Selected Works


Best of 2017

A selection of the best illustration from 2017. All illustrations are digital art drawn in Adobe Draw on an iPad Pro and fine-tuned in Adobe Illustrator.

MicroSun App

Interaction Design – UX/UI

Project goal: To design the companion app for SunInc's MicroSun lamp. The app must motivate the user to use the lamp and to stay active. The styling of the app must comply with the MicroSun style guide and the design must be based on thorough user testing.

San Franselfie

Poster and Postcard

Project goal: to create an illustration to be used for posters and postcards visualizing how it is to ride the iconic cable cars of San Francisco in our modern age. The work was based on a real life-study of the cable cars in San Francisco. The first multiple iterations were drawn by hand on iPad using Adobe Draw and Apple Pencil. Further work and final iteration made in Adobe Illustrator. The title typeface was specifically designed for the project with inspiration taken from vintage travel posters and the San Francisco Giants' iconic brand.


Icons for personal brand

24 icons made for my personal brand to be used on my web page, resume, business card, etc. I aimed to create a style that is both personal, whimsical and inviting. To achieve this goal, I drew all icons multiple times by hand to find the right tone and fine tuned the final icons to ensure a unified look.



Microsun is a portable artificial sun used to battle winter depression. The lamp can be powered by kinetic energy, so the more you move, the more your MicroSun shines.


A hand drawn poem collection

VOKSENVERDEN is a Danish poem collection written by the author Marie Markvard Andersen. I designed the collection's visual appearance – a process that included handwriting the text of the collection's 29 poems and hand drawing the illustrations.

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The Bright Side

An animated ebook

In 2015, I created the digital version of the graphic novel Den lyse side by the Danish author Maren Uthaug. It was published as an ebook with the storyline captured as animated GIF. The ebook was simultaneously published in a Danish and an English version, the latter with the title The Bright Side. The biggest challenge was to find the right level of animation in order for the publication to still feel as a book.

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Designing the story

Maria Hagsten Michelsen portrait

I'm a freelance graphic designer and illustrator, who helps clients develop their brand and define their essence through carefully crafted designs. I'm also a Dane who has been living in San Francisco since 2016, mixing Scandinavian minimalism with the passion and craziness of the golden state.

I have a masters degree in comparative literature, which makes me highly skilled in telling a brand’s story in an optimal way. I also have a keen visual eye that is always drawing inspiration from the world around me.

When I’m not designing, working on illustrations while listening to music or interacting in the Dribbble community, I’m probably drinking a cold IPA with my hubby or hanging out with my favorite peeps.

MHM logo

San Francisco, CA