Art Dept Interview
As the winner of your
category in the 2006 International Art Contest, being selected by such a diverse
group of artists from all around the world, how do you feel?
Oh My God! This is huge. Good I guess but I am a little bit in chock since I
didn’t think I had the chance to take the first price at all. With so many fine
contributions that contested 2006 – it’s a great honour. At best I can explain
that it feels like a dream. Have been online already several times to check
whether it is true or not. Thank you everybody who voted for my picture.
Personally I think there were a lot of fabulous pictures this year.
Please describe your current works and any plans for forthcoming exhibits.
For the moment I am painting for the upcoming exhibitions I will have or
participate in during 2007-2008. For me it’s important to be prepared since some
places will be the same as last year and I want to show something new. As a
painter in Digital Fine Art I feel the obligation to show the viewers that my
way of painting is to take seriously in the world of art. But, the largest
project right now is to create three paintings that I will have on the 6’th
Biennale for Contemporary Art in Florens, Italy in December 2007. I want them
very special and the process is filled with agony.
Many of my paintings right now are about the children’s situation and exposure
in the world. In our times of war, natural disasters and the societies changes
it feel important to take an active interest. I do that by painting pictures
where the lives of the children are mirrored. There is always an idea behind
every picture I make. I want to mediate a feeling, a thought. Several times at
my exhibitions I have been standing together with people who have been crying,
stirred of emotions, while watching my pictures and reading the text connected
to it. People take great interest in my paintings. They walk out of the
exhibition, touched in their soul. That is good – then I have reached my goal.
If any, in what ways have you seen changes in attitudes towards "art"?
I haven’t seen any changes in my kind of Art. It is said that it is difficult
to succeed as a digital artist, but not even that I have noticed. Sure there is
certain suspiciousness towards the digital media in the traditional Art World
but it also open doors since it is a new way to create and express your artistic
Do you think that the fine artist will survive as technology replaces our
Absolutely. The technology doesn’t replace our skills it just changes the way
artists can work and express themselves. Genuinity is always asked for. I am
convinced that regular Art always will enrich our lives. As a digital artist I
have been confronted with the fear that the digital way will wipe out the
traditional way to paint. But I don’t believe that for a moment. Digital
painting can never replace oil, aquarelle or any other traditional method. These
will live on as far as I can see.
As much as it doesn’t suite me to paint with traditional methods, the digital
media doesn’t suite everybody. To paint digitally isn’t just to paint through
the computer using a digitizing tablet. For me it’s a way of life. To create you
have to love your tools to make them cooperate. I love my computer – it does
even have a name (the resent one is Maximilian). I have a relationship with it.
What advice could you give to those embarking upon a career as an artist?
I don’t know if I’m the right person to give advice to other artists. But
giving it another thought there are some things that have been of great
importance for my own creative process. I have never seen other artists as a
threat. Art is a wide concept and the taste differs a lot between people that it
can never out-compete my art. There are those who like what I do and those who
don’t understand at all.
I think that my success is partly due to that I have been sharing my gifts to
other artists. I have told them of exhibitions, good art galleries and marketing
ways. It is a fantastic feeling to see other artists grow in their gift. I have
also dared to try to find my own way of expressing my art. I’m quite critical
but I have nonetheless no problem to admit that I am very content (almost proud)
of what I have created. In my cultural setting (Sweden) that is rare and I’m
getting some hard words for that. For me it’s important to develop. I think that
we are never done in the creative process. If you have the gift to paint, then
use it. I love what I do. My life would be empty if I couldn’t express what I
have inside. But, I will continue to develop. I want to know that what I will
create in 10 years will be so much better than today. Creativity is a process
not a result. If possible try to find someone you trust who can guide you
through all the steps to be established in the art world. Someone with
experience and a positive attitude that can be a mentor both in practical ways
but also artistically. And don’t be afraid to think marketing. You are selling
something don’t forget that.
But most important is that we artists support each other. I have some friends
whom I meet with a couple of times every month to visit shows and exhibitions.
Then we go out for some snacks and discuss what we have seen and sensed. We
don’t want to steal other artist’s ideas but want to be inspired and also show
support for other artists. It’s very awarding. Never underestimate exhibitions
there is always something to learn.
And another thing; don’t expect everything to be fair in the art world. Is it
fair that I won this contest? I’m sure there were other artists who have been
working harder and longer than me in this contest. But someone has to decide
autocratically or democratically. You have to find your audience.
Why did you enter the Art Dept contest and what decided your selection for
Most of all I wanted to see how my way of creating digital art would be in
comparison to other digital art. And then it’s always fun to throw yourself out
on deep water to see if you can swim. I read about the contest in a magazine and
thought “Why not?”. And then I hit the road.
Is there anything about being an artist that you do not like?
Yes, the loneliness. As a painter a lot of your creative process takes place
when you are alone. Not many of us have a work place to go to but we work in our
home or studio. At the same time the hours alone drives me forward. I really
miss someone to share my ideas instantly to get critical feedback. Good or bad.
Would you sell your most favourite artwork, or keep it?
Yes, but in my case it’s easy since I print every edition of my art on a large
scale Giclée printer. And I always have the original digitally stored. I often
do get closely touched to my artwork. They are created from the depths of my
soul and becomes like my children. I develop a relation to my pictures and when
they are done I put them where I can see them as much as possible. I need to see
them and be fully content before they end up on an exhibition. I always write
text to my pictures for the viewers to read. Therefore I need to formulate in
words my feelings and thoughts behind the picture.
How important was education and training to you?
I’m almost ashamed to answer this question. I have no artistic education. I
took an evening class in Photoshop some years ago. Otherwise I have been
struggling at home alone with my computer, getting mad when things haven’t
worked as I wanted. But I have never given up and continued to work on till I’ve
been able to rejoice in the result.
Is there anything in your art career that you would have changed?
I wish I would have had the guts to show my art in public earlier. I had my
first own exhibition in October 2005.
If you were invited overseas to exhibit your works, where would you like
that to be?
Yes I dream of possibilities to show my art in other countries. Berlin, where
I was born, Paris, New York, Seattle, Hong Kong, Japan and of course down under
in Australia. I would very much visit Sydney but actually the size of the city
Are you looking forward to entering the contest for next year?
I haven’t been thinking so far yet, but I guess so. I still have a couple of
months to go before I decide. I just have to see what art I will create the next
Do you recommend use of the Internet for an artist's publicity?
Absolutely! What would I be as an artist without my homepage. I have between
30-60 visitors every day and it’s a great tool to show your art for everybody.
Would you change anything about how the contest is organised?
No, since you have decided to let other artists and viewers vote in a
democratic way. I also like that the contest is held during a long period of
time. I also like that it’s not possible to see whom the artist is when you
vote. Then you now it’s the art and not the name of the artist that compete. But
if I can have a wish then it would be an exhibition for the winners and those
who reached the final round somewhere.
How can the Internet be made better for working artists?
Most important would be for me as a painter that pictures on the Internet
would be impossible to download. I’ve heard it’s possible to make but difficult
to do. Then I wouldn’t be afraid that someone steals my pictures.