Interview With Alice Zilberberg – Internationally Acclaimed, Award-Winning Artist

Overblown and imperfect, sensual and symbolic, are layers of different circumstances and conditions that Alice Zilberberg explores in her compositions. An Award-winning Fine-Art Photographer, Alice communicates complexities and possibilities of human conditions in our contrived world. Her visual language merges hallucinogenic scenes and what appears to be a reflection of the reality. She elevates her subjects mythically, however, she does not spare them the fallibility of their entity.

The images go through mutations, they change in form, become fragile, dramatic or grand. Still, Alice exposes her subject matters in symbolic ways. The confluence represents the unconscious and the notion of seeing one thing through another. Alice Zilberberg taps into her imaginative psyche to open a dialogue about the female power, nature and challenges the philosophical questions about self.

Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg – I have struggled with insomnia and chronic fatigue in the past two years. Very quickly, my day-to-day life changed from being normal to becoming just about getting enough rest at night so I can stay connected to my creativity and sense of self. Above Water reminds me of all the times I’ve told myself to keep my head up and to persevere through my struggles. It is about that middle point where I could give up and label myself defeated, or choose to look forward and smile, believing that tomorrow will be a better day.

 

Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg – We often define ourselves by our past, and hold beliefs about what things will be like in the future. It could be difficult to remember that every new day has the potential for change. With every new day, we can start working towards a new goal and a dream. This image is a metaphor for the birth of every new day.

Interview with Alice Zilberberg

Jupilings: Tell us about yourself and how you got into art/photography-

AZ: I started drawing and painting when I was very young. I started playing around with manipulating images even before I shot my own. When I picked up a camera in my last year of high school, I saw that I liked the detail that the medium of photography gave me, as well as the dichotomy of the real/unreal that I was able to achieve using digital painting. I’ve been working in this style since.

Jupilings: The fundamental principle in your creations-

AZ: I would say that principles change during different periods in my creation. At the moment I am emphasizing trying every idea that I have, without being scared, and eliminating expectations of what it “needs” to be.

Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg

Jupilings: What is your perspective on life-

AZ: I always try to keep in mind that we have a limited amount of time here, and death is inevitable. We should try to enjoy and explore things we want to create or do as much as possible.

Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg – Desert Moon was created from content I collected during my travels through Arizona and California. I was inspired by the surreal and unique terrains, and was fascinated by the diversity of land that occupied this area. Driving through the vast landscapes reminded me of how small I am in comparison to the rest of the world. I found this therapeutic, rendering my concerns and worries less important than before. The oversized moon added in each image represents the calming affect I felt while spending time here.

Jupilings: What are you aiming for in your art-

AZ: My latest work asks questions pertaining to the state of being, particularly our relationships, whether to ourselves or others. In it a find a kind of peace that I hope helps others look inward and find answers about their emotionality.

Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg – In a transitional time in my life, I felt inspired to create Begin. It reminds me that no matter what happens in life, we can always start again. Wrong paths do not look as a failure to me, but only a path to a new and more beautiful beginning.

Jupilings: What surprises you most in life, even though as an artist/photographer, you narrate dreams, ideas, out of ordinary situations,..through images-

AZ: I’m surprised by different things, and I am used to the surprise. I think it’s important to keep learning and exploring as much as possible in the world. I think being curious and asking many questions is a really healthy thing, which provides you with wisdom for your next step in life.

Jupilings: What motivates you to take pictures, is it an emotional state, philosophy of life, politics or advocacy-

AZ: The creative process is a therapeutic one for me, and I hope that my work inspires others to look inward as well. It’s about trying to make sense of the complex human condition, to provide some sort of relief and even a sense of control over our lives.

Jupilings: Do you have a preference in camera, software or technology ? & why-

AZ: I am not a technology-oriented person. I’ve always been in the mindset of getting your hands on enough to create what you want to create. We often get carried away with all the technology can do, instead of thinking of what we need to do what we already do.

Jupilings: Which photographer has influenced you most-

The works of many photographers inform my work, but I think my ultimate favorite artist is Salvador Dali.

