Artist of the Month : Anna Fiske

May 4, 2020

Anna Fiske (1964) is a writer, illustrator, cartoonist and visual artist, and became a member of Tegnerforbundet in 2006. In many of her picture books, sensitive topics such as having children and raising awareness of one's own body are conveyed in a direct and honest, but always humorous way. Fiske also addresses an adult target group, as in the picture book Trær jeg har møt (No Comprendo Press, 2017) - a poetic and moving depiction of Fiske's life. The playful and lively expression in her drawings is emphasized by apparently random brushstrokes and dabs of ink that she distributes over the picture surface. She integrates these in an imaginative way in the drawings, comparable to when unconscious doodles form shapes and figures. Anna Fiske has received a number of prizes and awards for her work, such as the Brage Prize 2018 for the book Elven (Cappelen Damm Forlag, 2018), and many of the books have been published in several countries. She lives and works in Oslo. More information about Anna Fiske here .


TF: Anna, can you tell us a little about your artistic work?

AF: As a 20-year-old I went to an aesthetic folk college, we were taught drawing, painting, sculpture, graphics, photography and ceramics, I thought EVERYTHING was equally fun and I couldn't choose. As a book artist, I know that I actually chose EVERYTHING, all expressions and materials can be used when you make books.

I am an illustrator, but I also draw my own works, explore different materials and thereby challenge myself further. Keeping the creative desire is important to me. I am also an author, having written and illustrated over 60 books in various genres.

TF: How do you use drawing in your work? Tell us a little about your work process!

AF: The different projects determine the process. As I also work with text, it is important that text and drawing both harmonize and clash, that they both complement and pose questions to each other. In some books I draw first, then the text comes afterwards. Other times I like to give myself tasks, write the text, then I have to figure out the drawing afterwards, disappear into it. There is always a story in my drawings, even in those that are independent works. I'm looking for a mood, a feeling. To draw for me is to be focused, almost absorbed with the paper. I AM what I draw, when you draw you are that line, the dot, EVERYTHING at that exact moment.


TF: What inspires you? Do you work from a theme?

AF: What inspires can be something very small, a thought or a question, something I want to find out. Nature is a great inspiration, being in it, letting your mind wander into the forest or over the sea. I keep everything very open when I draw, new thoughts must have an open door and are happy to lead me onto new tracks. The idea itself, the essence is carefully thought out, the common thread, but based on it, the thought and lines are free.


TF: What are you currently working on?

AF: I often have many projects going on at the same time, one leads to another. Right now I have four books in progress, all in different genres, one resting while the other is growing and sprouting. The books are also at different places in the process, two are at the beginning and I don't quite know the shape yet, another in the middle, the fourth is almost finished. I like to be working on projects all the time. It flows quite easily when I work, there is a great desire to create that I guard with my life. When I work I am hyper, as a person otherwise I am very calm.


TF: What does drawing mean for you / your work?

AF: I've always felt that I'm not 100% Anna if I can't be creative. Disappearing into creativity is for me a kind of 100% existence. I thought I would take a break from drawing and rent space in a ceramics studio, built teapots and other fun things, but what I was always looking forward to was that the things would be finished in shape so that I could draw on them, fill them with drawings . I have also tried to write without drawing (the novel Elven , 2018), but just writing was too boring for me to work with, so I replaced descriptions of moods and other things with drawing, and the desire was there again. So in other words, whatever I do, the drawing is always there in one form or another.


TF: Tell us a little about your work in Tegnerforbundet's sales department!

AF: I come from Scania and the sea there is to me like a blue heart beating next to the red one. The sound of the sea, the scents, the shells on the beach, the feeling of walking in the sand, I always have with me. For a few years now I have been making drawings from that sea, memories from the beach, different encounters with the sea, weather, seasons, the passing of time and the place that looks exactly the same.

My thought is that we all have a safe place, a place we can go to in our minds, a place we somehow always come back to, if we don't get there physically then we have that place with us in our thoughts anyway. The color palette includes sea and sand. I start with the colors, stains on paper, then I am inspired by the stain and the drawing grows out of it. I also write short texts, inspired by the drawing or otherwise. The idea is to collect everything in a poem/art book, but it probably won't be finished in a year or two, it has to mature at its own pace. I worked in the same way when I created the book and exhibition Trees I have met , 2017. The Havs book is like a kind of sibling to the book about trees, but with a different look at the subject. I was actually thinking of going down to the sea in Skåne now, but I won't get there as the world looks now (April, 2020). Then it helps to think of my sandy beach, the place where I feel safe, it is a comfort and that others who feel unsafe have their own places, then we can all go there in our minds and think about when we get there again, or just feel the feeling of safety and calm.


See available works by Anna Fiske i the online store .