MILLE ISRAELSEN

CH.89: If you were to categorize or describe the style of your artwork, what would it be and why?

MI: I work in the field between art and design. I have a Master in textile design specialized in pattern design, so often I’ll work with fragments from that world. I approach new projects with the mindset of a designer, but art is often a great source of inspiration.

CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

MI: I look at various time periods, go to exhibitions or travel to seek new ideas. I take pictures all the time to remember all the things I come across.

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new project/ piece of artwork?

MI: I collect lots and lots of inspirational material when starting a new project. A visual mood board keeps me focused, though it can change throughout the project. I also keep a notebook on me and write down thoughts and ideas as they pop up. When I reach the actual development phase, I’ll make many different tests and samples. I sort and reject constantly, and develop more samples before achieving the right result. Actually, sometimes a project can end without a finished design, by being more of a tool for development.

CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?

MI: I always strive to create a field of tension. I don’t want the work to be easy to read or decipher. So I always try to find a visual balance between contrast, materials and shapes.

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?

MI: It’s a bit challenging sometimes, because I can’t just turn it off. A holiday can easily turn into a research phase, with me wrecking my brain trying to break the code for this idea forming in my mind. It’s like an obsession sometimes, but it’s all worth it when I get into the flow of things or manage to create something I’m really excited about!

CH.89: When starting out an artistic task, do you think it is better to have a particular direction/set plan guiding your way? Or, is it better to act on impulse and go from there?

MI: I have definitely been trained to follow a plan; however, it is liberating when things seem to happen on their own. I did a project during an exchange in Toronto a couple of years ago, where I worked with vacuum forming plastic and adding various materials to the process. The result was these uncontrollable meetings between the heated plastic and the behavior of the materials. With my design background, I quite liked that I could only control things to a certain point, whereas normally everything has to be explained and tested for failure.

CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist thus far?

MI: Things have a way of working themselves out, and every lesson learned is worth it – even if it feels crappy at the time.

CH.89: Do you regard personal style & taste to be of highest importance?

MI: Sure it’s important, but it’s also so subjective. Personally, my style and taste changes all the time. I see my surroundings as something temporary, so I don’t hang onto my things for that long.

CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?

MI: The uncertainty – and the fact that the path for your career isn’t clear. But I have learned to embrace that as well as I can, and see it as a chance to explore and learn new things.

CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?

MI: My constant curiosity and hunt for new input and inspiration. And that flow I talked about before; when you are in that perfect work mode and time flies because you’re so deeply into a project.

CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artist’s that inspire you in any way?

MI: I love the work of Danish artist Leise Dich Abrahamsen. She is so great with color and shape. Danish textile designer Margrethe Odgaard is also really amazing – she works with design in a very artistic way. Another great designer is American Kelly Wearstler; she designs elaborate interior projects with quirky details and amazing materials.

CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?

MI: It speeds things up, but I personally like to work by hand, especially when developing patterns because it adds some texture and depth to the designs. Technology is allowing a lot of new techniques and properties in textile design to be explored, so that development is really interesting to follow!

CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths?

MI: Definitely, I think I see potential in things that people around me don’t see. But I like that – it allows me to surprise people.

CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?

MI: Traveling is the best! It’s impossible to choose a favorite place, but I recently went to Berlin for the fifth time and it still has so much to offer. Traveling lets me feel the rhythm of other cities and reminds me that there is so much out there to experience. In a few weeks I’m heading to Greenland for the first time, so I am really looking forward to that!

CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?

MI: Most of my books are about art or design, so I use them mainly for inspiration. I also collect vintage books because of the beautiful patterns on the covers. When I’m on holiday I end up borrowing my dad’s old novels from the 1940’s and 60’s about sailing out on adventure searching for undiscovered tropical islands.

CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your artwork?

MI: I am in the middle of starting a design studio with my sister, so I am very excited and hopeful about that! We work so well together, so I am looking forward to getting started. We have an online shop together on Instagram (@vintage_cph), where we sell vintage posters and interior, so we are hoping to expand somehow.

CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?

MI: Even when I’m not physically at my desk creating things, I am working out ideas in my head. It is such a big part of me, and I use my artistic sense in so many ways throughout the day. But I rarely work in the same medium, in the same way. I get bored, so things have to be shaken up.

CH.89: What’s the last song you listened to?

MI: I listen to different music all the time. This past week I have been listening a lot to Solange’s “Don’t Touch My Hair” and “Cranes in the Sky”. Her music videos are also really beautiful.

CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your artwork?

MI: I try to create work that is both systemic as well as complex. So visual balance and composition are very important to me. From textile design I am used to working with pattern repeats and grids, so I like to deviate from that world by fragmenting the elements and putting them into new contexts.

CHECK OUT MORE ON: MILLE ISRAELSON 

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