How did you get started doing what you do?
I think I started drawing because I was a moody child that enjoyed being alone. With a pen and paper, I was able to drift off into other realities. My urge to draw was also always a result of the will to capture a part of what fascinated or touched me.
What’s your inspiration?
I’m most inspired when I get a new perspective on things. That can happen by discovering a color that I used to ignore, or when I perceive the beauty of a shape when someone moves their face at a certain angle. Sometimes the atmosphere of a moment or the manner of a person touches me and finds its way into my work. When I look at an old drawing of mine I often feel the music I heard while drawing it or the presence of a person that was close by. I think my surroundings have always inspired me a lot.
What does your typical day look like?
Fortunately, they are all very different, but all of them start with a coffee and a cigarette and include drawing.
How do you keep motivated?
When I loose motivation it’s usually a sign that I lost my ability to enjoy the process because I got too caught up in working towards a good result. When I’m lucky, I can escape that feeling by drawing something without a purpose, and if that doesn’t work I need to find inspiration. Sometimes I go by train to the airport and watch the people waiting at the gates. I like being at a place where everyone is for a reason for no reason.
How would you say your surroundings have influenced your work?
Very much, I’d say. I can see the emotions and the atmosphere of every particular time when I go through my sketchbooks. The people that are closest to me inspire me very much and encourage me to believe in myself when I get insecure. It makes me very happy to notice that I am at a time in my life where I’m surrounded by people who aspire to work in different creative fields. I often find that the topics of our struggles and tasks overlap and it’s an enrichment being able to exchange thoughts and ideas.
What do you hope to accomplish with your work?
My work is my foundation, it makes me happy and it gives me purpose. I expect my work to keep providing me that feeling. When my client and I are happy with my work, it makes me a happy person in general.
How have others reacted to your work?
Sometimes people react to my work in a way that I know they’ve seen a part of me in it. I like when that happens because like that I can tell that my thoughts and my emotions find their way into what I do. Fortunately, I have only gotten very positive feedback so far. Except for two drawings. One of a woman who’s dress is elevated by the wind. Some people felt offended by that because she wasn’t wearing underwear. For me, that picture was about the dynamic of the movement and the patterns in the texture of the dress. Underwear would have interrupted the dynamic I was interested in. The second one was a drawing of two men kissing. I got very different reactions on that one. They are naked and hairy but are kissing each other very gently, their feet touch a little and they look innocently loving. On the first day of my last exhibition, I sold it to a dear friend and gallerist who saw what I saw in it (a gentle touch of love, nakedness without sex, the meaning of an encounter without covers) but there are people who didn’t like to look at it apparently. I wasn’t truly aware that I had been drawing two men until I got those harsh reactions on it. But that is the thing about art in general I guess- you allow yourself to let everything stream on paper without having an observer in mind, and later you get the reactions. I wasn’t sad about those two. I don’t need the appreciation of someone who can’t stand to look at a kiss.
What do you want others to take away from your work?
There are artists that touch me in a very sensitive way with their work. There is artwork that makes me feel understood. It would make me very proud to hear that somebody felt like that about my work.
What, if anything, would you tell your younger self?
I would tell my younger self that she is ok as she is. I would tell her that she is strong enough to grow on any tough or sad moment she might go through, that she will meet the people that are right for her, that her offbeat characteristics will be her strength. And that she’s better off confiding in herself.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
I lingered over this question for quite a while. not because I haven’t been given good advice, but because I am surrounded by emotionally intelligent people who help me grow with their thoughts so much that I couldn’t decide on any piece of advice to be the best I have ever been given.
What’s your dream project?
If one day The New Yorker or Die Zeit get in touch with me to work with my illustrations, I will have reached a life goal. May I dream big? I would like to have a few pages every month in a good magazine, where I’d make a report in drawings on different places every month. That could be Guantanamo one month, and the next an alpaca farm in the Peruvian mountains, followed by an Irish suburban registration office, and then the portrait of the surroundings of an inspiring person. Like the work of a journalistic photographer- only with drawings.
What art supplies do you use?
That can change a lot. Discovering new art supplies can be very inspiring. Lately, I have worked a lot with gouache, aquarelle and ballpoint pens.