Tilde Grynnerup on Art and Choosing Your Journey
Tilde Grynnerup, a Danish artist on the rise, isn't afraid to create bold, meaningful art through various platforms, leaving her footprints in the contemporary society. When we discovered her colorful work, we had to hear more of her story.
Ever since she was a child, Tilde always searched for ways to express herself. This restless journey lead her to explore various art techniques and platforms, and establish herself as a bold, daring and very talented contemporary artist.
I this interview, Tilde uncovers her sources of inspiration, shares her thoughts on choosing your authentic life path and invites into her colorful world of being a fearless artist, mother and wife.
Tilde, first of all, could you tell our readers a little bit about yourself and your story?
I'm an autodidact artist from 1973. Born and raised in Copenhagen. My parents, a pedagogue and a carpenter, were from the hippie generation, which I think has influenced me a lot in terms of values and my view on life. I started singing and writing songs in my early teens. It was an indescribable urge and it came very natural to me. Unfortunately I suffered from stage fright, so there was a lot of resistance inspite of my love of music. So I made a choice to pursue the education in textile and embroidery art, as well as I worked with fashion, and specialized in sustainability and redesign, which has shaped my career as an artist. But I never really felt that I fitted in anywhere - until I had a child. It really changed me - I somehow became, who I was supposed to be. I think it helped me to gain the insight, courage and focus to find my way to where I am now.
You started your artistic work by writing songs and later by working in the fashion industry. How did the journey evolve to creating art with the help of pictures, paintings and wood?
Becoming a visual artist was never in the cards, it just happened. I stopped playing music, and I guess I was looking for another way to express myself. One rainy summer I started making sculptures in my dad's wood workshop, and I just never stopped. I was raised in his wood workshops. He literally had one everywhere we lived, even on the fifth floor on the attic of his apartment one time. I loved the smell of sawdust and the feeling of creating something. It felt very free and inspirational. I just never knew what to make, it was insurmountable. So discovering my own way of working in the wood workshop, making sculptures, was a wonderful turning point. I started to discover and explore female artists, and it may sound banal, but It felt like coming home. It was an amazing feeling of belonging somewhere finally.
But as I needed some education, I decided, together with my family, that I would spend two years enrolling myself in the autodidact school of exploring art, materials etc. That was six years ago and I'm still exploring. So now I combine everything in pieces of art instead of songs. The process is still there. I haven’t entirely given up on music though. I met an old friend years back, and when I told him music was over for me, he said the wise words of "never say never".
What is your recipe for finding inspiration?
Inspiration comes and goes, and it can be found anywhere. I question everything. It normally starts with WTF!? Haha. And then I work my way into the core of what I'm trying to express and how to express it in the clearest way. I have a built in opposer, that's a great inspiration too. And all the bullshit and all the hard stuff and all the beauty, life and love - it is all inspirational to me.
Last, but not least - all the amazing creators before us, who paved the way and gave us a mirror to recognize ourselves in, so that we don’t have to feel so alone. Brave women artists in history, daring to express themselves. That has been a huge inspiration to me. Not in what I create, but in how I create and why. We are not without history.
Bright colors and geometrical shapes in Tilde Grynnerup's wooden art piece
How would you describe your artistic style?
Simply put, I would describe it as playful and, perhaps, hopeful.
Having mastered various techniques and platforms for making art, how do you choose the right one for a specific artwork? What is your favorite technique that you find helps you express yourself artistically the most?
Well, I actually don’t have a favorite technique. Every idea or vision fits into a certain media that expresses it the best way. The idea and the technique occurs simultaneously, and I think the important thing for me is not to limit myself.
Everything is possible, if it fits the idea. Right now I'm working on a short artfilm with my husband and filmmaker Stopher Secher, because a film expresses this particular vision the best.
Sometimes even the best artists face moments of feeling “stuck” creatively. How do you deal with these experiences?
If I feel stuck, I have begun to think of it as a break, a time to take it easy and open my mind up to the world. The Buddhists say, "don’t fight it, don’t follow it. Just let it be". Its hard, but it is also such a relief when you succeed.
What is the best thing about what you do at this point in time?
The best thing about what I do is that it makes sense. I don’t feel like I should be doing anything else.
"The best part about what I do is that it makes sense. I don't feel like I should be doing anything else"
What do you perceive as the most challenging part about what you do and how do you tackle it?
No doubt the hardest challenge is the unsafety. As an artist, you have none of the benefits of being in a steady job. It’s unpredictable and unstable. I think most people thrive on art and get inspiration, energy and hope from it. Important things in life, you know! But there is nothing conform about it for the artist. You HAVE to have that fire within you to burn through all the hardships.
I tackle the hard times by reminding myself that I only have one life, and try to live it in the most authentic way. I have some incredibly talented friends in all sorts of fields of work, and I sometimes envy them for being good at jobs with retirement savings, benefits etc. But this is what I do, there is no way around it. For now anyway.
Do you have a favorite piece among your artwork? Is there a special story behind it?
I don’t have a particular favorite, but I would like to highlight a few. Firstly, my anatomical heart punchbag, currently exhibited in Kunsthal Brantebjerg. It expresses how we expose our hearts to beating every time we engage in life and other people. Secondly, I would like to point out the vintage girdle with embroidered “it’s very complicated/wonderful”. And latsly, my project "Private messages in public places", where I really wanted to address the loneliness and state the fact that people crucially need other people.
Which leads me back to the anatomical heart punchbag, because there is no way around vulnerability when we engage. And the circle closes with the vintage girdle, because it just is very complicated and wonderful. The whole process of living. An ongoing circle of complicated wonderfulness.
Having experience within the fashion industry, Tilde created a line of clothing art - LIKE - that captures the prints of a female body
When working for yourself you need to have certain structures and routines. What is your best productivity and time management advice that helps you focus on your work and achieve your goals?
I'm not very structured. I work impulsively and intuitively and my goals are often diffuse. So I guess my son is my primary routine. I work around him and the agenda of his day. And then I just go at it, at any hour of the day or night. A lot of days I wing it and go with the flow, if I get an idea I follow up on it right away. Though sometimes I think about it for months before executing an idea. If I have a deadline, my husband, who is also self-employed, and I are really good at supporting each other, giving each other the time and peace to finish our projects. I'm just really really diligently working non stop in periods, and in other periods I kind of just want to sit and look out the window. So my advice would be to find the best way that suits you and your temper.
"I think you find your creative voice by exploring, being hones and daring to put yourself out there"
If you could give one advice to other women that could help them find their own creative voice, what would it be?
I think you find your creative voice by exploring, being honest, and daring to put yourself out there in the uncertainty for possible failure. You have to look at the world and think beyond yourself.
What advice would you give your younger self that you think would have helped you along your journey if you knew about it?
Instead of giving advice to a younger me, I would rather give her a hug and tell her not to worry so much, because she’s doing fine and everything will be okay.
But of course, If I had to, it would be something in the lines of: work hard, be patient, try not to take everything too seriously, and don’t worry about what other people think. And have FUN!
We are always looking out for more inspiration. Could you recommend us and our readers some Instagram accounts that you follow and we also have to?
Thank you very much for the interview, Tilde!
➸ Head over to Tilde Grynnerup's inspiring Instagram account for colors, modern art and positive vibes.
Interview by Mermaid Stories
Photos Courtesy of Tilde Grynnerup