February 5th, 2020
The art of Sandra Hultsved is dark and haunting. Her use of colour makes the whole image pop and darkens the emotion of the the piece even further. Themes of vulnerability, death, pain and fear are common in her pieces. Her work also balances with themes of growth and survival and strength. Creating a dark and haunting image that also features hope.
Where are you from?
I’m from Sweden, grew up in the forests of Värmland, where I now have found my cosy house.
How did you get interested in art?
I don’t remember, I’ve always loved creating things, I guess art came to me during my teenage years. I was an outsider and didn’t have any friends, that’s why I turned to art and drawing instead. In the art community I found likeminded friends and developed my drawing skills. Creating art is what has gotten me through all my difficult times in life.
Where do you find your inspiration for your work?
I use my art to express my feelings and difficult emotions, but not so much as inspiration, but as a tool to cope with them.
In the aesthetics you can find a lot of inspiration from nature, it inspires me every day with its beauty. Also some victorian or gothic styles might get in there. Technique wise I look up to the old masters and of course modern day lowbrow and dark art artists.
How would you describe your style?
I’ve always struggled to define my art in one style. I will try: dark art, emotional, gothic, horror, lowbrow, imaginative realism, those are some of the styles I can see in my art.
When you sleep what do you dream of?
I tend to dream very realistic dreams. Last night I didn’t know if what had happened was a dream or not, but I was still dreaming the whole time.
Do you listen to music while you work?
Either music, documentaries or audio books that will keep me focused and paint way longer than I intended to.
What materials do you use for your work?
Lately I’ve started to paint with oils on wood pieces. I very much enjoy that. I also like using a mix of graphite pencils and ink on watercolor paper.
How many pieces do you make on average per year?
Hum, I will have to check that… on average 10? I wish I was more productive these days, but my energy is not what it has been.
Do you do commissions? If so what are your favourite types to do?
Not really, unless someone wants me to do something I feel very inspired by, then ok. But I’ve had too many bad experiences to enjoy commissions unfortunately.
What is your favourite mythological creature and why?
It has to be Huldran, I feel a strong personal bond to her. She watches over the forest and its creatures, but I also feel a fascination for her. How she lures men into the forest and spellbounds their hearts.
What's the biggest piece you've done? What is the smallest?
The biggest artwork is ’Yggdrasil’ a commission for my husband who wanted it to be the biggest piece I’ve ever done. The smallest, I don’t know, I’ve done a lot of small pieces, but maybe about 7x5 cm.
What was the biggest challenge when you first started making art?
Probably drawing hair and hands, I remember thinking that was really difficult. And backgrounds, I dreaded drawing that, now I love that part!
What's the biggest challenge now?
I’m currently in an artist block, and feel very uninspired and unmotivated to create new art. That’s always frustrating, but it has to take its time. I know it will come back and I do other creative things as well, like my jewelry. But honestly, marketing your art is the hardest thing to do, I still don’t know how to reach out with it. I just want my art to speak for itself, but that’s really hard nowadays.
What do you hope to do with your art in the future?
I want to be able to make a livelihood out of my art and creations. That has always been my dream, ever since I first started out.
Do you prefer Oreo cookies or Fudgee-O cookies?
Don’t know if I have tasted neither of them, so I’ll say the Swedish cookie Ballerina!