Jupilings: What is your favourite subject to capture-

AZ: I rarely think of my work as photographing just one subject; photography becomes a kind of canvas for me on which to create and paint over, making an image that feels like a digital painting rather than a subject. My favorite thing to work on is whatever I’m working on currently since the excitement, and the possibilities take over me.

Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg – The series Goddess Almighty is a reinterpretation of the first recorded goddess, Mother Nature. Worshipped in a time when nature was depended upon and respected, she epitomized fertility, the life cycle and sexual freedom, all embodied in a woman. Today, by contrast, we domineer and destroy nature. Our primary religions convey god as a man and traditionally devalue women. Reminiscent of baroque art, the work reestablishes the goddess to her origins, defining her as strong, mysterious and defeating. Dancers are used for their physical strength, their muscles digitally exaggerated.

Jupilings: What does women empowerment mean to you?

AZ: It means being in touch with yourself, your cravings, and needs. Going for it no matter what gender you are.

Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg

Jupilings: What are your tips about building a brand name as an artist/photographer-

AZ: I think that when you are starting out, it is important to just focus on creating whatever you want, without labels, branding, or anything. As soon as you are put into a box and labeled, it could be restrictive to your work, and you could kill the very creativity in you that drew you to create in the first place. Later on, it might be more important to develop a language around your work that you feel represents you.

Jupilings: What do you do to conquer fear or self-doubt-

AZ: When something overwhelms me, I just take the first step in the direction of trying something. I then try to focus on the next step. I find that if I do this, I very quickly either get into a flow or see that the experiment is not working. I will learn and move on.

Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg – In the Dark is a representation of the feelings of uncertainty that sometimes linger over me when I dive into the unfamiliar. I try to experiment in my life and in my work by doing new things that intrigue me. This is accompanied by fears and doubts about the future. Feeling captivated, but unstable. I always remind myself that only with experimenting, there can be growing and learning. All experiences, however uncomfortable, teach us something and become a part of who we are.

Jupilings: What are your thoughts about the blockchain technology especially in support of digital art?

AZ: I think different options to sell your art are always great, especially one that addresses the authentication problems for digital artists. I haven’t explored this area myself, but I look forward to seeing the changes in the art market.

Jupilings: Would you consider using the blockchain technology platform to reach global digital art/ photography enthusiasts? What are the problems in your industry do you want these platforms to solve-

I am open to it, I think the blockchain and art relationship is still evolving, and I look forward to seeing how it develops.

Jupilings: What superpower you would like to have ? and why-

AZ: I want to teleport to any place at any time, it would save me so much travel time and jetlag for any projects I’m working on.

Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg – In a transitional time in my life, I felt inspired to create Release the Sun. I often suffer from anxiety, and through therapy I always remind myself of the sense of flow I get from making artwork, which feels like a ray of sunshine. This image is a metaphor for this

Jupilings: Which movie you would have liked to be the lead actor-

AZ: I would hate being the lead actor in any movie; I am terrible of being put on the spot!

Jupilings: What is your life motto-

AZ: This is your time to do whatever you want to do.

Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg
Courtesy of Alice Zilberberg – The Dreaming Girls is influenced by the surrealism movement. An homage to the surrealists working from the 1920s to the 1960s. This projects seeks to channel the unconscious and unleash imagination.

 

Alice Zilberberg
Alice Zilberberg – Alice Zilberberg is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning artist, recognised by curators, collectors, and art patrons across the globe. Born in Tallinn, Estonia, and raised in Israel, she currently resides in Toronto, Canada.

Interview with Robert Vanderhorst – Surrealist Painter

Robert Vanderhorst’s creativity propels us to squint and examine the original or the rational with intention. At that point, you discover the conflict, the unacceptable, the unpleasant or the hidden desire. The imagery gushes over, the psyche is liberated, and the visual stimulus unravels the nuances of our ideas and rules.  He is adept at bringing together various mental pictures into a fusion of tenacious conventions, compromised perceptions, and wavering imaginations. His capability to point out that impressions, symbols, and patterns have unrealized possibilities, rattles the viewer. Although he deliberately composes the uncertainties, the freedom of thought, choice and the inclination of progress orbit symbolically and eminently in his artwork.

