Ida Gust is a marvel and the internet is a triumph. Everybody is better off today because technology has allowed me to get to know a little more about this wonderful Gothenburg-based artist and share the following inspirational pearls with you. Ida is a Swedish multi disciplinary creative whose colourful, intense, experimental and usually gorgeous images play upon the use of negative space and colour in a unique and striking fashion. Her cosmic silhouette illustrations are things of beauty and make use of precise outlines and mystic colour palettes.
Ida tells me about living and growing up in Gothenburg, Sweden, and where she looks for inspiration. Interestingly, regardless of whether they’re based in Birmingham or Berlin, creatives always suggest that they’re influenced by their surroundings and the rose-tinted lenses through which they view the world. Though it can be tough struggling for your art, it seems the creative industries are rife with the romance of creative observations and that, in itself, is comforting. Ida says,
“Gothenburg is a very soft city with a lot of creative people. There are a lot of museums, galleries, art-organisations and several art schools and the city is next to the sea. I live rather central so I can just open the window and see people milling about with dogs and shopping bags which makes for plenty of inspiration. If I want to, I can go to my parents’ place in the country to seek some calm in nature. There are different areas but I prefer the decadent parts of Gothenburg, for example “second long street.” There you’ll find bars, galleries, cafés, strange sights and smells, rubbish, beauty and a variation of people. Sixty percent of the year it rains or snows here so I guess we spend lot of time in our homes making masterpieces.”
This relative sense of seeking inspiration in the everyday, as well as the need to stay indoors and shelter from the weather, is something i’m sure many UK-based creatives can relate to. The thing that really earmarks one artist’s work from another, however, is the way in which creatives project their personality onto work inspired by the places they inhabit. I was keen to discover how Ida had arrived at her own personal style and why she uses specific mediums, she said,
“My artwork is often a combination of painting and photography and is rather stripped down. I started with photography as my only medium and developed my first images in an analog photo studio my sister had built in our garage when I was thirteen. I soon started to experiment with image-making and from that point I always had a camera in my bag. I remember my first ‘arty picture’. It was a self-portrait of me in my parents pond where I waded in with my wellies on and struggled to get the perfect picture. Shortly after that, I got in to painting and enjoyed it but it was much later, when I started to combine those two techniques, that I felt I had found my best means of personal expression.”
Ida describes her work as, ‘melancholy content in a happy package’. As well as finding her surroundings influential in the creation of her work, she explores the more uncomfortable elements of human emotion with her beautiful pieces.
“Usually, the time I experience the most creative flow is actually when I feel anxious about something in my life. It can be due to an academic exam, a visit to the doctor, appearance or a separation. I suppose the art provides an opportunity to escape into a world without requirements. Other than that, i’m inspired by molds, music, instgram accounts, clouds, the smell of wet asphalt and project runway. When searching for ideas to influence my work I mostly surf around on internet. It’s the perfect place to be inspired by artwork from all over the world. I don’t know too much about ‘famous’ artists but one Swedish aquarelle-painter I adore is Lars Lerin. He’s the master of aquarelle.”
With all that fantastic inspiration in mind when looking at Ida’s work, I was curious to know what she was working on currently and whether she would be applying her illustration and photography based techniques to any new projects this year. She told me,
“At the moment i’m working on a project in which I explore material things with the drawn line. I pick out different subjects that I relate to interact with them through the sketch. After that I take photos of the drawing. Hopefully it will all result in an exhibition. I’m also working on a major exhibition in Gothenburg which explores the theme of nature.”
Ida’s stunning mix of double exposure-esque ink outlines and beautifully stark photography depicts a variety of human forms and figures so i’m particularly excited to see more of her work as it branches out into new subject matter this year. As I previously mentioned, it’s an unending delight to learn more about up and coming creatives from all over the world and to sneak into the inspirational realm of artists from outside the UK. Ida Gust, in all her wonder, is certainly one to watch.
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Words: Emily Beeson | @younggoldteeth