Interview with Karin Hagen
q)Let’s start with the basics; what's your full name, where do you live, and how old are you?
a)My name is Karin Hagen, I'm 28 and I live in Stockholm, Sweden.
q) Do you have any formal training?
a)No not really. I went to an art school for about one year and before that I studied photography for about one and a half year. But I don't have a degree or anything like that.
q) Did the place you grew up in influence your image making?
a)I didn't think so until very recently. But now I do. I suppose everything you do and see influence you in one way or another. Even if you’re not aware of it. I think it's hard to see if I have my own style and what it is that defines my style. It's easier for other people to tell. It's difficult to look at your own work and be objective. I tend to see all the flaws and mistakes instead of the whole picture.
q) How do you come up with your concepts?
a) I don't know really. Sometimes I can think of an idea for months before I start to work with it, and sometimes I just sit down and draw whatever comes up in my mind.
q) Describe your creations in a clear, concise and understandable sentence. What do you call them?
a)I call them drawings. And that's just what they are. Lines on a paper.
q)What other mediums would you like to explore in your image making?
a) I just got into jewelry making, I use my drawings to make pendants. It’s kind of in the experimental phase yet. And I like to think that when I'm old and retired I'll get into ceramics. I'd also love to learn how to paint kurbits wich is a painting style that was popular on furniture and walls here in Sweden a couple of hundred years ago.
q)What is the best time in the day for you to work on a project? Is there one, or is it more about the environment -- maybe the right mood?
a) I think from noon to midnight is the best time for me. Not to early and not to late... I also like to be alone when I work. And I hardly ever just get in the mood to draw. I have to set myself in the mood by just start drawing. Often I just sit and draw some crappy stuff for a while and all of a sudden I'm concentrated and focused.
q) What are your artistic influences?...and …generally who or what influences you the most?
a)I love to look at drawings. I can spend hours on the internet just looking at other peoples drawings and paintings. I can't really say who influences me the most. There are so many excellent artists... I can get really inspired by just watching people and imagine what kind of life they live, what their personalities and dreams are. What their homes look like, what jobs they might have and things like that.
q) Who are some of your favourite artists/designers/photographers?
a)Jockum Nordström, Raymond Pettibon, Mamma Karin Andersson, Henry Darger, Drew Beckmeyer, Keith Shore, Ester Pearl Watson, Craig Atkinson, Marika Åkerblom, Matthew Feyld, Maxwell Loren Holyoke-Hirsch. To mention a few.
q) What is your next project?Exhibition?Collaboration?
a)Some friends of mine are releasing a record and I’m doing the cover. I’m supposed to be done with it already but since it’s my friends I really want to do the very best I can, and therefore it’s taking me so long…
q)What are your plans for the future?
a)Well, I have my little secret plan... I really don't like to talk about my plans. It seems like talking about them ruins everything. But my major plan in life is to grow old and be happy.
q)Are there some web sites that You would like to recommend? Artists, art communities, xxx,...!?
The list could go on forever. But I’ll stop it there.
q)What sort of music do you listen to?
a)I listen to a lot of different kinds of music. I just went through a 70s rock period. But for the moment I listen a lot to Cat Power. She has an amazing voice and her songs are really beautiful. And also to Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, John Coltrane and to the soundtrack from the Twin Peaks movie.
q)Do you collect anything?If so what?
a) Spongebob Squarepants Figurines… It’s not that I spend all my time on eBay to buy Spongebob stuff, most of them are gifts from friends.
q)What do you do for fun?
a)I spend time with my friends and my boyfriend. And I also spend A LOT of time on the internet. Internet and glue are the greatest inventions…
q)Any advice you can pass onto aspiring artists/designers?
a) Don't be afraid of not making any money. Don't have money as a goal. Let yourself be influenced by what you like. It's by copying you learn.