This painting explores the concept of choice. The choices we’re presented, the ones we make, the ones we don’t and the ones that are made for us. Through these choices, we can either find our way or we can be ‘LOST. Two divers, who know each other from past adventures, find themselves in an unlikely environment swimming down an empty country road next to a farmer’s field. The scenery is bleak and grey with the only colour being a hint of silvery purple on the distant tree branches. The corn field next to the road had been long since been hacked down. Snow fills the furrows and the remaining bleached grasses at the roadside crackle as the wind shakes off thin shards of ice. A light snow is falling. One of the divers notices a series of repetitive rectangular shapes running along the tree line and begins heading across the field towards them. A set of doorways come into focus through the cold mist. The other diver stops, hovering above the dirt road. He’s confronted by a foreboding black carriage with two harnessed horses standing before him, motionless. The diver stares directly ahead and is transfixed by the stars in the universe that envelopes the darkness of the horse’s head. Where am I he wonders? What direction should I go?
Lost – By Robert Vanderhorst – This painting explores the concept of choice. The choices we’re presented, the ones we make, the ones we don’t and the ones that are made for us. Through these choices, we can either find our way or we can be ‘LOST. Two divers, who know each other from past adventures, find themselves in an unlikely environment swimming down an empty country road next to a farmer’s field. The scenery is bleak and grey with the only colour being a hint of silvery purple on the distant tree branches. The corn field next to the road had been long since been hacked down. Snow fills the furrows and the remaining bleached grasses at the roadside crackle as the wind shakes off thin shards of ice. A light snow is falling. One of the divers notices a series of repetitive rectangular shapes running along the tree line and begins heading across the field towards them. A set of doorways come into focus through the cold mist. The other diver stops, hovering above the dirt road. He’s confronted by a foreboding black carriage with two harnessed horses standing before him, motionless. The diver stares directly ahead and is transfixed by the stars in the universe that envelopes the darkness of the horse’s head. Where am I he wonders? What direction should I go?

 

Fate's Passage Robert Vanderhorst
Fate’s Passage Robert Vanderhorst – The scene takes place in the Jardin des Plantes in Paris. At the end of the light dappled gravel path is the Museum of Natural History. The ‘Museum’ is on this side of the doorway, not through it. The mother and her young son are going out through ’Fate’s Passage’. As she exits, she slowly becomes the space around her. The man standing at the doorway is the museum’s greeter. The astronaut has recently arrived, confused but intrigued. Near the exit, the shadow of a stooped Churchill leans heavily on his cane and the grey figure of an arrogant Napoleon standing on the balcony both suggest that they been guests of the museum for quite some time. This ‘Museum’ is a spectre of our future. Last thing I remember, I was Running for the door I had to find the passage back To the place I was before “Relax, ” said the night man, “We are programmed to receive. You can check-out any time you like, But you can never leave! ” Hotel California – The Eagles

Jupilings: Tell us about yourself and how you got into art-

RV: My talent comes through my father’s side of the family. He was an artist/graphic artist in Holland, and he continued that profession after coming to Canada post-WWII. Once I understood that art was my passion, my career path was set. Seeing Dali and Magritte’s work for the first time cemented my love for surrealism.

VIEW FROM THE GALLERY, Part One by Robert Vanderhorst
VIEW FROM THE GALLERY, Part One by Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: The fundamental principle in your creations-

RV: Exploration and mystery. Keep everyone thinking and guessing.

Jupilings: What is your perspective on life-

RV: Life is short. Be kind and generous, work hard and stay true to your passion, play when you can, travel and experience life as much as possible and keep your sense of humour intact.

The Immigrant Robert Vanderhorst
The Immigrant Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: What do you sell in your art-

RV: To think outside the box.

VIEW FROM THE GALLERY, Part Two by Robert Vanderhorst
VIEW FROM THE GALLERY, Part Two by Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: What motivates you to create, is it an emotional state, philosophy of life, politics or advocacy- 

RV: A desire to create realistic imagery that engages, asks questions and searches for answers where the answers ask more questions.

