2 Mar 2012

Famous Magazine :: Interview

In the march issue of Famous magazine // Russia is a six page interview with me (you guessed it)  in Russian. If you do speak Russian you can get your hands on the pdf :: here . Famous is a 130 page printed publication and the editors were a joy to work with. I'm going to publish the Q&A's underneath in English in case you are interested. Be warned it's pretty long and you might know some A's already! Love x

Hello! Well, I do not think that our readers are well familiar with you. So, let's fix this nonsense. How long have you been illustrating? How did you come to this?
My story is 28 years young and started in a rural setting in the north of Germany. There I walked across the rainbow, lived in the tops of evergreen trees and flew with the birds. I slept under a blanket of twinkling stars and swam in deep black lakes at night (or something like that). Suddenly and much too soon I was older, mom had died, home wasn't home and the world was waiting. I took a suitcase, then a plane and in 2002 touched down in London. I worked here and there and decided after a couple of years to wake up from my slumber. A pre-foundation, a foundation, half a BA(Hons) in Fashion Design, a BA(Hons) Graphic Design and finally some Illustration I graduated in 2009 after six years first class honours from my degree. Those are all statistics and I don't like statistics very much.

Fact is I'm still here and I never intended to stay. I'm glad I did though. 
The circumstances of my life have put me in a place that I love and that I call home. Here and now I work as a part time manager for the RSPCA (Animal Charity) and the rest of the month draw and draw and draw. It's a real nice balance. I love being out in the community and raising awareness for animal rights and then returning to my home studio to work on commissions and self initiated projects. Call me a freelance illustrator if you may. I have been doing what I do for over a year intensely now and things have been really wonderful lately, sometimes overwhelming and always busy.

If we talk about your style, handwriting, animal images are very appreciable in your works. Moreover, your animals are very similar to humans. Why is there so much animalism?
Do you think my animals are similar to humans? Really? I have never looked at it that way. I don't draw in an anthropomorphic way at all. I think my animals are very close to nature apart from the obvious additions of textures and patterns of course. They do nevertheless take on human traits in the way that they can be very emotional and express a certain feeling. Maybe they become human because I am human and I communicate through them. Why I draw animals ... This deserves a massive answer and I could never give my love for animals justice in words.
I'm not a poet. I'm not an animal activist. I'm not an overly spiritual person and it's not a cute thing.
The eyes of an animal and the way they move , observation of all living things somehow hold so much truth about worldly balance and the sensitivities we ignore too often these days.
I don't trust people who don't love animals very easily. There is a lot to say about this. Look at them and the natural world and see again. All the answers are there!

Your pictures are very simple and contain something childlike, but at the same time, the psychedelic is in them. Do you think your work strange? Is there in fact the separation between "normal" and "strange"?
I'm a big child inside and I never plan and  I try and play where I can. I'm also a big perfectionist maybe that's why you find my work 'technically very good'. I like optimising what you can and try and achieve a look that is aesthetically pleasing to myself. If you as the viewer consider my images as psychedelic it must be because I have a psychedelic imagination and dreams ;-)

If others see the love and effort you put into your image making then that is really great!
I try and keep my mind free of what is fashionable in image making at the moment and try not to look at other peoples work too much. Colours and ideas constantly float through my mind and my room and bags are littered with little notes and ideas. Like a child does I think you should express what you feel at that moment. Be spontaneous!

What artistic technique you prefer?
I like working naturally with paper, pen and pencil but I love the opportunities digital collage and colouring offers. I always work by mixing media.

What inspires you to such an unusual job?
Realising that you only have one shot at happiness - meaning this one life - and believing that being happy means creating your life in the best way that you can. 

You can live off of only your works?
Yes I can and just recently but I choose not to. I enjoy working for the RSPCA and continue to do so as long as I can. At the moment I'm only working there 8 days a month now but that is important to me and keeps me sane. Working in your home studio can be a little lonely and I like challenging myself in the community.

When we look at your picture, it's hard to tell what the story is . Feelings are rather vague. Do you think whether it is possible to tell: «In this work Sandra wanted to say exactly this about that thing!»?
You have to decide for yourself if you can see a story. I have a story for every single image but my story is not necessarily yours. I hope that my images evoke an emotional response  but what that response is hopefully will be different for every soul.

Do you create illustrations for a specific purpose (book, magazine, book exhibition) or are these self initiated images that are born by itself?

Both. Sometimes you have a dream or something jumps into your mind and you have to put it down onto paper. 

Those moments are the best and there is nothing that stands in the way. I would happily work though any night when I have an idea that is that strong. Otherwise I work constantly on other things. I have illustrated my own book, have illustrated stories for publishers, I design apparel, skies, tattoos and anything else that a client or magazine approaches me with.

What is your opinion about modern art in general - is there a crisis or we are on the up?

I think art can never be dead. The term art alone is so wide. There is so many professions and niches within it and even a child creating something beautiful is a term of expression and art in a way. I don't know very much about theoretical approaches to the subject of modern art but I think the artistic expression is innate to the human condition and will always be there in some form. Times might be hard or golden and even the past to any time since we have inhibited this planet we have been creatively productive. It's process and progress and catalysis all combined.

In modern art many artists use shock therapy: the images of hatred, fear and violence bombard the audience. They want to "awake" us with this. What do you think, how much this tactic is effective?
Every tactic is effective has it not been overused. You can whistle in front of someone  and if they have never heard a whistling sound before they will surely look where it came from and what it is. I don't know. Everything is new. Everything gets old and everything comes around. 

Undeniably Fear is a big factor in this world. Sex and Fear both have immense powers which have always been applied to control as they are deeply connected to the human psyche and our instincts. The fear of unemployment, fear of loneliness, fear of pointlessness. These are the strings that people pull that wish to gain of those that cannot notice since they have forgotten that they are the same and just as beautiful and important as everybody and everything else. 
It is quite schizophrenic to think that shocking someone would catapult them in a state of fear and anger and evoke exactly the opposite effect to considered thinking.

What are your favourite artists?
Sounding cheesy now but I will say :: Nature ( As every true artist it doesn't have a choice. It must create and grow). I also adore Gustav Klimt very much and August Macke and Franz Mark. I don't want to start listing names. Creating lists is a weird thing as they are taken so seriously and I always write something else ;-)

As you know, our team is in the North Caucasus. Do you know anything about our area?
No I don't know anything! I just looked you up on the Internet and read a little. Now I know a little more but I can't write those things as I only learnt them a minute ago. That would be cheating. I hope you are not too cold and that you like where you are!

Well that's all we can finish the interview. Please complete it some good wishes to the readers of this
You are part of everything and everything is part of you! There is no beginning and there is no end and it isn't so hard to understand!

Thank You all for reading! Best wishes and lots of smiles from Sani in London!

1 comment:

O'Reilly Ink said...

Loved reading! Thanks for translating. :)