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Thoughts & Advice from 5 Female Artists

AnaHell, Anastasia Obaregbe, Erika Clugston, Opashona Ghosh & Tabitha Swanson

We interviewed 5 Berlin-based artists on their advice for young creatives. Below are their thoughts on process, good art, getting known and success.

There’s Value Purely in the Process

“The act of creation is what makes me happy, creating something that didn’t yet exist….Don’t plan too much. My favorite work usually comes from accidents”Anahell

“I need to become comfortable with the tools I’m using soit’s effortless. That’s how I can get in the creative zone. But there’s also beauty in what happens when you make mistakes”Tabitha

Figure Out the Artistic Routine That Works For You

“I like to be regimented. I wake up early, draw until lunch. Then I do admin work and afterwards draw again until 6 or 7. Then I go see friends.”Opashona

“I usually paint at night. I get in the mood by watching an artistic film, flipping through my art books, having a glass of wine.”Erika

“I write every day and push myself to be honest in expressing my thoughts. It helps me grow and eventually create.”Tabitha

Take Alone Time

“Me time is everything. Being a little lonely is necessary so I can preserve myself. Then I can go back into society and contribute as a better friend, partner and artist.”Opashona

“I need to slow myself down to be creative. Letting myself get bored and daydream often leads to ideas.”Erika

“I don’t look at a lot of other art because I don’t want to subconsciously copy what others do”AnaHell

Good Art is Emotional and Makes You Question

“You usually need to look twice and ask yourself questions. Like what the fuck is going on? But if you need the artist’s explanation to get it then that’s not good.”AnaHell

“Good art doesn’t necessarily spell everything out. It makes you question, but emotionally not because you don’t understand its references or theories.”Opashona

“Good art touches me and speaks to me emotionally. It catches my attention and creates tension. I don’t like art that’s overly intellectual and heady”Anastasia

“When I see a piece of art I like, I feel it through my whole body – surprise, delight, empathy.”Tabitha

Self Start, Put Together Your Own Exhibitions!

“You need a team, don’t do it alone. And you need financing. If you have a website to show your work and a very clear plan for the exhibition, you can go to brands and try to get sponsorship.”Anastasia

“I just told friends and people I knew that I was having a show and once I did, doors opened and it actually happened. The exhibition was validating and rewarding for all the effort I put into it. If you do it, do it for yourself and just go for it. It can be as simple as putting it up in your apartment and inviting your friends.” Erika

The Role of Instagram in the Art World

“I made an instagram for my art and that made ‘being an artist’ more real.”Erika

“There’s a version of trendy instagram art right now – pink backgrounds, nipples, ‘fuck the patriarchy,’ we get it. Let’s go a step deeper than that now.”Opashona

“The ‘snackability’ of instagram art means each piece might be less impactful. There are more distractions and it’s less immersive. But it also makes art more accessible across race and class and means you can have a huge reach.”Tabitha

Selling Art Means More Than Money

“You don’t need to sell to be an artist but it helps validate yourself”Anastasia

“People find me through friends or instagram and usually want to buy landscapes, flowers and trees. It’s validating to make money off of my paintings, even if those aren’t my favorite ones.” Erika

“Making some money off your art or having a paying job can keep you from fully selling out, since you can support yourself and make what you want to make, not just what sells”AnaHell

“Success” Might Not Be THAT Great

“Once I started finding success, there was pressure to perform the same things I was doing, but I don’t want to be defined”Opashona

“If I’m not successful, I’ll still continue to paint so it doesn’t really matter”
Erika

Extra Wisdom

“I don’t care if people like what I’m doing. I try not to question it.” AnaHell

“Exploratory phases are like being a kid in a playground”Anastasia

“Sometimes I get this feeling like I might throw up if I don’t make this. But I also think it’s possible to create things I like without this feeling.”Erika

“When you dislike a piece of art, question whether it’s just because it’s different from the trends you’re used to.”Opashona

About the Artists

Opashona Ghosh
Opashona is a graphic illustrator from India, addressing queerness and femininity through her work. She also seeks out and tries to support queer poc parties and DJs. In Berlin she recommends checking out Room 4 Resistance and in London, Pussy Palace.
website | Instagram

AnaHell
AnaHell is an interdisciplinary artist and photographer from Spain with a background in illustration. In 2016, she saw viral success when she posted her photography project “Secret Friends” on Bored Panda. She continues to create absurd and grotesque photographs.
website | Instagram

Tabitha Swanson
Tabitha is a visual designer and researcher from Canada. She likes learning and playing with new digital mediums. Along with her artistic work, she also does graphic design and layout work for clients.
website | Instagram

Anastasia Obareghbe
Anastasia, from Berlin, uses spray paint to make large scale paintings. A mother of two young kids, she’s hoping to start her own art workshop for children soon.
website | Instagram

Erika Clugston
Erika is a painter from America. Her paintings range from landscapes to subjects inspired by myths, history and current events. She also writes for LOLA magazine and organizes events for artists in Berlin to come together and discuss their experiences.
website | Instagram

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