Jupilings: What is your favourite subject to illustrate-

RV: Time and space.

MICOMICON by Robert Vanderhorst
MICOMICON by Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: What does “confusion” mean to you? Also, what about “Normality”-

RV: I’m most fond of one of my image titles, ‘And You Thought You Were Normal.’ Says what I need to about confusion and what we perceive as normal.

Jupilings: What does women empowerment mean to you-

RV: Equality.

THE AMERICANIZATION OF GUSTAVE’S PARIS by Robert Vanderhorst
THE AMERICANIZATION OF GUSTAVE’S PARIS by Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: What are your tips about building a brand name as an artist-

RV: Develop a unique personal style and stay true to your art. Work your ass off, don’t compromise, network and promote using new and old technologies as much as possible.

Jupilings: What do you do to conquer fear or self-doubt-

RV: Ignore it. Believe in yourself and what you’re trying to accomplish and ignore anyone who tells you it can’t be done.

Magritte's Dark Angel By Robert Vanderhorst
Magritte’s Dark Angel By Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: The disruptive blockchain technology is addressing the problems of transparency and authenticity for artists; it will increase art sales, democratize art investment, and last but not least allow artists to be fairly paid.  What are your thoughts about the blockchain technology especially in support of art? Would you consider using the blockchain technology platform to reach global art enthusiasts? What are the problems in your industry do you want these platforms to solve?

RV: I am not versed in this platform and at this stage not particularly interested in another tech learning curve. Everyone should be paid fairly and on time, artists, in particular, considering they are often taken for granted and put at the bottom of the list. If this tech addresses the issues you’ve stated above effectively, then I’m all for it.

Jupilings: What superpower you would like to have ? and why- 

RV: I’m happy as is.

Jupilings: Which movie you would have liked to be the lead actor- 

RV: I was a Zombie in a George A. Romero film, and that was perfect for me. Don’t need to be a lead.

THE SENTINEL by Robert Vanderhorst
THE SENTINEL by Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: What is your life motto-

RV: Life is complicated. Keep your sense of humour and try not to be an ass.

In the Absence of Light Robert Vanderhorst
In the Absence of Light Robert Vanderhorst
COUNTERVAIL by Robert Vanderhorst
COUNTERVAIL by Robert Vanderhorst
THE YACHT CLUB by Robert Vanderhorst
THE YACHT CLUB by Robert Vanderhorst
ROBERT VANDERHORST
ROBERT VANDERHORST

 

Images: Lost & Fate Passage courtesy of Robert Vanderhorst, other images from Saatchi Art Gallery.

How To become More Resilient – Leadership Skills

Nobody has a soul unscathed. As famously Nietzsche has stated:

“What does not kill you makes you stronger.”

Actually, truth be told, it is not easy to be resilient in chaos or adversity; however, research has shown that it can be learned. Stretching our mental muscles and drawing on key questions raised by the great thinkers gives us a leg up to control our thoughts and surpass oneself through the spine-chilling maze of setbacks.

Mindfulness, martial arts, and behaviour change are recommended however lasting success depends on self-reflection. Growth is fueled by practical wisdom and reasoned decision-making. So how to start the introspection to develop resilience?

Training the brain with philosophical counseling session to think clearly at infliction points in our ventures or life is absolutely necessary. The same way we curb the impulse to run for the door in an emergency situation on board of a plane and responsibly follow the instruction to put the oxygen mask first and buckle up, the process of observing our mind and learning from different schools of thoughts will empower us to take charge and develop resilience. The guidance will shape our perceptions and expectations into awareness, and our behaviours will become more productive rather than reactionary. Ultimately, the self-examination and preparation lead to a disciplined mind which helps us to leap over the fatigue caused by the unprecedented events, discord or even malicious situations.

Change Your Perception

“Choose not to be harmed, and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed and you haven’t been.”

The statement was written by Emperor Marcus Aurelius, the adherent of stoic philosophy highlights how perception plays an important role in your responses.  A terrifying event has the potential to be agonizing or not, for it all depends on your perception. Therefore, you have a choice to experience the unfavourable circumstances in dismay or learn the skills to build resilience.

