Former Noroff student and teacher Geir Ove Pedersen has made worldwide success with his Snapchat concept Random people.

It begins at an airport. Former student and teacher at Graphic Design, Geir Ove Pedersen, is waiting for his plane. He has a rule about practicing creativity while waiting for things, and thus spending time sensibly.

While at the airport, he sees a person sitting and waiting for the plane. Geir Ove notices the man is bored, and begins to wonder if the man would rather be doing something else than waiting for his plane. Geir Ove takes a picture of the man with Snapchat, and starts to illustrate on top of the image; showing the man sitting in a spaceship on the way to the moon.

The first image is sent to 30 people, and Geir Ove gets great feedback.

Geeohsnap is born.

Random people

I got lots of pictures sent to me of people giving me thumbs up and saying things like "you're famous in France" and "you're in the paper in Switzerland". Geir Ove Pedersen

The concept Random people is about photographing people without them knowing about it, and then adding funny illustrations.

- I made an account on Instagram called geeohsnap, where I publish all the snaps I create, Geir Ove says.

And then the followers came.

- In the beginning it was slow, he says. - But then I went to the website boredpanda.com and published an article about my illustrations. That night the concept just took off.

The Bored Panda editors liked the article, and it just went viral.

- What was your feedback?

- I got lots of pictures sent to me of people giving me thumbs up and saying things like "you're famous in France" and "you're in the paper in Switzerland".

Today geeohsnap has roughly 26.000 followers on Instagram.

Image with permission from geeohsnap

Image with permission from geeohsnap

Image with permission from geeohsnap

Image with permission from geeohsnap

Almost signed a bad deal with news agency

Shortly after the first article in Bored Panda, Geir Ove was contacted by a news agency in England that wanted resell the article to other news agencies. This could easily have gone the wrong way; had he not carefully studied the contract:

- They wanted to buy the whole story, but their contract stated that they would own the rights to everything I did with this concept. Fortunately, I was careful and read the contract, and I also did a backup check on the agency. I'm glad that I did, because I could have easily accepted their offer. I that case, they would have earned most of the money and not me, Geir Ove says relieved.

But there has been great international media coverage nonetheless:

- I was contacted by Rolling Stone Magazine's Brazilian edition. They wanted to publish an article about me and my Snapchat concept. I didn't understand anything that article says, he laughs. - But I ran the article through Google Translate to make sure it didn't say "check out this crazy Norwegian guy".

Geeohsnap was also mentioned in Business Insider as one of 13 Snapchat users to follow. 8 Days Magazine fra Singapore wrote that "this is what digital graffiti looks like", and recently, Goexplore published an article about Geir Ove in their series of Internet Heroes.

- Sometimes I can't believe this is all happening because it's just so absurd, he says. - All this through Snapchat.

Worked for Disney

Screenshot from Twitter

- What is your recipe for success?

- I think it's more than one thing. Being creative is about trying to discover the new things, and always try to surprise people. I think I succeed in surprising people. Humour is something everyone appreciates. The snaps are also family friendly so that makes it possible to reach out to a bigger audience. The reason I do this is to spread joy.

- Do you think that is why Disney discovered you?

- It's possible. They saw the potential in my creative work. I think I do something that no one else does. I've never copied anyone, and I always aim to be innovating and original.

- How did Disney contact you?

- Last December I got a message in my inbox from the marketing director at Disney.

- You mean Disney's department in Norway?

- No, the marketing director of Walt Disney World. In my inbox a photo of Mickey Mouse appeared. The marketing director wanted to reach me, and we got in touch through emails. Since then we've been in touch through Skype, and this February I was given an assignment, which I of course said yes to.

- What was the assignment?

- It was about surprising people through Disney's social media channels. If a park visitor were to take a photo and publish it on social media and tag it with #DisneySide, then Disney would find the picture and forward it to me. From there, it was my job to do something Disney-like with the picture, and Disney would then re-post it on their Twitter account. (See more examples in Geir Ove's portfolio.)

- Are you affected by all the fuzz?

- No I think I keep my feet planted firmly on the ground. I might float away for a few seconds, but I quickly get back down again, he says.

Working on a book

Geir Ove now works as a graphic designer in Kristiansand, Norway. He is currently developing many new projects, several of which are secret at this time, but he reveals that there may be a book on the way:

- I've been contacted by a literary agent in New York who likes my concept and we're going to try to get a book publication going. We are well underway with the plans for the book, and it is now being sent out to several publishers in the United States.

- What is the book about?

- The book is about the creative things I do, and the ideas behind them. I really hope this happens, because I've always wanted to publish a book. I also have plans for a series of children's books on my own. There are several stories in development.

Creativity leads to more creativity. In social media it is important to have fun and captivate the users.Geir Ove Pedersen

- Do you have any advice for Noroff students?

- Yes, I would advice them to be creative and aspire to new ways of thinking. Creativity leads to more creativity. In social media it is important to have fun and captivate the users. It's about creating a connection.

He also encourages Noroff students to send him creative snaps.

We wish Geir Ove luck with all his projects.

You can follow geeohsnap on Instagram, and add geeohsnap on Snapchat. Be sure to visit geeohsnap's website.

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