Since her debuts in rural Austria more then 10 years ago Frau Isa has worked on many surfaces, many of them as huge as houses. Nowaday she is known mostly for her murals and her unique distinctiv style brimming with positivity, warmth, and various reappearing symbols, figures and forms.
Beside the occasional wall, Frau Isa also paints on canvas, analogue and digital ones, creating acrylic paintings and digital illustrations for a wide range of costumers. Together with her husband, Isa is also part of the studio Wald und Schwert, combinging her illustrational skills with graphic design.
Frau Isa is juggling several lives, while still staying true her welcoming and humble nature and her goal to make the world a more beautiful place. I am very grateful that she took some time to answer my four questions:
For me, growing up in Vienna it was almost impossible not to see you rising up in the Street Art Scene during this past decade. You were drawn to the public walls even in the early beginnings of your artistic career in the rural parts of Austria. What is it about the big walls that attracts you? Does size matter?
What makes it so special and appealing to me, is the challenge to paint in this bigger dimensions. There is some sort of pressure to it, cause you know, it is seen by a lot of people. If I mess up it will be there anyways. That makes it so interesting… I am working without a detailed sketch, grids or beamers, because for me it has to be spontaneous and free. I like that.
In an interview with vantagepoint radio during the Artscape festival in Stockholm early this year you mentioned that, after delivering some murals which didn’t meet your own expectations due to a lack of time, you will now focus more on you personal art and less on illustration jobs with your studio „Wald und Schwert“. How does that work out for you so far?
I am still working on it. Figuring out what you want as an artist is always kind of a struggle. Of course I still love to paint walls and make illustrations for clients, but I have to make time for painting canvases, or other free work. I would love to have a few more hours per day, cause juggling familytime, friends, client work and being creative is quite a challenge.
In a talk for Creative Mornings in 2016 you mentioned that the content for your paintings and murals derives from vintage advertisement and medieval alchemic symbolism, opening up space for interpretation and self reflection within the participant. After all these years, do you sometimes have the urge to do something completely different style and content wise?
My style is changing all the time, but in tiny tiny steps 🙂 But I think I got stuck on all these symbols for quite a while now, that’s why I was painting less in the last months, to figure out how to develop something new without changing my style, because that’s what I am… The artworks I am currently working on are still „me“, but with a little update.
Your success in the street art scene and your mainly female protagonists are – willingly or not – a feminist statement, which wasn’t always met with positive reception on the street. How patriarchically dominated is the art- and especially the street art scene in your perception nowadays?
That changed a lot in the past years. There are great female artists out there. Even tough it is getting better and better, and women/girls are more confident nowadays, it is still a male-dominated scene. So I try to be as motivating to other girls as I can to show that it is possible to be a recognized female artist. Sometimes painting walls can be rough, but who said girls can’t do it?
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