As humans, we can exaggerate stressors, fret and run things over and over in our heads to the point that is uncontrollable. However if you can adopt a positive outlook and reframe disastrous to challenging, you will be able to deal with calamities, learn, grow and move on. A positive change in you perception is not to ignore and distort the reality but to ensure that you have control over your state of mind and emotional response.

Outline Your Expectations

Preparing your mind to question the underlying intentions of your expectations produce a valuable outcome in adversity. Since, the correlation between a challenge, an expectation, the course of action and the end result depend on your disposition. This means that unsettled and implicit intentions, an obscure plan of action or a goal will generate unrealistic expectations leading to resentment. However, the integration of philosophical notions to clarify your intentions influences your response and helps you confront the negative. Meditating on great philosophical ideas to become resilient and recover from adversity breeds self-control. This state of mind nurtures a rational, optimistic outlook to strategically analyze and gain attribution of productive motives from a third-party perspective.

The more aware of your intentions and your experiences you become, the more you will be able to connect the two, and the more you will be able to create the experiences of your life consciously. This is the development of mastery. It is the creation of authentic power.- Gary Zukav

Manage Your Behaviour

“Heroes are heroes because they are heroic in behaviour, not because they won or lost.” – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

It is just sometimes, the end results are unfair, unreasonably or wrongfully against you; however, the philosophical reflection will help you develop mental toughness. Ethically responding in the heat of battle sounds virtuous, yet, might not be practical as it is easier said than done! Although you have a choice to change your attitude or consciously assimilate a behaviour and internalize to deal with the problem. Effectively stated by Epictetus on Walking the Walk:

Don’t declare yourself a philosopher or talk about all your principles; walk the walk instead. 

At dinner, don’t discourse on the proper way to eat. Just eat.

Here’s how Socrates did it: When someone asked Socrates to introduce him to a particular famous philosopher, he did it without thinking “I’m better.”

When the ignorant discuss deep matters, bite your tongue. Don’t vomit what
you haven’t chewed.

When you are told you’re ignorant and you manage to be unruffled, you know your practice is working.

Banksy’s Exhibition in Toronto

I dare say that being a good observer matters more than ever. Peering into ourselves and the world unboxes the behaviors, the negatives, the positives or the actions that sidetrack us. The daily rummage distracts even the most intelligent beings; however a sudden tilt of the eye towards a mural or a poster sheds lights on our existential dilemma.

Banksy
Banksy

One of the most talented observers of our time is Banksy, the artist. His anarchic wit and his ability to dissect the challenges and communicating them in an intelligently uncluttered way is praiseworthy. The message is never lost in the image. A simple concept from evolutionary references, advocating for peace or justice to the validity of all kinds of love brings out the best version in each of us. His artworks push aside the narcissism of small differences and rely on the hype for compassion.

Banksy
Banksy
Banksy
Banksy

The incognito trademark of Bansky is attractive. His desire to act as a creative surrogate of empathy and heightened awareness portrays him as stimulating. Deep in our conscious, we form an alliance with his emotional intelligence. Unlike the desperate cry for help of Gotham citizens, who relied on one superhero to be rescued using the bat-signal device, Banksy lights the torch for us to observe, be responsible and take action.

 

Banksy
Banksy
Banksy
Banksy

The Banksy Art exhibition in Toronto curated by Steve Lazarides, his former agent, is a collection of references to our society and cultural idolization, obsessions or shenanigans. Still, his deeply-rooted mindfulness and generous care for the vulnerable are felt with clarity. An opportunity to see his artworks that will be returned to 40 different art collectors around the world, is worth the time and money.

 

THE ART OF BANKSY runs till September 2, 2018, at 213 Sterling. $35, stu/srs $32.50, children under five free.

Stone Paris Fine Jewellery-Interview with Marie Poniatowski

French designers have long created the most stylistically elegant and innovative brands. This outstanding reputation has been originated by the 17th-century French monarch Louis XIV and his shrewd minister of finance, Jean-Baptiste Colbert. The Sun King had an eye for fashion and with the help of Colbert, as the latter famously indicated: “fashions were to France what the mines of Peru were to Spain;  Louis XIV established France as the leading luxury and chic fashion capital of the world.

