Some people are just born to be successful and largely inspirational.. One of them being a young woman from Denmark - SILKE BONDE. Gifted with artistic and creative skills she is set out to do big things in the world of illustration and this is her story:
1 // Who are you?
My name is Silke Bonde, I am a 24 year old Copenhagen-based illustrator, graphic designer and recently graduated Brand Designer.
2 // When you were a little girl, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Ha, I remember clearly that I wanted to be a lady working in a candy store and I think I also wanted to work with animals in some way.
3 // How did your illustrator adventure start and how has your journey been up until today?
As I child I was the creative one always coming up new ideas. Since I really enjoyed my own company I could sit for hours upon end with a little painting project. When growing up I thought maybe the advertising industry would suit me well, but soon found out that it was all a bit too fast-paced for me. So it was after moving to Copenhagen 5 years ago that I started working on a few different small design objects, where-upon some friends of mine encouraged me to start up my own blog, and so I did.
The blog was a very good way to showcase my designs and as I started getting great feedback from followers, my focus turned more onto the illustration part of my designs, which by then I had found out was my thing. After 2 years as a blogger I took it to the next level and established my own website and at the same time realised my first illustration collection ‘Into the Woods’.
4 // Most of your artwork is very geometric but you also work with freehand organic painting, what's the inspiration behind these two different styles?
All my artwork takes its inspiration from nature, clean aesthetic lines and my immense love for animals. Growing up I had a duck, two chickens, three dogs, two rabbits and two birds and it was this that inspired my first geometric animal collection.
My newest collection “Blue Water” is the more “grown up” Silke. As I felt needed a bit of time away from the computer screen, I moved out of the city to enjoy the fresh air and to start working more with my hands again. When working with water colour I am really intrigued by the idea of trying to control the paint and by doing so I am combining strict clean lines with natural organic shapes which you will see more of in my upcoming collections.
6 // Could you describe your technique?
For the watercolor art I actually start to paint with only water then adding a little drip of color to see how it develops. So it is actually the water that creates the colour nuances.
7 // How is the process from idea to finished artwork?
All my ideas start out as quick sketches in my sketchbook, whereupon I can see if they will work or not. The great thing about a sketchbook I think, is that you can always go back and be inspired by your own, old ideas. Then, after establishing that the idea is worth trying out, I will start making smaller paintings to see if it actually looks like what I have in my mind. Next step is to scale it up and then evaluate again. This goes on until I am satisfied.
8 // What is your favorite part of this process and why?
The favorite part is in the end when I suddenly get that right feeling. I am satisfied when it represents me while adding something new to my work.
9 // What is your biggest achievement yet?
My biggest achievement must be the fact that I have come this far all by myself in just a few years. I was quite determined from the very start to not only target Scandinavia, but a broader international market and at the moment I am selling my artwork in 45 stores in 19 countries, which I am very happy about. Many of the retailers having been loyal customers for several years now and they keep coming back to me for more, so it will be very exciting to see what the future will bring.
10 // What is the most exiting artwork you have done so far and what would be your ultimate project?
Actually I am quite exited by my new collection that I am working on these days – I can’t wait to show you! As for my ultimate project, that would be a collaboration with a favorite brand such as Ally Capellino or Mads Nørgaard.
11 // And finally, what career advice would you give to others looking to follow the same path?
Make something that makes sense to who you are. Find your theme.