Interview with Linnea Strid for “Love Me When I’m Gone”

Linnea Strid Love Me When I’m Gone 1

Linnea Strid’s exhibition” Love Me When I’m Gone” opens next Saturday, January 23rd. The Swedish painter will be showing new work in Thinkspace Gallery’s project room. We had the opportunity to ask Linnea a few questions regarding her upcoming exhibition, creative process, and her spirit animal.

What was the inspiration behind your upcoming exhibition?
For this show, I decided to make paintings and drawings of some of my fellow artist friends. Making a living as an artist is certainly not an easy task, and one would think that there is a great deal of competition, jealousy and just general bad mouthing going on in the art world. And I’m sure that happens to some extent, but personally, it’s not something that I’ve experienced much. On the contrary, I’ve received so much love and support from artists all over the world. It’s like we’re all in the same boat so we’re here to help and support and inspire each other, and I just love that. I’ve never felt like I fit in anywhere in society in my life until I found my place in this crazy global art community. It feels just like home and I am very grateful for the connection that we share through our everyday struggles with artist blocks, money, deadlines and so forth. So this is pretty much my tribute to all artists out there – keep going because you are amazing.

Depicting water isn’t the easiest artistic technique, what made you want to explore this style?
Haha, well basically because it’s a very hard thing to depict. I needed a challenge and it seemed like a cool one. I’ve been painting water for 7 or 8 years now and I feel like I’m finally getting the hang of it. The idea of combining water with portraits came to me one day when I just thought “Damn, being an artist really feels like drowning sometimes. Maybe I should try to paint that?” So I painted a portrait of myself in the bathtub titled “The Drowning Artist” and that’s where it all started.

What were you listening to while creating this show?
A lot of different things. Different kinds of music depending on the mood I’m in. Sometimes it’s indie rock, sometimes death metal, other days I listen to Beethoven. I also listen to a lot of documentaries. Radio shows about philosophy and science. And the Transgression podcast.

Linnea Strid Love Me When I’m Gone 1

What’s your favorite paints and brushes?
I’m really not that picky about brands, mainly because I can’t afford to be. I just paint with whatever is handed to me and make the very best of it. I guess I see it as a challenge haha. I wish I could afford top quality paint and brushes but meh. Some day. I’ll wait. Rather impatiently.

What does a day in the studio look like?
Well, I spend most of my days and nights in there. I transformed my living room into my studio a while back and it was the best decision EVER. I mean why have a big living room that you’re not actually “living” in? I mean I live in my studio obviously. Anyway, I usually sit down at my cluttered desk and pick things up where I left them last night. Or I start something new, but I find that hard to do early in the morning for some reason. The best creative ideas usually come to me later at night. I also have a tendency to forget to eat while I’m painting, so if anyone could come over to feed me on a regular basis that would be great.

Do you take your own reference photos, is the work planned before or inspired by the photoshoot?
I always plan my work before doing the photo shoot. And yes I normally take my own reference photos. However, not for this series and there are a few pretty good reasons for that. One is the artists that I have painted live all over the world and it would be catastrophic for my wallet to fly over to each and every one of these artists just to take a picture. I would love love to hang out with them though and I’m sure that’ll happen one day.

Tell us about the collaboration with your fellow artists for this exhibition?
Since this series is a tribute to other artists I wanted it to be some sort of collaboration, so I let the artists take the reference pics themselves. And I told them very little about what to do for the shoot. Only that the photo should involve their faces and some water. It has been really exciting waiting for them to get back to me with their photos just to see their artistic visions shine through and then work from that.

Linnea Strid Love Me When I’m Gone

What other artist work are you currently excited by?
Artists like Jeremy Geddes and Lee Price excite me immensely. Also, I’ve just recently started working with watercolors after a long time off from them and I’m soaking up a lot of inspiration from different watercolor artists that I keep discovering on social media.

What’s the best advice you’ve received as an artist?
Don’t paint for anyone else, do because it makes your heart sing. That way your artwork will always be pure and honest.

What is your spirit animal?
I guess it would be a mix of a sloth and a moth. And yes I just said that to be funny.

If there was a cocktail inspired by your work, what would be the ingredients?
A cocktail inspired by my art? Oh shit, there’d be a whole lot of bitter tears and suffering in there and maybe a tablespoon of humor and self-distance. I definitely wouldn’t drink that gross cocktail haha.

Linnea Strid Love Me When I’m Gone

“Love Me When I’m Gone” will be on view from January 23rd to February 20th; please visit the Thinkspace Gallery website for more details.

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