Interview by Kara Zosha
Hello Silvy, How are you doing today?
Hello hello! I am great thank you for asking!
You said that your writing process started naturally about two years ago, can you explain more about how that came to be? Anything in particular?
Yes, that’s correct. It is funny how it all started, my apartment in Frankfurt back then was full of pieces of papers with phrases and thoughts of mine. They looked very much like poems, so one day my partner asked me “ Why don’t you do something with them? If you write a good amount of poems I will find you a publisher.” This made me think that I could actually share something I did with the world out there. Ever since then I just kept on writing with the same self-liberation will, with the hope of sharing this one day.
Your poetry touches on topics of trauma women face. Knowing this is a healing process for you, is it ever difficult for you to write?
I think of myself as a woman, hence the traumas I speak about through poetry and I know that some of the experiences are relatable. The healing process comes in when through poetry I break down some experiences I find hard to deal with, so I am able to face them without hurting myself. The fact that words can help me expose it gives me that distance – a place and space I can go back to at any time I want because it is fixed, black on white, eternally. So to answer your question; yes, it is very difficult for me to write, but at the same time is necessary.
Seeing you also express yourself through dance, is that a similar experience to when you write?
Thanks for this question I think is my favorite so far. I did dancing for 13 years since the age of 5, then had to stop because of an accident that got me injured. How I got into dance is a story I will spare you because it is very long. All I know is that after a few years it became an addiction. It was hard work especially physically, but it shaped my soul. It was my escape from reality, just me and the music. Dancing and poetry are similar experiences for me. No matter how much I respect my poetry, nothing has ever made me feel as free as like when my feet slide on the dance floor. I want to actually dance to my voice reciting my own poetry.
Is there any poem in particular that is your favorite or has had the biggest impact on you?
I guess it is like if I asked you if you have a favourite article or interview you have written. Maybe you also would not be able to pick one. But I have some favourites among my poems. To name one, since you asked for one only I would say:
ɪt tʊk miː ɔːl ɒv miː (it took me all of me)
it took me few long journeys
to know that all I wanted to explore
was not the places
was beneath distance
It took me a few long navigations
to know that all I wanted to swim
was not the sea
was beneath depths
It took me a few long flights
to know that all I wanted to see
was not the skies
was beneath clouds
It took me a few long spins through time
to know that all I wanted to feel
was not youth
was beneath the present
beyond the future
It took a few long stages of me
to know that all I wanted to be
was not a woman
was beneath a concept
it took me a few short poems
to know that all I wanted to be
was not a writer
was beneath my verses
it took me all of me
to know that all I wanted
was just me
as I am
in not time but forever
When did you decide you wanted to collaborate with an illustrator?
I do not think there really was a “when.” I knew I wanted my poetry to be a collaboration of multiple hands with other artists, especially women. So at some point, I just started contacting people whose art I was interested in and proposed to collaborate on some poetry-art ideas. I received many rejcetions and got ignored quite a lot, this is the world of Instagram. But I finally found Nicole who was very open-minded and we just went for a coffee, exchanged some ideas, and see what we could do with it. The way we understood each other was very natural, so I guess the rest was a process of growth and discovery. This experience empowered me in believing even more in my poetry and indeed in the bond / support between women.
What are your aspirations for the future?
I have a pretty complex idea – I would like to make my poetry a brand. My first goal is to publish. I think by now I have a good amount of poems that could make a good manuscript and I’m working on it together with my editor. We nearly reached the end of the preparation process for a book. Meanwhile, I am trying to connect with other artists and develop a strategy for my other ideas. I do not want to reveal too much for the simple reason that I am not yet sure if/when this will translate into practice. But I know I want to work with my dance, as mentioned previously, make some choreography where either I or someone else is dancing with the poetry and some music as background. I would also love to cooperate with some pottery makers, and ultimately I would love to make jewelry.
Hello Nicole, How are you doing today?
Hi! I’m good. I came back from holiday a week ago and I’m feeling quite energized. Nothing like a few days in a warm place, having my days filled with swimming and sunbathing. I love it!
What has your journey as an artist looked like? How did it start and where would you like to be with it in the future?
This is a good question and I reflect on it very often. If my journey as an artist were to be a road, it would be one with a lot of exits and little signs. I say that because for a long time I felt lost in what I was doing and my art has been my most powerful tool for self-discovery. Drawing has always been part of my life, as a kid it was my favorite activity. At school it was the only thing I was good at and that led me to get a degree in architecture. Looking back, I feel like studying architecture was like taking an exit that was not exactly the right one for me, but somehow it led me to where I am now. It was only three years ago that I decided to get back to drawing and since then I’ve been focusing on it.
Where I want to be in the future is something I try not to think so much about because it makes me anxious haha. I just hope to be doing something that really makes sense to me and to be having fun with it. I am really working on enjoying the process and not worrying much about the result. I have goals like seeing my work in different media. I would love to work in editorial; having my illustration published in magazines, newspapers, and books… Speaking of books, it is a dream of mine to illustrate one. I think it will make me very happy to see my work out there.
How did you develop your art style into what it is now?
Once I started drawing more often my style developed quite fast and I see it as something very fluid that will continue to change over time. Sometimes I look at pieces I did a while back and don’t like what I see because the style doesn’t speak to me anymore, but I am making an effort to accept it and remember how it was important at the given moment. My art is a lot about expressing myself and the topics may vary from time to time. I take inspiration from different places, like music, fine art, movies, people I know or see, and my own experiences… All of these are helping to define my style.
With series’ like “QUARENTETA, the womxn who did not wear a bra in 2020” and overall all the pieces you have, what inspires the characters you create?
I like that you mention this series because it was the first time I felt I could speak to people through my art. I drew that during the first lockdown in Germany. Back then, I was working in a cafe and started noticing that people across the street were spending a lot of time at their windows. I am an introspective person myself, so I watch and absorb a lot in my daily life. People often ask me if I draw my characters after someone and sometimes I do. They might be someone I know, someone I saw, some artist I admire – but more than who they are is what I express through them. I am driven by topics like feminism, body positivity, and self-discovery. I want to connect with other people through these subjects. I know they are very important to other women and I love when they see themselves in my work.
How does it feel to see your art on calendars, notepads, tote bags, and other physical prints?
I love seeing my work on different objects people use in their daily lives. I myself like to be surrounded by art, not only in an obvious way like having paints all over the house, but also in the small things. I think it can bring meaning and joy to everyday life when simple things we use every day remind us of something that is good for us.
For me it is important that my work is accessible to most people, maybe one can’t afford to have a fine art print at home but something smaller, like a postcard or a notebook.
What’s it like to collaborate with other creatives like Silvy?
Collaborating with other artists is so good for growth. With Silvy it was the first time I worked with poetry. When she sent them over to me I felt instantly connected. Her poetry speaks a lot to me and it was almost natural to draw to it. I was surprised at how that happened because I am not that big of a reader so text is not often a source of inspiration for me. It was a very interesting exercise, as I’d love to work more with literature.
How can people support you and where can they buy your work?
I have an online shop on Etsy, where I sell all over Europe and I also take part in local markets in Berlin. Recently I started a new collaboration with Kuriosis, an online poster shop that sells fine art prints worldwide. For those who can’t buy anything but want to support me somehow, I have a profile on Buy me a coffee and of course, Instagram! Whoever likes my work can follow me there. I post all kinds of updates related to my work and all my important links are there.