

I mean, I’ve tried several times, but then I’ve thought that if I haven’t got something worth it to say, why say it? But that’s if it is a blog. With an intent of being just that. This is not.

Anyway, the language then? I use four on a daily basis – Norwegian, Swedish, Portuguese and English. I tried to build up a version of the old site in all of them, but that’s a lot of tedious work. What with English being the Lingua Franca of today, I will go for English. The automatic translation is becoming better and better and English is like my second soul, having spoken it since I was eleven.

So here goes.

Media rush

As usual, I’ve been lazy when it comes to blogging. It’s mostly because I feel that there’s not that much to tell, but this time it is. It’s been a media rush lately.

First of all, I was invited to have published The Monthly Domestic Comic in Finland’s number two newspaper – Ilta-Sanomat; something which is positive in many ways, not the least because my work will be known to the Finnish audience and not only the Finnish-Swedish.

As Juhani Tolonen, their editor of the comix-pages, wrote in the interview he made with me: “WILFRED Hildonen (b. 1953) is one of the best illustrators in the Finnish press, but because of his publishing platform Hufvudstadsbladet, he is a great unknown to most of us.” (My translation from Finnish)

That’s the disadvantage working in a bilingual country, in which the language you’re published in, is the minority language. Anyway, never too late, as they say. Most people begin to prepare for retirement at my age, but I have no intentions to do so, so this is a welcome development. I’ve always dreamt of becoming a comics artist and have made some, mostly unfinished ones, but aside from a few, I’ve never published much. Being an editorial cartoonist is related, though.

Now, as that wasn’t enough, I was contacted by the production company behind a popular and award-winning talk show on Finnish national television, “Efter nio” or After Nine. A viewer had suggested me as a guest, and off we went to Helsinki this Monday, loaded with masks and anti-bac. We took the ferry from Åland to Turku on the mainland and from there it was a two hour drive to the capital. I went for lunch with two of my colleagues at Hufvudstadsbladet before I returned to the hotel where Ceiça was fast asleep. I didn’t get much sleep, though, before it was time to walk to the studios a few hundred metres away.

The recording went well, although I looked like a wreck because of lack of sleep, so I wonder how the result will be. For those who wonder about that, the results can be seen later today, at the address below. It’s not geo blocked so it should be accessible everywhere. And it will of course be accessible even after it airs at 9 p.m Eastern European Time.


And counting…

I told you, didn’t I? I’m a lazy blogger.

Anyway, I’ve been scanning originals from the years before I began working from home, that is from 1992 until 2000, more or less. The status is around 8.000 editorial cartoons included illustrations to other columns written by the editorial team, analyses and such. That is a Finnish record, I think. And I’m still counting, because this year isn’t included in that number.

I’ve done more than that, though. Altogether I’ve made 14-15.000 illustrations for Hufvudstadsbladet, everything included, during the 27 years between 1992 and 2019. That adds up to around 500 illustrations annually which equals 45 drawings per month or one and a half per day, seven days a week, all year round, during 27 years.

And that’s only what I’ve done for Hufvudstadsbladet. Aside from that I’ve made a few hundred illustrations, if not thousands, for other publications, books, magazines etc. etc.

Aside from that I’ve painted at least a hundred paintings and some other artworks as well.

And counting, because I’m continuing to draw for Hufvudstadsbladet as long as they want my drawings, or till the pen falls from my dead, cold hands 🙂 And I’m always open for other assignments as well.

But I think I deserve a day off, once in a while.

Curriculum Vitae

A site like this, which presents me as an artist and illustrator, a creative person, should of course have a CV – a curriculum vitae. A condensed representation of the course of my professional life, which the meaning of the term is.

I had one on the old site, but I hadn’t updated it during the last few years, perhaps as much as ten years, even. The problem is to find out what to include, how much detail.

But then again, I’ll turn 67 in a few days, an age when most people retire, although I’ve got no such plans. I’m still fit for fight, you might say, but how realistic is it to get a new job, a new career, at this age? Not much, I’d say. So what do I need a CV for, anyway? Gives me bragging rights, though. But shouldn’t it be enough to look at my work?

