An Interview with Artist Monika Cilmi

13 February 2018

Here's our interview with artist Monika Cilmi, who is from Ipswich in the UK.

Please describe your artwork style
My style is calligraphic and linear with an approach that relates to nature and gesture.

What’s your background?
My background is in Abstract art and illustration from my BA in visual arts and Asian art/Zen brushwork from my PG certificate and MA by project.

How long have you been an artist?
20 years.

Who or what are your biggest influences?
My work is mostly influenced by Japanese calligraphy artists and Zen art in general. Also inspired by nature and science which I link within my research.

How have you developed your career?
Studying and researching and then developing my website and networking but mostly, of course, working as much as I could.

Which current art world trends are you following?
None. I don't follow trends. I only follow my instincts and my passion for creativity.

Where do you create your work?
I usually work from home and sometimes in various venues during specific projects.

What do you feel is the role of the artist in society? 
In my opinion, it is a very important role and I believe art can improve lives and wellness through self discovery and the opportunity to express ourselves and communicate with others and the world around. Art in action for important causes is part of my value as an artist.

What technique's / mediums do you use? 
Drawing, calligraphy and illustration. I mostly work on paper and with paper for my crafts.

Which is more important to you, the subject of your painting, or the way it is executed? 
In my research the main point is the approach and the process therefore they are both important is a specific way. The subject as an input about my beliefs; the way is executed as for creating balance and fluidity.

How do you feel when you are letting your emotions loose on the canvas?
In my case is on the paper and it is always a self discovery and a new experience . I have the feeling to be completely free and in touch with nature.

What project are you working on now?
I am working on a collaboration with a dance company where my drawings become part of the performance in the form of video scenography and in relation to the choreography as well.

Any current or up-coming exhibitions?
Not at the moment but I am planning to have one soon.

Where do you find your ideas for your work?
Within myself, from my feeling and thoughts and also from nature and what is around me.

Is there an artwork you are most proud of? Why?
Yes, there are actually two artworks I am very proud of because they represent the highest point of my career not because they are necessarily the best but due to the fact the moment of creation was the most in rhythm and with a strong character revealing the spirit of the artist.

How do you know when a work is finished?
I just feel it and sometimes the “unfinished” is the finished work for me. My motto is less is more.

What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
Japanese brushes, ink, paper and artists pens.

Is there an element of art you enjoy working with most? Why?
The interaction with other art forms because I find it the best way to communicate and I believe in the strong link between visual arts, dance, music and poetry.

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