Thursday, September 24, 2015

Creative Style: Monika Forsberg

Today's Creative Style Journey is with the fabulous Monika Forsberg, (who is yet
another Jennifer Nelson Artist) We met in an online class a few years ago and I
just fell for her work from day one! She has a mind like no one else, fantastic, creative,
quirky and brilliant. She is a great storyteller. I was so lucky to meet her last year
when we shared a booth at Surtex. Inspiring!!

" I always drew and told stories as a child. We were taught a lot of rules at
school and sadly I lost a lot of my creativity. At age 16 or so I secretly quit
normal school and enrolled at a photography school and there creativity and problem
solving were celebrated and it was such a fantastic place. 

I moved to England in my early 20's and studied art and filmmaking at college.
I was shy quiet and naturally good at observing movement so I became and animator.
When animating no single image are in focus but you group together lots of images
that together form a moving thing. 

By the time of the birth of my second son in 2010 I decided to learn things from scratch, 
to start right from the beginning and take my time; learn to really see, observe. I 
decided to learn how to draw properly. I also practiced telling stories by making 
writing a weekly newsletter of anecdotes and thoughts that in it's heyday had 
hundreds of  subscribers.

So...I started drawing, with my son in the sling on my lap asleep. We'd sit on 
park benches and I drew houses. I studied people and situations. And drew. 
And wrote down conversations I had with strangers. I filled page after page 
with black and white drawings. I'd go to the lido or sit at my eldest son's 
swimming lesson sketching people and there was an intense comfort in 
repetition and to slow things down and be in the now. 

After pretty much a year of simple sketching I wanted to use colours. To 
paint intimidate me,  Painting is for proper people; artists. 
But to get better you have to twist and turn and see things from different 

I used marker pens as a child so it started in that corner (and haven't
yet moved very far from there). I tried drawing with colour like I drew with 
black lines, it looked horrible.
I tried and tried to incorporate colour to my everyday observational sketches  
but it didn't work.

I also worry about having no imagination. Constantly. And then my mind wanders 
away and I forget about my worries.
I started doodling, deliberately abstract; little swirly shapes, round blobs and then 
there were a lot of eyes, fire and worm like shapes. And lions. The colours where 
brightly sharp and all of a sudden I was making forever changing repeats. The 
drawings all made on 8x12" paper continued onto the next page and then onto 
the next. It was liberating to not have a clue what I was drawing, to let the pen 
swirl around over the paper.

After about a year of lots of different colour experiments I had reached a place 
where I wanted to mix the fantasy with the real life observations and I merged the 
two. If I get stuck I say to myself; roll the dice...Everything has 6 sides so if you 
tuck there's another 5 ways to approach the problem.

And to have a lot of friends is very important. It's like playing a game of tennis; 
you throw ideas back and forth, laugh and ask advice moan and share highs and lows.

You can see more of Monika's work here at Walkyland

Thanks so much Monika!


rachael said...

brilliant monika! i love her fluid fearless creativity.

Cowgirlz Spa said...

One of a kind.