Anyway, as for formal education, I don’t have much along those lines, since I consider myself an autodidact, first and foremost. I attended a couple of art courses, though, but to be frank; that was mostly because I needed to find a way to survive without having to slave on the factory floor, working hard, making shit and peanuts. “Wilfred, you are already an artist,” as one of my teachers said at the last art school which I attended. I should’ve told him to add that to my CV, but then again, we didn’t bother with such fancy stuff in the day. CVs were for people working in offices and stuff, not factory workers. I hear it’s different today.

I’ve participated in dozens of exhibitions, both with my paintings and my editorial cartoons and my other illustrations, but I never sold anything, so what’s the idea? I’ve sold, but outside galleries. And I’m not a card carrying artist, if one can put it like that. You know, with the right kind of education and a member of the right kind of associations, which is mostly one and the same thing as far as I understand. I haven’t bothered myself with such petty intricacies. What has been of importance has been to secure a living. I guess that’s my working class background which speaks.

I know I’m good and I’m damned good as well. I also have a lot of theory to back up my work. I know my art history, and sometimes I wonder if I don’t know more about it than most artists. Oh well, I probably can’t list up all the names, but I know something about the thinking behind art. Because there is. Thoughts behind. Ideas.

I can fill a couple of bookshelves, I think, with books and magazines I’ve illustrated, but mostly for small publishers and most of them in Norway, but some in Finland and Portugal as well, and my illustrations have been included in publications in a variety of countries, like USA, France, Germany and Turkey.

So yes, maybe I’ll make a new CV one day. If I can be bothered.

Images on the internet

In the beginning when I discovered internet, which happened in 1998, one could still come across geeks who thought that images were a kind of intrusion on the pure web. Text was the thing. Coding, I assume.

Now, I’m a man of words myself, but also an visual artist, a drafts man, a painter even. This site here is a way to present my art, but it’s not as easy as I had hoped for. I’ve begun to think that perhaps images are still being treated as the stepchild of the web. An afterthought, something you slap on.

Of course, you have video. It seems to be working well for that, but they exist within a fixed frame, so to speak. Other images vary in size and format and I feel like they are easily being pushed to the side or cut down to size, to fit in.

Perhaps the best way to present images are still the analogue way? In books and magazines and newspapers.

Like this blog; if I add an image here, it won’t appear as I’d like it to do, especially not when this is automatically posted to my Facebook page or on LinkedIn. At least on Facebook, it’s being pushed down after the text, no matter whether I place it before the text or not.

I guess it could be different. It’s technically possible, but what I feel is missing are tools or apps or whatever, focused on images. Well, you have Instagram, but it doesn’t have a tablet version and images are better views on the bigger screen. If it was truly focused on images, it would have been adaptable to bigger screens.

Ok, it was just that. I guess no one will read this anyhow.


Yes, I’m really in doubt as to what I want to do with this, which direction to follow. What I was looking for was a way to coordinate all the different platforms in order to promote my work, like one size fits all, but it doesn’t. A blog post doesn’t look optimal on my Facebook page and it isn’t automatically posted on Instagram. I’ve abandoned Twitter after several attempts to wrap my head around it and I finally decided that it’s just not my thing. A bunch of lonely tweeters sitting in the top of isolated tweettrees in Twitterwood, tweeting, hoping that someone will hear them out.

Anyway, there are others and I do have Linkedin, and this will be posted there automatically, but who will notice my posts there? I don’t know.

Then I wanted to update my homepage, although I’m in doubt whether home pages still have any value these days. It seems to me that they are more and more a thing of the past, unless you’re selling some stuff. Social media hasn’t only threatened to make traditional media obliterate, but also ye olde home page.

So why bother keeping them and go through all the hassle updating and maintaining them? I’m still in my thinking corner about that. Recently I got a message about DNS-servers which will be updated and hopefully I won’t need to do anything about it, but if I have to, that’s probably the final straw. In addition to that comes the cost.

So I really don’t know.

Posting my pondering here now and then is okay. I could do it on my personal Facebook page, too, though.

This blogging life

It’s something with me and blogging. Every time I’m trying it out, I’ll lose it after awhile. I ‘forget’ to update it one way or the other. Don’t know what to say.

But this should be different, shouldn’t it? I’m just supposed to post my work, wasn’t I? Well, I’ve been working every day since my last post, so where are the drawings? Ok, here’s a batch with some of what I’ve been up to.

The energy company Fortum have made a dirty deal…
Kids learn languages fast: “he’s been like that since our holiday in Portugal”…
The climate sceptics go on and on…
Go back to where you came from…
Just say no to racism!