Angie H. Iver‘s artwork has a dream-like affect to it — surreal in content, and hazy and sometimes dark in execution. In fact, depending on your perspective, some might argue more nightmarish than dreamlike. Born in a “a pretty charming medieval town” in East Germany, Iver has since moved on to the larger Düsseldorf to study art and progress her career. Read our interview below with the upcoming artist, and if you like what you see, visit her Etsy Shop and pick up a drawing or two…
Has Düsseldorf influenced your work?
I changed a lot during the last year. Düsseldorf surely was a reason, but I was mostly influenced by what I experienced in art school. The two influences go hand in hand, because there are museums and exhibitions everywhere in Düsseldorf. And the art scene is pretty distinctive, too. I don’t like it though, because it’s unbelievably pretentious.
Anyway, I’ve become open-minded concerning art, and I’ve learnt that I’m not a painter (and that I don’t want to be one).
Tell me a bit about your technical illustration style and technique. How did it develop, and what tools do you use?
Well, people who have been watching my development for a while know that I don’t only have one style and technique. I use watercolors, pencils, graphite, markers, acrylics, oil paints, I make etchings and ink drawings. And depending on the technique, the style changes. And I think that’s a good thing. I’m young, I should try everything. Some time ago I only used markers, and I always drew beautiful women with expressionless faces, and people loved it. Every drawing was the same. Sure, I changed the hair and the surrounding, but in the end I repeated myself endlessly. And I wanted to get out of this comfort zone, even though that meant disappointing some people and losing attention. That really happened, but therefore I am really thankful for the ones who don’t turn their backs when I try something new.
I see the opposite all the time: I mean artists on the internet and in real life (some really successful) that find something that people like and repeat it over and over again. Sometimes for years, sometimes their whole life. That’s not “style” in my opinion, that’s laziness, a scam. I don’t mean to sound arrogant, but it’s hard for me to respect people as artists who don’t overcome that phase.
I don’t think that’s arrogant, I think it’s a fair critique of a lot established artists who want to keep the checks rolling. Would you say it’s accurate to call your stuff dark? I wouldn’t go so far as to say morbid, but there certainly is a fair share of death imagery.
I would call my latest works kind of dark, too. But I’m not a depressive person, not at all. Some people in art school say an artist has to suffer to create good art, but I think that is arrogant, self-righteous bullshit, and a really poor excuse for not trying to fix their lives.
Hit the Jump to continue reading our Q&A with Angie H. Iver…
“Some people in art school say an artist has to suffer to create good art, but I think that is arrogant, self-righteous bullshit, and a really poor excuse for not trying to fix their lives.”
Do you know where that stems from?
I don’t know why my works are the way they are, and I don’t want to think about possible reasons.
What was the first movie that struck a chord, and maybe influenced your art?
I love movies, I even have a list of the ones I’ve seen and a list of the movies I want to watch. I’m sure many have influenced me somehow. I especially like Russian fairytale movies.
What’s up with the piece Enough Drama? What was the inspiration?
Enough Drama actually isn’t the title of the picture. I just wrote it because there was an art theft issue the day before and I didn’t want people to harass that guy anymore. According to him he even got death threats.
Well the drawing is part of a series of sketchbook drawings. I only use graphite and a yellow pencil for them and I got the idea to draw panels from cherrier on deviantart.com. I really love working on those pictures and I think I will make many more.
I usually get inspiration from every day life, everything that I see or that happens to me or other people. I like to hide things in my drawings. Nobody except me could ever get their actual meaning out of them.
Is there a message to the piece?
Yes there is, but I’d love my drawings to have a different meaning to everyone, so I won’t tell what I was thinking during the process.
What about Dandelion Forest Shop? Do you remember the moment the inspiration struck?
I don’t really know. I just started with the round thing in the upper left corner, and than I made another one, and suddenly I knew that they should be dandelion trees. It’s like that most of the time. I just draw something without thinking about it and then I build up the picture around it and get exited when everything fits together. It’s like I have the completed picture in my head somewhere without knowing it.
If you could smoke for the rest of your life without any negative consequences, or eat whatever you wanted without any negative consequences, which would you choose?
What’s the first thing you remember doodling that could be deemed “art”?
I don’t know what art is and what’s not, that is why I can’t answer the question. I don’t like calling myself an artist or the stuff I do art. I just draw, and that is all.
Who are your heroes, both art-wise and outside of art?
I wouldn’t say I have heroes, but there are some people I admire: Munch, Heinrich Vogeler, Batman, Bowie, Remedios Varo, Sandra Vasquez de la Horra, John Irving. I like each one for a different reason, and there are many more.
Lastly, if you were lost in a supermarket, in what aisle would we find you in?
I could be found looking for books.