Insights from Kristian von Hornsleth on Artmoney International 2015

January 2020

About the artist

Signe Kisbye Mikkelsen is an upcoming artist living ind Aarhus. The last few years she has been studying at Aarhus Art Academy and Design School and working in Aarhus as well. Signe doesn't have a specific style but is still finding it by exploring lots of different techniques, skills and materials. She finds inspiration everywhere she goes and when she finally gets a good idea there isn't long time before the artwork is done.   

You can see Signe's gallery on Artboost here

How and when did you get interested in art? 

It’s hard to say when, cause I feel like I have always been doing it. I grew up on the country, where there is nothing to do, so painting and being creative was my place to escape. I began taking it more serious in my teenage years, taking art classes and reading a lot about art. 


See Signe Kisbye Mikkelsen's gallery on Artboost right here.


Who is your favourite artist? 

I really like the Danish artist Allan Otte, he makes these really realistic landscape paintings, usually with some kind of disaster in focus. The best thing about it is the technique. He tapes up areas and only paints in horizontal or vertical strokes, which you can only see when you come up close, because it looks so clear from a far. In general, I really just like the mood of his paintings. 

Another artist that I look up to is Chuck Close, who is an amazing artist. He makes the most fascinating portraits, which are either extremely realistic or more abstract as if the person he was portraying was standing behind a wall of little windows. Everyone should know him he is simply fantastic. If you get the chance to see his paintings up close, do it! 

How would you describe your style? 

It is a difficult thing to say, because I still feel like I am finding it. I have always cared about technique and skill. Therefore, I have spent a lot of time training it, so many of my works has got a little bit of realism in them. Even though I almost never do completely abstract things, I still like to have little abstractions hidden within. But my style is still changing. Some days I sit down and do photorealistic balloon drawings and other days I decide to do collage or big pencil drawings. So I am always excited to see what will happen next.  


See Signe Kisbye Mikkelsen's gallery on Artboost right here.


What are your sources for inspiration? 

My sources of inspiration can be everything. I like to observe, and when I am out in the world, I always try to look around and see everything around me. I especially like the quiet moments. Maybe it is the way a leaf is leaning from a plant or the way light is falling on my best friends face or a sleeping lady on a bus. Everything. 

How is the creation process for you? 

It usually starts with a bit of thinking, and gathering some materials that I feel like using in that moment. The whole process of actually putting paint on paper is very quick for me. I do not spend months creating one artwork. Probably I only use one day, even if it is a huge artwork. But I often get super productive one week and then I spend a few weeks thinking again and then I start again... And so the cycle goes on.   

What are your favourite materials to work with? 

As said before I change around in materials a lot, so I will focus on which ones I use right now. And at the moment I really like paper, all sorts of paper. It can be brown paper, thin paper or normal print paper. There is something very lovely and fragile about paper. Of course it is not only paper, but when a thin, almost see-through piece of paper gets a thick stroke of paint on top, or just a suddel line with a pencil, something happens. So the next things you will be seeing is probably a lot of paper. 


See Signe Kisbye Mikkelsen's gallery on Artboost right here.


What is the best advice given to you as an artist? 

I have had many great teachers over the years and they have all given me great advice. In the end, the best advice I ever got is probably ‘to keep
going’. Being an artist is not always easy, but no matter what I will just keep going… Maybe followed by ‘remember to have fun with it’. 

Is Aarhus a good place to work as an artist? 

For me Aarhus is a great place to be. I came to Aarhus a few years ago, after living in a very small town for most of my life. After a very short time I felt so at home in Aarhus. There are always creative things to find and people with ideas to inspire you. If you look around you, there are many possibilities. 

Does Aarhus city affect and inspire you as an artist? 

I think I am always inspired by the place I live and Aarhus is no exception to that. I like the mood of the city, it is alive but it is still calm and cozy. I especially like the wintertime, it gets frosty everywhere and I just find it very beautiful.


See Signe Kisbye Mikkelsen's gallery on Artboost right here.



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