Artist of the Month in the sales department - Silje Iversen Kristiansen

Jun 1, 2024

Artist of the Month is a monthly interview series where Tegnerforbundet introduces a member who is represented with artwork in our Sales Department. With this initiative, we want to give readers an insight into the members' artistic work and highlight the importance of drawing in their work.


Silje Iversen Kristiansen's (1994) drawings are rich in detail and are based on both observations and subjective experiences. They are precisely and painstakingly crafted. Time is a central theme in her work, where she captures the small but significant moments of everyday life. Kristiansen explores what surrounds us, and her work can be seen as a universal diary through the mapping of these moments. She graduated from Einar Granum Art School (2015) and Oslo National Academy of the Arts (2020).

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

SIK: I process human experiences and time. Primarily using paper, drawing, the sound of my own voice and text. The final form has varied a lot over the years, as above all I care about responding to the current situation, what just is, whatever that is. In recent years, I have drawn the series now called 'Weekly Planner' in which my daily life is continuously documented in drawing. I make small paperback books of the drawings, and each book covers a year's time. I'm generally interested in what shows up over time.

TF: Why do you draw? Tell us a little about your work process.

SIK: I draw to sit with the experiences I have as a human being. To see them from the outside, so that I can better relate, handle and understand. To keep, to hold on or to let go. I totally believe in the supportive power of our attention, so I also draw to give something my time. So it's really what happens while I'm drawing that is the motivation. The drawing is a document of this. The fact that I keep the drawings is a manifestation to myself and others that our lives have value. Nothing much has to happen to be worth drawing.

My work process is something like this: I get up and do what is necessary, from day to day. I don't have a studio, and I'm probably not meant to, as circumstances constantly draw me to other situations and spaces where I'm put to work or have some kind of responsibility. When an experience sticks out, I make a note of it by taking a picture with the camera on my phone, which I then draw from, with marker pen on paper. I draw wherever I can, often early in the morning before I go out, or when I get home. I'm lucky that I can draw completely undisturbed at home in my dormitory.

TF: Can you name any cartoonists/illustrators who inspire you?

SIK: Charles M. Schulz. I love 'The Knots' and have two paperbacks under my pillow.

TF: What themes concern you as an artist?

SIK: The existential and trivial ones I've experienced myself. - Work and what we do to survive. Routines and rituals that maintain life. Everyday life and the choices we make. Tangible and intangible values. How we move our surroundings and how our surroundings move us. Over the past three years, responsibility, illness and death have characterized my life. As a result, spirituality and faith have taken up more and more space.

TF: What is the role of illustration and drawing today?

SIK: Drawing can show us how something is experienced, not just how it looks. It's an important document of what it means to be human and, like all art, it shows how powerful each of us is as a co-creator. Drawing is also a very specific urge, and every urge comes from somewhere, it has will and energy. It needs to be listened to, like everything else. I think it's especially important nowadays to hold on to the materiality of drawing as the world becomes increasingly slick and digital. As a body, I've always identified with lines and paper as material. It reminds me of how vulnerable we are.

TF: What does it mean to draw for you in your work?

SIK: Drawing for me means an opportunity to give something or someone my full attention and time. I've always been concerned with energy and attention. It doesn't make sense to me that I can put time and energy into a drawing and it doesn't mean anything because no one knows about it. It became obvious to me when my father passed on. - I noticed that a kind of supporting beam disappeared under me, that it moved on with him. He's there, but not in the same way as before.

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

ANSWER: The ones that are out now are drawings from the aforementioned 'Weekly Planner' series that I've been drawing on since 2021. They are drawn on ordinary copy paper, mostly. I like this paper - it has soul. I prefer to use materials that reflect my life, and that often means the paper that already exists where I am or that falls into my hands through environments I participate in.


Image (crop): Silje Iversen Kristiansen. Finished eating.


See available drawings by Silje Iversen Kristiansen in our webshop.