Artist of the Month : Mette Hellenes

Oct 1, 2020

Mette Hellenes (1964) works as a visual artist and cartoonist, and has been a member of Tegnerforbundet since 2008. She is best known for her satirical cartoon Kebbelife with the two characters Mette and Vanessa, who play on Hellenes herself and artist colleague Vanessa Baird. Here, Oslo's art environment, but also current political and socially relevant events are at the center of the action. The line in Hellenes' drawings can be described as direct, rough, almost thrown on the sheet. Words and images are rendered unadorned and undisturbed, and can at times even be perceived as vulgar. At the same time, a boundless intellectual humor dominates the works, and it is precisely this interaction that makes the Hellenes' expression so unique and recognizable. Mette Hellenes lives and works in Oslo.

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

MH: I graduated from the Norwegian Academy of Fine Arts in 1990. After that, Kebbelife began to take shape. In 1994 I started publishing them in Billedkunst and from 2006 they have been published in Morgenbladet. In parallel, I have made exhibitions, made animations, published books etc.

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

MH: In all the years I used pencil and watercolor. Now I mostly draw on an iPad, it goes a lot faster and you don't have to scan the drawing. And I can work from anywhere.

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

MH: It's about the time we live in. I can mix the autobiographical with politics or other current topics. I often start by reading newspapers. Makes sketches, text, draws it, and sends it off.

TF: What are you currently working on?

MH: Right now I'm working on a book about dogs. In addition to regular assignments with Kebbelife . And then I have a collaborative project with photos going on.

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

MH: Have spent my whole life on it, so it means a lot.

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

MH: They are Kebbelifeteginger, printed in Morgenbladet.


See available works by Mette Hellenes in the online store .