Spending the last year in California, Danish artist Maria J Andersen has expanded her portfolio (and mind) with California vibes. We originally were capitvated by the artist's "Sad Robots" series and had to know more.
TH: Where are you from?
MA: I am from a little Island in the middle of Denmark.
TH: Where are you currently living now?
MA: My studies are in Denmark but right now I am visiting San Francisco. San Francisco is very different from where I’m from. It’s amazing! It has an "anything-is-possible" sort of vibe. After graduating this summer, I would love find an opportunity to come back to California to pursue my dreams.
TH: How do your surroundings affect your art?
MA: Last year I was studying in Santa Monica for a semester. It was a dream come true moving to California and it kind of took my art to the next level. New faces, new location – It was very inspiring. Anything can affect my art, it can be something I see walking home from the grocery store, music, or feelings like falling in love or being hurt by love.
TH: When did you first start making art? Has your medium changed over the years?
MA: I remember starting to draw in kindergarten. When I got older I started experimenting with paintings and digital art and now I am just crazy about mixing the mediums.
TH: How do you get into the creative mood?
MA: When I feel inspired by someone or something or if I feel a certain way, I make art. That’s usually how it works for me. Drawing while listening to music always leads to something good, it’s a great way to get creative.
TH: Who are some of your biggest influences?
MA: My mom has been a strong influence since I was a little girl (my artistic gene comes from her). When I was really young, I would ask my mom to draw pictures because my drawings would be so bad. So I would sit with her while she was drawing and tell her how everything should look. Art runs in my family, my twin sister and younger sister do art also. Besides being influenced by family - I was always impressed by the artwork on the Green Day albums. Chris Bilheimer has been doing art/design for them since 1997 and he is an amazing artist, very inspiring!
TH: What was the inspiration for the 'Sad Robots' and what was your process like?
MA: I got inspired by a sad story, about a woman who got hurt badly by love. I was drawing non-stop for 2 days. I wanted to make female robots that has been hurt by love but in reality these robots could be anyone. Each robot represents a word, a feeling. I wrote down words like “Helpless”, “Numb”, “Frustration”, “Closure”.
I started the project, sketching each robot next to the word/feeling with a pencil. Then I used markers to add the black outlines and colors. I used Adobe Photoshop to correct and edit the robots a bit. I played around with it and below you’ll see the outcome. I thought it would be fun to create a contrast between the heart + eyes with the rest of the drawing. What I did was highlighting the heart and the sad red eyes with pink/red so the feeling of being hurt by love was more obvious and clear.
TH: Working on any new projects you'd like to tell us about?
MA: I am always working on new projects. My latest art project is called “People With Glasses.” It’s pretty random and I just started but it will be available to see on my website soon www.mariajandersen.com. I am pretty active on the different social media platforms, especially Instagram and Facebook, where I post my latest projects and other art related things as they are happening. I use my website to write about my projects and also to show step by step, from first sketch to the end result. Recently I’ve also been doing many different things besides art. For example, I went to the Launch Hackathon earlier this year. It was a great experience, being challenged working with Graphic Design & Front-end coding, working hard and having fun meeting new people. Of course I am always thinking about landing that dream job.
TH: Who are some of your favorite artists ?(music, fashion, illustration, film etc)
MA: Green Day has been my inspiration for 10 years. I started drawing the band members, their album artwork etc. and my art got a LOT better after that because I was experimenting with typography, portraits, paintings etc. I’ve been dreaming about having a Green Day exhibition since I was a teen because I’ve made so much Green Day related art through the years and it’s really fun to see the evolution of my art.
TH: Things you like about Talenthouse
MA: I like all the different contests. It is an opportunity to take on projects that you might not do otherwise. Something that I like even more is seeing all the different art from people around the world on the Talenthouse Instagram and Facebook – It’s great!