The day I write this happens to be the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. Fortunately, here in Moià where I live, the sun doesn’t wake me up at 3:30 in the morning as it does when I visit my family in the small country village called Björkvik, in the central part of Sweden where I was born.
My relationship with Catalonia began in London, on a language course, were I met my future catalan wife. After living in Stockholm for some years and after giving much thought about it, in 1990 we finally decided to move to Barcelona. These days, in Barcelona they were preparing for the Olympic games and the city was undergoing an incredible change. It was really a very nice experience to be in Barcelona during the games, the entire city was filled with positive energy. We went to live just a few steps from the temple of Sagrada Família.
After ten years we decided to change the view of the Sagrada Família towers for the green mountains of el Moianès. And here is where I live now with my wife and two cats, in the small village of Moià in the central part of Catalonia.
I have always loved everything that has to do with books and in the 1990’s I founded, together with my wife, a small publishing house, translating and publishing a number of swedish nonfiction books into spanish and catalan. At the same time I studied book design, typography and book production and began to work as a freelance book designer. Previously, I had also worked for several years as a computer teacher in Barcelona and my teaching experience along with my interest and knowledge about the publishing process led me to write a book about book layout.
By now I have worked as a freelance book designer and production artist (www.janjurstrand.com) for nearly 20 years. At the beginning my clients were only spanish and catalan publishers but specially over the last years this has changed a lot and apart from the traditional publishing houses, my clients now are also authors, professionals or businesses who self-publish their books. And they can be in any part of the world, for example in Sweden.
The publishing industry is really changing very fast and it’s a challenge to stay updated with all the new things, specially in the digital publishing field. But it also means new opportunities for everybody, both authors and professionals like me.
I like music a lot and I play the piano since I was a child. For some time now I’m studying more seriously music theory and composition. I also sing in the local choir here in Moià.
The surroundings of Moià and its climate are really ideal for outdoor life. I love to take long walks, many times along with my camera and I think it’s a great way to disconnect and find inspiration.
This week I will share with you a little bit of “my” Catalonia together with other things of life that I find important. It will be a real pleasure!