Browsing the aisles : Talent Gallery, Stockholm

Monday, 21 October 2013

I discovered Talent Gallery while roaming the (amazing) little streets of Sodor, Stockholm. It is a print shop and exhibition space full of the loveliest of things made by designers and illustrators both old and new. I asked the very lovely Sara Rosenquist, gallery founder and director, about her space, swedish design and other assorted printy things.


What is Talent Gallery?
Talent Gallery is basically a gallery and gift shop for new, emerging graphic design and illustration. I let designers exhibit if I find their work interesting, independent of wether they are established or not. Most of the items are handprinted, which I think is an important part of the whole idea with the gallery. I think that nice prints should be of a good quality, but not necessarily expensive. It is also much more fun to sell a limited amount of prints. The items that are being sold at the gallery either come from earlier exhibitions, individual designers that just want to try and sell one or two prints, and some other items that I import from the US and UK.


How did the gallery come about?
I started the gallery in March 2011, just 6 months after I had returned home from NY where I lived and studied for three years. Because of my years abroad in NY, I didn't have any contacts or experiences within the graphic design and/or the illustration business when I returned to Stockholm. I started to ask myself if there was any place where I could exhibit my works, just to get some attention within the industry. When I didn't find such a place, I did some research and found that there was no such place for graphic designers in Stockholm, so I decided to fix the problem myself! My background is within the art world, and having mainly worked at large institutions and galleries, I wanted a place that would be accessible for everyone without the pretentious part. I found it very interesting that no such place existed in a design - fixated city as Stockholm, and dedicated most of my time to try and develop the idea and to find a good space for it.

How do you select the works to be shown in your shop?
That's a hard question, I think that I go with my gut feeling most of the time. I try to think about what I haven't seen before, and that goes for new graphic techniques as well. I really try and find something special independent of trends, but most importantly, designers who likes to take risks. My main goal I think, is to find things that aren't sold in other places, and that have a childish feel to them. I've discovered that childish prints and items always have a nostalgic quality that almost everyone can relate to in a way or another. Sometimes when you discover a new designer, you can almost feel that they've had fun while working on their prints, and that's when you should invest time in their works.


How often do you have exhibitions and how do these come about?
Graphic designers and illustrators can exhibit at the gallery for up to two weeks at a time. During this exhibition period, they can sell either all exhibited items or just a number of them, but the idea is that all exhibition items should be for sale. Because I wish that all people should have access to nice prints without having to pay a fortune, the price ranges are quite low, where the average cost for a print is roughly 400 SEK (approximately AU$65). After the exhibition period has ended, the exhibitors can chose if they wish to continue to sell parts of their exhibited works at the gallery.

Is there a certain design style that you can identify as being particularly Swedish?
Yes! It's funny, but most of the Swedish designers are very creatively "safe", that is, they rarely take risks. But this is not necessarily a bad thing, I think it's good sometimes, depending on what you do within the design industry. In most cases, Swedish design is simple, clean, sometimes very childish and naive, and color-wise, safe. I think Scandinavian design is formed through our idea of functionality that design should always fill some kind of function. I guess that's why many people admire this kind of design in a way, since it's almost never too much or too boring, and in this way relates to a large audience. But this is of course a big generalization!


A few of your favourite things...
Books - In terms of design related books, I must say all the Moomin books, and everything on Olle Eksell and John Melin, the two latter ones two of the most amazing Swedish graphic designers I can think of.

Magazines - I like Monocle a lot. They have some great illustrations in there, as well as interesting articles. Icon is very nicely made as well, a Swedish lifestyle magazine that tries to resemble Monocle in a way.

Websites/blogs - I like to check on,, and

Designers - Not really favorites, but here are some that I think are pretty great: David Pearson, Olle Eksell, John Melin, Alvin Lustig, Alexey Brodovitch, Tove Jansson, and many more that I don't know the names of…I'm so bad at names! I tend to get more inspired by architecture actually.


What is your favourite part of running a design shop and gallery?
That I really enjoy my workspace. After this, I could never work in a place without graphic design on the walls. It feels really great to sit in a space covered with all these beautiful prints, and to see how these prints make so many people happy and inspired.

What is the least fun part?
All the administrative stuff that comes with it! I didn't know anything about how to run a company before I opened the gallery, and it still brings on a huge amount of frustration sometimes. But its definitely worth it.

You can find this lovely hole in the wall at... 
Kocksgatan 23 / 116 24 Stockholm / Sweden / +46 8 641 22 00
& online here


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Thankyou for your comments. emily x

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