The French way of luxury attire, accessories and living have evolved from the elaborate fashion of the 17th-century to cool and effortlessly elegant style. Defined by “I woke up like this” attitude, the French design allow the individual to shine with a hint of playfulness.  The Stone Paris fine jewellery has this quality ingrained in its DNA. Founded by Marie Poniatowski, a Parisian from a family of high nobility whose origins go back to the 15th century admiringly creates sensual and modern jewellery adorned with romanticism.

Marie Poniatowski - Stone Paris Jewellery
Marie Poniatowski – Stone Paris Jewellery

Her collection is for the brave who is not afraid of the stigma of being emotionally tender but the one that graciously asserts ” I am the beloved who choose to abide or break the rules. The wearer is attentive to detail, gentle in nature and connoisseur of the timeless elegance. As for the androgynous pieces of Stone Paris fine jewellery, a touch of royal rebellion that screams rocker-chic will transform your style delicately.

Romeo et Juliette montage chaine - Stone Paris Jewellery
Romeo et Juliette montage chaine – Stone Paris Jewellery

Interview with Marie Poniatowski:

Jupilings: How do you describe yourself-

MP: I’m an entrepreneur; I design fine jewellery for Stone Paris, the brand I founded 14 years ago. I live in Paris with my husband and daughter. I’m very straightforward, so I always tell it like it is! Moreover, while I create luxurious accessories, I’m very casual, and my favorite thing is to be with my family and friends in my country house outside of the city.

Décor boutique Stone Paris Jewellery
Décor boutique Stone Paris Jewellery

Jupilings: What set you on this path of designing jewellery- 

MP: I used to work in the movie industry, but when I had my daughter, I wanted to make a career change to have a more “conventional” schedule. Entirely by chance, after a trip to New York City, I realized there were no fine jewellery designers in France apart from Place Vendôme… So in 2004, I decided to create an accessible, yet precious jewellery line that a woman could afford to buy herself and wear every day.

Jupilings: What are the principles in lifestyle that you want to manifest in your brand 

MP: Be yourself and be comfortable in your skin. That’s why I try to design pieces for everyday wear, the thinnest and lightest possible, so you don’t even feel them.

Yasmine bagues - Stone Paris Jewellery
Yasmine bagues – Stone Paris Jewellery

Jupilings: What does elegant design mean to you

MP: I think elegance is very subjective, fortunately not everyone has the same taste! However, to me, it is about sobriety and subtlety. I will not be the most elegant wearing heels and a gown because I won’t be comfortable. I would feel more elegant with a white shirt and a pair of jeans. Maybe it’s because I’m French… Less is more!

Cry Me A River Collier Or rose et diamants - Stone Paris Jewellery
Cry Me A River Collier Or rose et diamants – Stone Paris Jewellery

Jupilings: What does luxury mean to you

MP: In my opinion, Luxury has nothing to do with materialistic things. It’s being able to do something I love for a living, enjoying going to the office every day, working with an amazing team, it’s priceless…

Stone Paris Jewellery
Blood Diamonds – Stone Paris Jewellery

Jupilings: What is the favourite aspect of your business

MP: My favorite part is the design, especially after sending out the drawings when we receive the first sample and I get to see my creation take shape. Sometimes it surpasses my expectations; sometimes it’s disappointing, so I have to rethink the whole thing, anyway it’s always exhilarating.

Stone Paris Jewellery
Stone Paris Jewellery

Jupilings: What is the hardest part of your business

MP: The hardest is probably the administrative part, just because I don’t really like numbers and paperwork, so I have to be twice as serious about it.

Jupilings: What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have

MP: My only ritual is to gather the whole team for a big brainstorm before starting a new collection. I like having their feedback on the previous one, and their feeling of what customers want, or what they think the brand is lacking. I work very closely with my team, and I like taking the time to discuss it with them, it’s good to make some distance to look at the big picture.

Stone Paris Jewellery
Stone Paris Jewellery

Jupilings: Best piece of advice you’ve been given

MP: It’s not really advice, but how my parents taught me to be humble, respectful and hard-working, that’s what I try to pass on to my daughter.

