Monday, 9 February 2015

Illustrators Arise: Sarah Kronborg

Heya there, art-enthusiasts! Didn't I promise you I was going to be more motivated and continue on with this feature? Didn't I? Well, I'm here to keep my word. Let's start over! Welcome to Illustrators Arise! This is a monthly future on this blog, where I will introduce to you some of my favourite illustrators in the form of an interview. Yeah, that's right. This month, I will introduce to you an artist through whose work you'd probably think she actually lives deep in a Nordic forest - not far off the mark, she lives in Norway. Please welcome the talented and magical, Sarah Kronborg a.k.a. Pepperin! I first found her through deviantART when I was about to quit too. Seeing her talent still lingered, I stayed on and I've been mystified by her works ever since. Give it up for Sarah Kronborg!

Hi, Sarah! May I start by asking you when you first started drawing and why you continue to do so? 
It’s probably what every artist say, but I have been drawing since I was very little, it’s always been a part of my identity. I keep drawing mainly because I like the feeling that I’m improving, and because it’s my favourite way to express myself.

So I know you don’t study art, are you going to university though? If yes, what are you studying and why don’t you study art?

Yes, I’m going to university at the moment, where I study library and information science. It’s not what I’m most interested in (even if it’s not too bad), it’s more of a safety net economy-wise. I did start illustration school about two years ago, but I realized that drawing all day every day really weighed me down, and before I knew it art had become a chore that I dreaded doing. But I’ve developed a much more structured working routine since then, so I am planning to apply for art scool again in the future!

What kind of materials do you usually work with?
I mostly paint with watercolors (and more recently with gouache), since I love the textures of watercolor paper, and it’s the medium I’m most confident in. But sometimes I try other materials, like ink or digital drawing, so I don’t get too stuck on one medium.
Do you have anyone who inspires you? Where do you draw inspirations from?
It’s difficult to pin down definite sources of inspiration, but I could try to list a few of them: nature (plants, animals etc.) is always a great inspiration, but also pretty sentences from books I read, certain atmospheres, scenes from movies. And of course I’m inspired by other artists – my favourite at the moment are Theodor Kittelsen, John Bauer, Koji Morimoto and Little Thunder.

Your illustrations always seem to be a scene from a very interesting story. Do you ever see yourself as a storyteller? If you do, what kind of stories would you tell?

I'm glad you think so! I do like to think I am a kind of storyteller, since I’ve always been making stories and characters ever since I was little. They sound good in my head, but awful in writing, so I’ve come to the realization that the best way to put my stories to paper is through painting. That way I can keep them abstract and vague, and leave the meaning up to the viewer. I’ve always liked the surreal and eerie, yet romantic, so I guess that’s the kind of stories I try to tell through my paintings.

What is the greatest obstacle you’ve ever faced in regards to illustration?
My greatest obstacle is probably that I often doubt my abilities in drawing, I’ve always been very dissatisfied with everything I’ve drawn or painted (and I’m always surprised when people like it!). Because of this I tend to stick to drawing the same things over and over, and not having the courage to create the things I really want to. I’ve been working on breaking out of this way of thinking the last years, and it’s getting better!
What are your current projects?
Apart from the never-ending project of working to improve as an artist, I’ve just begun working on a fantasy book project with an author – unfortunately I can’t tell much about it yet! I’m very excited, both since this is my biggest project so far, and since it seems like the kind of story that really suits my style of drawing. I’m also working on a portfolio for my eventual apply for art school next year.

I don’t know if this would be significant but there’s a folder titled “Old” on your deviantART gallery. What is the difference between the works in there and your other artworks?

Like the title of the folder says, those paintings are really old! I’ve deleted a lot of my old works from my dA gallery, but most of them were really just flowery girls posing. I also think it’s fun to have old stuff to compare with my more recent work.

What does the future look like for Pepperin/Sarah Kronborg?
If all goes according to plan, I’ll be going to art school and become a better artist, and make a living illustrating childrens books and graphic novels!

Do you have any advice for everyone who are currently pursuing the same path as you?
Don’t compare yourself to other artists, and don’t mind too much if something doesn’t turn out as good as you thought. Try new things every day and keep going no matter what!

A little note from me

Personally, I always find watercolour to be a tool of magic and wonders, which not just anyone could master. Sarah is one of the Chosen Ones. She is gifted not only with her ability to handle a brush but also with her immaculate story-telling talent. I love how she uses natural settings while adding a bit of magic. Each and every one of her works seems to take place somewhere far, far away and, most likely, out of this world. Her attention to detail and incredible work with colour palettes are a worthy subject of envy and awe. I don't know about you guys but, personally, I'd love to see more of her works.

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