Interview 7. Caroline Dahlgren.

This time I got hold of an artist that I´ve followed for a while on instagram. She is a compatriot of mine, (a fellow Swede that is.) The people she paint has a certain look, a strange, mysterious and somewhat…I don´t know, “scary” look almost. Maybe that´s what made me think that she was as interested in “fringe” stuff like I am…well, you can say I wasted a couple of questions, but hey, if you don´t ask you´ll never know…

Me: Hi Caroline, can you please introduce yourself to my readers. Who are you and what kind of art do you create? 

Caroline: Hi! I’m a 38 year old artist based in Ystad, Sweden, were I live with my daughter and boyfriend. I mostly paint, and acrylic is my main medium. I also do some sculpting and drawing. In the future, I hope to combine my art with more storytelling mediums, such as animations, books and games.

Me: Are you a professional, full time artist who can live and provide yourself fully with your craft/creations? 

Caroline: No, not even close, but I would love to one day make it my full time job. When I’m not in my studio I work as a healthcare assistant.

Me: I really like your style and your pieces are amazing and anyone can tell they’re painted by someone with true skills. The “people” in most of your paintings, who are they? Where did you get this inspiration from? Tell us about it please, I am so curious… 

Caroline: Thank you! The figures in my paintings can be anyone, you and me, everyone and no one. My lust to create comes from a need to understand internal and external surroundings and emotions. I strive to make room for questions, big and small, in my pictures. I want to create a room where the character in the picture, and what it is exposed to, feels personal and important. I think they look the way they do because of my deep fascination with faces and people. When I started out, my faces looked pretty much like regular people, but I was interested in how I could bend and move around the features to make it even more interesting. I wanted to meet people I never seen before.The inspiration for the visual expression is constantly renewed, just like the inspiration for the story in the picture. Though identity, meetings, who we are as humans and why, are the foundation in most of my work. 

Me: 2020 is over…what did you learn? What will you remember the most from that strange year? How was it for you as an artist?

Caroline: For me, 2020 was mostly about learning how to be a mother, and following my daughters development through her first year. The love for her will be what I remember the most. I’ve never been so hopeful about the future as I am now, strangely enough.As an artist I’ve learned that, just as I thought, art is just as important now that I’m a parent. Maybe even more so. I’ve struggled to get the time to create, and its been difficult, but I think we made it work. To be a good and healthy person, I have to continue with my art, there is no other alternative. 2020 was not good for business tough. I’ve only been able to show my work on the internet, and I really miss meeting my costumers.  

Me: I Believe that many/most (maybe all) of my readers so far are creators/artists themselves and many of us are interested in getting good advices when it comes to promoting/selling our creations. Do you have any “magic formulas”? 

Caroline: I’m afraid I don’t have any good advice. I’m selling some of my paintings, and over the years some lovely people have found my art and keep visiting me and buying it, but I’m very far from earning any money. I’ve found that Instagram is a good way to quickly reach more people, but I’m so bad at promoting myself. Not sure if it’s good or bad that my work is so personal, and I won’t change it to sell more. I do what I do because I have to, not to sell it. However, the more I sell, the more I can create and if I sold enough to be able to do it all the time, that would be amazing. It’s probably good to have a masters degree in art. It might not make you a better artist, but it gives you the “know how” and contacts in the business. I’m lacking any type of higher education unfortunately. I think that makes it more difficult for me to apply for public jobs and get shown by galleries and museums.

Me: What book (or books) have made the biggest impact on you? Have you read and good books lately? (If any) 

Caroline: Not sure if I have a book like that, but I like dystopian sci-fi and books about the strangeness of being human. I read quite a lot in all genres, especially since I joined a book club. I think the best one recently was “Minnet av vatten” (Memory of Water) by Emmi Itäranta. 

Me: Do you have a favorite movie and/or series? 

Caroline: Bladerunner is an all time favorite. It’s beautiful, has Roy Batty in it and talks about what makes us human. Another film I always mention as a favorite is a Korean Thriller called “A tale of two sisters”. It’s absolutely stunning, sad and scary as hell (I think).

Me: Now, some strange questions that I ask because of my own interest in these “phenomena” and subjects…do you believe that humans have a soul or that we have some part of your consciousness that is independent of your physical bodies?

Caroline: I don’t really believe in souls. I think that humans are nothing more than big brained animals. With that said, I still think both the minds of animals and people are very interesting and complex, and there are a lot we still don’t understand.

Me: Have you ever had a UFO sighting? 

Caroline: Nope.

Me: What do you think UFO’s are, extraterrestrials, some secret gouvernment new technology or just peoples imagination? Something else entirely? 

Caroline: I think most UFO sightings are just natural phenomena, a trick of the eye and quite often people seeing what they would like to see.

Me: What plans do you have for 2021 when it come to your art? 

Caroline: I was planning to show some of my work in Malmö at the beginning of 2021, but with the way things are, that might not happen. During Easter, I hope to have an open studio during Art week here in Ystad. I’ve had my studio open for visitors during Art week for some years now. I couldn’t do it during 2020 ofcourse, but I really hope it will be possible again this year. I’m also planning on finnishing a story board for a graphic novel I’m working on. Not sure I’ll be able to finish the novel, but the storyboard will be finished by spring, and I might seek backers via Kickstarter for the finished product.

Me: Wich one of your paintings have you sold for the highest price and how much was that? 

Caroline: My prices is still very low compared to established artists. I think the one I sold for the higest price was a rather large one(maybe 120x150cm) for 13 000SEK. It’s rare to sell something that big tough.

Me: Wich one of your paintings is your own personal favourite? 

Caroline: I have so many! I have a few old ones that are very special to me and that I won’t sell. But I’ve also sold many that I loved and miss sometimes. I wish I could visit the paintings that moved away from home, but that would probably be a bit wierd.

Me: If interested (how can you not be?) in viewing and/or buying your fantastic art, how/where can one find you? 

Caroline: Aw, thank you so much!I put up almost everything I do on my Instagram, https://instagram.com/carolinedahlgrenart?igshid=4yx2n34nzx76
I’m also on Facebook, https://m.facebook.com/pages/category/Artist/Caroline-Dahlgren-konst-1398047997073813/
And I have an unfinished web page, https://www.carolinedahlgren.com/

Me: If you got to ask yourself one question that you believe can be of interest for my readers, what would that be…and don’t forget to answer it to. 

Caroline: Hm, that’s difficult. Maybe a question about what my dream project would be. I would love to do conceptual art shows and really invite the viewer into my world. A dream is also to make a computer game. I play a lot of indie games, and I think it is a lovely way to tell a story. My game would look like my paintings, and I think it would be a sort of interactive story. It would be so cool to be able to do something like that in the future!

Thank you very much Caroline, it was very interesting to read. Below you can view some of Carolines amazing paintings, agree that they are really special, huh? I really like them. I do recommend you visit both her instagram and the other links above to see more of her work. She has been really productive, there are a lot to see…

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