Jupilings: What’s one branding lesson you’ve learned in your career and ventures

MP: Social media… It’s vital for a brand now, but it’s challenging for me because as a designer brand, people are interested in me and my life while I am not particularly eager to put myself forward. I try to get better at it, and I’m lucky to have great people helping me with that.

Jupilings: How do you deal with setbacks

MP: I used to be very stressed out and spend sleepless nights when there was a problem. Now I have grown, I deal with setbacks more peacefully. It’s better to avoid panic, stay calm and positive to find the best solution for the business.

Jupilings: Who inspires you and why

MP: I’m very inspired by women like Simone Veil who fight for women’s rights. I am so thankful for women like her who are willing to be pioneers and set an example for generations to come.

Jupilings: What does it mean to be a woman today

MP: Women have to multi-task today; we have to be wives, mothers, business women all at the same time. I think it can be challenging to juggle with everything, more than it is for men. Today I feel we are more aware of that and how important it is to support each other as women.

Bague Tess - Stone Paris Jewellery
Bague Tess – Stone Paris Jewellery

Jupilings: Which movie you would have liked to be the leading actor

MP: Karen Blixen in Out of Africa. It’s one of my favorite movies, and I have so much admiration for her. Living such an adventurous life in such freedom is amazing to me.

Jupilings: What is your life motto

MP: Living in the moment, not being too nostalgic about the past, and not worrying too much about the future.

Interview with Sue Tilley – The Artist & The Muse

“The most potent muse of all is our own inner child”

What is ideal? What drives us? What provokes us? What lifts us? We get moving by our physical requirements, by feeling safe, being valued, belongingness, but each of us aspires to reach our full potential and eventually achieve our transcendence.

“What a man can be, he must be”

Doing what we are capable and achieve our greatness is driven by force within our psyche. It can be an idea, a higher purpose, a passion or a muse. Whether an invisible spirit, a demon, a place or the most authentic organism on the planet, the muse deliberately takes over the wheel of a drive. It triggers a spark and lifts you to a place where you can release your genius.

Sue Tilley, the muse behind Luciano Freud, “Benefits Supervisor Sleeping “(1995) that broke records when it was sold to Roman Abramovich in 2008 for £17 million ($33.6 million) is the inspiration that pushed Freud to the edge of his potential.

Sue Tilley
Sue Tilley

Tilley, a local government worker in London and a close friend of Leigh Bowery, a performing artist, fashion designer and the proprietor of extravagant London Club “Taboo,”was part of the hedonistic lifestyle of the 80’s. She met Freud, through Leigh, who was also an inspiration and Freud’s sitter. The iconic plumpness of her curves and folds became one of the most valuable life-size masterworks of human forms. Freud’s exceptional techniques intertwined with Tilley’s authentic and unpretentious repose make the viewer uncomfortable yet with admiration for both the artist and the sitter.

Fast forward, Tilley has retired from her job, and she is exploring her talents as a writer, an illustrator and fashion collaborator with House of Fendi. Her cartoonish drawings of ordinary stuff are printed on Fendi’s Men’s SS2018 “corporate escapism” collection. She also creates portraits and draws dull everyday objects, as she charmingly characterizes them.

Screen Shot 2018-07-30 at 9.02.14 PM

The magic appeal in her drawings is her ability to observe and render the banal into a jolly artwork. She does not push any boundaries, only reminds us that the ordinary is true, it is present and part of life. Her honest illustration of things that occupy our life moments stamp her “joie de vivre.” Sue Tilley finds her muse deep from her life philosophy and hones her potential in a spirited style.

As for the inspiration behind Tilley’s adventure in writing the biography of “Leigh Bowery: The Life and Times of an Icon” was to pay tribute to her closest friend. She reveals London’s 1980’s nightclub culture and radiantly portrays with such a wit, Bowery as the most provocative and avant-garde performers of that era.

