sunnuntai 14. syyskuuta 2014

Featured artist of September: Sieskja

Hello blogging world!

I hope all my readers and fellow artists are doing good in this fine Autumn morning. 
It's time for featured artist of September Jessica Albert also known as Sieskja by her artist name.

I must admit I was blown away when I saw her painting for the first time few years ago. They have same kind grace and details as some master illustrators artworks (John Bauer, Arthur Rackham etc).

Sieskja has her own beautiful style of creating and her artworks takes you away to another world.


Tell us about yourself. Who you are and what kind of artist you are?

I am 21 year old artist based in France. I'm currently studying library science; before that I studied Scandinavian literature, cultures and languages,
My other interests are nature and animals: that's why I love gardening, riding, taking care of abandoned animals (I work as a volunteer in an animal shelter) and that's also why I don't eat meat.

I would like to say that I'm an old fashioned artist. I've got lot's of difficulties to accept contemporary art and digital art.

I'm particularly found of medieval art, Art Noveau, golden age of Illustration and Naive art.

I mostly work with watercolors, lot of salt for making patterns, black/white and sanguine inks. From time to time I paint with acrylics on cardboard or canvas. Though it rather rarely happens and I don't always show the result (especially when it isn't successful!) Acrylics seem to be very difficult to master and I have lot's of things to learn and improve...

I seriously started to paint at the age of 14. The artist who have inspired me the most is doubtless Stephanie Pui Mun Law. Her skills in watercolor and her technique that she explains with so much generosity makes her a wonderful and exceptional artist.

"Rävflickan" (from my own stories) watercolors 2014
(c) Sieskja

How did you started your artistic hobby / career?

Before anything else some anecdotes from my childhood;

When I was a child, my mother used to draw farm animals from pictures of illustrated card game and let me paint over the line art with watercolors. My family moved when I was 4 years old. At school I didn't have any friends at the beginning, then I used to draw with chalk on the schoolyard.
Later (I was 8 years old) I wrote sort of illustrated encyclopedia of fantasy world (in the way of D&D manuals, which I was already reading!) depicting stories, places, animals and dragon species.

My professional career hasn't really started yet..
I've simply being contacted by a couple of authors to illustrate children books but this hasn't been very positively conclusive for some reasons.

Actual illustration world sounds to me very hard to please and insecure and then quite stressful. As a very stressful person. I haven't wanted to base all my professional life on illustration work. I prefer to paint whatever I wish without any constraint or requirements (excepted my owns) which for me is more important for self-fulfillment.

"Beyond the stream" acrylics 2013
(c) Sieskja

What are the things that inspire you? Do you have message in your art?

The most inspiring thing doubtless all that is related to nature. In my  case particularly European landscapes and forests. Actually the backgrounds are most of the time most important elements in my paintings (and that is the part that I look the most in other artists works).

I was born in a very industrialized place (North of France mineral field) where nature has almost disappeared. That's maybe the reason that I love to paint verdant or wild landscapes and gardens and that I dislike drawing urban and even indoor scenes...
I study in a quite big town. All here seems so gray and polluted. Sometimes I feel a bit down because of it but it makes me want to paint more and more fantasy or wild landscapes to make up for that mood. Just like lot of other people, I use art as sublimation : to express my need to escape and to treat my frustration.
"II Ignominia" (Illustration of Olav Audunssön by Sigrid Undset)
Watercolors 2014 (c) Sieskja

I also love sharing my other interests through my paintings; for example, European (and particularly Scandinavian) History and folklore. I especially like traditional fairy tales; by the way I started a collection of old fairy tale books illustrated by artists from the East (Jiří Trnka, Josef Liesler, Karol Ondreička) The most interesting tales are often the lesser known ones.
That's also why I prefer illustrating famous but unknown (at least, very few people of my circle do know them) authors like Sigrid Undset or Selma Lagerlöf (both Nobel prize) instead of increasing  the amount of The Hobbit or A song of ice and fire fan arts (which sadly are most of times based on the movies...)

Just like lot of artists, music is also great source of inspiration. I particularly enjoy folk, pagan and symphonic Metal (bands like Finntroll, Ensiferum, Haggard, Penumbra, Summoning,  Stille Volk, etc...),  classical music (Antonin Dvorak, Edvard Grieg) and progressive rock (Ange).

At last, as I said before, I love horses, They're so graceful, strong but fragile at the same time. And of course they represent freedom and escape...

"Vargar! (Illustration of  Gösta Berlings Saga by Selma Lagerlöf) Ink - 2012
(c) Sieskja

If you could be any fantasy character what would you like to be?

I must admit I have never thought about that question before. Since I love legends related to feminine creatures from another world, like ondines, selkies or hulders, I think I could be one of them.

"Svartsjuk" (from my own stories) - Watercolors - 2013
(c) Sieskja

Any advice for starting artists?

It's always the same thing: draw, paint, learn with tutorials, look at other's artists works...
By the way, I do advice to copy. Some people would cry shame, but since art exist ALL artists (at least, most of them), started with copying. It's a good way to progress. Of course, ask permission and/or credit the references if you want to show your copy online.

To join art community has been for me one of the greatest motivations : to make friends, to share what we're creating and to inspire each others is always a great pleasure.

"The full sheen of glory" (copy of a photograph by Rob Darken from Graveland)
Watercolors -2014 
(c) Sieskja

Where can we find you works?

Thank you so much Sieskja from this great and interesting interview.
I  think your art is very inspirational. I'm very inspired to try more salt patterns :)
About the illustration art I must say that I believe you could do outstanding job illustrating traditional fairy tales or folklore stories. Most illustrators (like me)  they do other jobs and projects among illustrating work. I believe that kind of illustrating project would be very fitting for you (and I'd definitely buy that kind of fairy tale book).
I wish very much luck and success for you.

To all my readers thank you for stopping by
Much love and light

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