This is a short interview with Svenja / Pixie Cold, (28). You can learn more about our blog posts here.
Svenja was born and lives in Berlin, Germany. She has managed to transform her hobby into her profession. As an artist, she has worked with several clothing labels and even has her own well-running clothing line. We asked her a few questions and this is what we learned about her inspiring story:
My path to art
I never studied art but it has been in my life since my early childhood. My very first inspiration to paint were the Pokemon. My brother and I drew and painted them all the time when we were young ^^ Creativity has always played a big role in our family and my mother was clearly the supportive force. She has always provided us with materials such as paper, pens, colorful cardboard and much more of what you need to be able to live creatively. She told me when I was an adult and artist that she wrote in her journal back then, that she believed I would become an artist one day. But I think she never thought that three of her six children would later work as independent artists. The first three of us work as artists, two are studying and our youngest brother is still at school. It's exciting to see which path the last three will take. I have a very good relationship with my siblings and a very special one to my little brother because art has connected us very well as little children! We painted a lot together in our children's rooms and challenged each other. Of course, we also inspired each other, but I'm glad that each of us has found a unique style. Even today we meet often and work together on many projects!
Motifs and inspirations
First of all, I am inspired by the nature, our earth, the cosmos. I firmly believe in Mother Nature and her incredible beauty and power! Even as a child I used to read mainly animal books or watch documentaries! I cannot understand that some people can hardly recognize beauty in it and we, humans, are well on the way to destroy this gem. That makes me very sad! So I try to reflect through my pictures exactly this sacred aura which surrounds the animals.
Creating and mediums
I work really unorganized and unplanned. I always have something little in mind and then I start to paint and mostly I surprise myself. I love that way of painting! I hate it when it gets boring or too much work ^^ I think that more important than a specific motive is that the viewer can see the spirit of the artist in the painting. For me, it is important to feel what you paint. Then the painting will become real and authentic and the viewer will feel that. As for techniques, I love mixed media: watercolors, markers, acrylic, ink, and pens.
Art and your community
Art is my life. I don’t do/work anything else. I am reading about, doing and thinking about art 8-12 hours a day. My daughter grows up with art surrounding her every day and me and my boyfriend talking about art and other artists very, very often. So I think it affects my whole family ^^
How art helped me in life
Art has saved my life! That sounds very dramatic, but when you think about where my artistic journey started, then you understand what I mean by that. It actually started within an art therapy in a psychiatric clinic. I was diagnosed with Borderline as a young woman and struggling with depression and stress disorder. At some point, I had to get help and it led me to that clinic, where I met an art therapist. She reminded me of the love of painting, and from that moment on, there has hardly been a day where I did not paint or continue to study art. Painting is my personal way, my valve channeling my feelings and putting them on paper! It was so important to go this way. Also mentally, it helped me a lot! I feel very stable now, even though there were still some hurdles in my life. In 2018, I think I had my biggest challenge. I was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma cancer at the age of 27 and had to undergo severe chemotherapy. Not the pain, loss of my hair, or the countless appointments in the hospital and with doctors were the worst, but the fear of not being able to see my daughter grow up and to accompany her in her motherhood life was the worst thing for me! At that time and still today, drawing distracts me a lot from thinking too much about what could happen. I have successfully completed the therapy! Of course, I have to wait for the next few years. On the whole, however, such times make one more powerful than weaker.
Difficulties and challenges
The biggest problem for me so far was that a lot of companies just stole my artworks and sold them on prints, clothing and more. It is very hard because I earned nothing and it is difficult to stop that problem. I hope one day that it is just normal to buy stuff like paintings and clothing directly from the local artist and not from cheap companies producing it in China for less money. But speaking generally of artists who want to become successful, the biggest challenge is to find enough supporters. Social media is a great opportunity for people like us, who have been self-taught in one direction, to gain a foothold financially and successfully. Without Facebook and Deviantart, later of course also Instagram, I would not have found out at that time that there are people who would hang my pictures on the wall. That was really the beginning of my success and I am glad that these possibilities exist today! My tips for beginners in the art are: Find your own style, paint as much as you can to improve yourself and be authentic in your art! Do not be demotivated if you do not get known or seen so quickly. It really means perseverance, which is rewarded in most cases! The one who is really good will be seen on the World wide web! This is an unwritten law and I believe in it! You cannot give up too soon!
Ambitions and dreams for the future
I dream that I will always live from the income as an artist... If not, I will live under the bridge, but still painting the whole day! ^^