Interview

Jupilings: Tell us about yourself, how you got into illustration and collaboration with House of Fendi:

ST: I trained as an art teacher but I never really worked in that field and more or less stopped drawing. However about five years ago I met a Portuguese artist called Rui Miguel Leitao Ferreira, and we became very good friends. He encouraged me to draw, and I got the bug again. I had a big exhibition and a good friend, Julian Ganio came, and he really loved my pictures and bought several. He is very close to Silvia Fendi and works with her on the Fendi menswear collection, and he suggested that I should draw some everyday objects for spring/summer 2018.

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Jupilings: Which side of Susan Tilley, drives the wheel of her life?  

ST: To be honest, I’m not very driven. I tend to wait for projects to come along and just go with the flow.

Credit: Sue Tilley
Credit: Sue Tilley

Jupilings: You have indicated that your artworks are inspired by mundane. How or why you find excitement in mundane-

ST: Oh, I love ordinary things. I can find pleasure in anything. I didn’t really know what to do for my art exhibition, so decided to base it on my life and draw things that I like such as Dove Bodywash, Heat Magazine, and foods that I love and other things that give me pleasure. I haven’t got expensive taste although I like good quality things.

Credit: Sue Tilley
Credit: Sue Tilley

Jupilings: When you are creating a work of art, you are forging an engagement with a situation or an emotion. Do you aspire to drive public awareness to activism, in any stage of your creation?

ST: Sometimes Rui and I work together, and we put on an exhibition about Brexit and how it was going to ruin Britains relationship with the rest of Europe. However, generally I just paint things that I like, and they are merely for pleasure. I seem to get many commissions to paint dogs, I have no interest in dogs at all, but I like how the owners really love them.

Credit: Sue Tilley - Boris
Credit: Sue Tilley – Boris
Credit: Sue Tilley
Credit: Sue Tilley
Credit: Sue Tilley
Credit: Sue Tilley

 

Credit: Sue Tilley
Credit: Sue Tilley

Jupilings: What does women empowerment mean to you?

ST: It just means that women should have the same rights as men and be treated equally in the home and the workplace.

Jupilings: How do you keep your confidence up as a woman?

St: Just by being me and answering men back if they make a sexist comment or if they try to tell me something that they think I wouldn’t understand as I am a woman.

Jupilings: One advice to a millennial woman

St: Believe in yourself and don’t pander to man and their stupid whims.

Jupilings: What do you do to conquer fear or self-doubt:

ST: I think “ I can do this and I will do this” To be honest as I’ve got older I’ve had less self-doubt. You aren’t going to please everyone, and not everyone is going to like you so get on with your life and remove negative people from your life.

Jupilings: How do you describe your relation with Lucian Freud:

St: I just worked for him, we were friends like work colleagues, we had a chat when I was there, but the friendship didn’t continue after I stopped working for him.

Sue Tilley - by Luciano Freud
Sue Tilley – by Luciano Freud

Jupilings: Best advice you received from Lucian Freud:

ST: I’m not a great one for taking advice, and he wasn’t a great one for giving it. However, I did follow his way of eating..buy the best quality fresh produce that you can afford and cook it simply.

Jupilings: One thing about Lucian Freud that nobody knew about it:

ST: He was absolutely hilarious.

Jupilings: What about Leigh Bowery, what did you learn from him that had a positive effect on your life?

ST: Everything that has happened in my life can be traced back to Leigh. For the confidence, he gave me and the belief that he had in me. He was the best friend that anyone could ever have.

Credit: Sue Tilley - Leigh Browery
Credit: Sue Tilley – Leigh Browery

Jupilings: What are your tips about building a brand name as an artist?

ST: I’m not an expert on this, but I put a lot of my work on Instagram and Facebook and try to reach as big an audience as possible.

Credit: Sue Tilley
Credit: Sue Tilley

Jupilings: What superpower you would like to have ? and why?

ST: To be able to eat ice cream all day without it affecting my weight or health. I gave up sugar two months ago, but once a week I allow myself to have one scoop of ice cream.

Jupilings: Which movie you would have liked to be the leading actor: 

ST: Moulin Rouge…but as I can’t sing or dance I wouldn’t have been very good.

Jupilings: What is your life motto?

ST: Just say “Yes.”