Interview ~ Monika Strigel

Bio

I live with my family (husband, two kids, two dogs, one cat) in the very beautiful landscape Allgäu in the south of Bavaria, Germany and I`m working as a full time artist. I`m a very positive and optimistic Aquarius and I believe in Unicorns, Mermaids, Glitter and Karma. I`m a coffee addict and I don`t like to talk about myself. Modesty, respect, gratitude, friendlieness and honesty are very important in my life. I don`t invest my time in humans, that don`t share these values. This leads to less friends, but also to less drama :).

1) Tell us a little about yourself, and your calling as a creative?

When I was at the ago of ten, my art teacher told me, that I should earn my money with doing arts. I wanted to earn my money as a professional horse rider and my parents decided that I should earn my money with working in a bank. Guess who won?
Today, I can live my dream, I`m a full time artist and I have no education, no art school, no graphic design degree, no photographer classes – but I can do it. I always had a urge to make things `pretty` – I mean, I decorated our house in matching colours, I planted our garden with matching colours, and this is what my work describes … it`s mostly pretty. Or cute. Or funny. Or pretty and cute and funny. I want to make designs, that my customers see and say ‘Awwww…. it`s so pretty! I want it!’ or I want to give a big smile to them. A smile a day is a very important thing and can change the whole day.

copyright © Monika Strigel
copyright © Monika Strigel

2) Discuss your process and where you get your inspiration from?

It all starts with an idea, and I love the ‘thinking’ process in creating a design. Some of my designs are build in many various and time consuming steps, and I don`t know, if this will work this way, when I sit on my iMac. I would like to have better skills in Photoshop, because this influences the artworks, that could be created with these skills. I like to use all mediums of art. The basic painting with real colour on paper, the black pen illustration, the digital options in Photoshop, photography and all mixed up.
Light is a very important ingredient and using pastel colours. I`m NOT ready to compromise, when it comes to colours. In the past I`ve made some bad decisions, because these colours were requested. I would NEVER do that again.

3) Describe your workspace? What is the one thing there you can’t live without?

I`m very lucky to have an extra room for my daily work. I started with a small desk in our living room and a laptop. Now I have two desks, one for paintings, one for the iMac.
The most important thing in this studio are the two dog beds for my girls, because they are with me every single minute.
I can`t live without being connected to people, so I need to have internet access. Although I won`t speak often to people online, I need the possibility, that I could, if I wanted to. I`m a very chummy person, but I have so less time. I could chit chat the whole day, but then, no work would be done. (Sorry peeps! I would like to chat with you, but I`m so limited in time! Miss you!)

4) Tell us what you do to get creative? Stay creative?

Mhmm…hard to tell. I have ideas during the whole day every single minute. I`m influenced by everything I see, hear, smell or read. I have a Pinterest board for ideas, it has more Pins, than all other boards together. I make a quick sketch or write down the idea, upload to Pinterest and store it for my next project. One of my biggest fears is, that I have a genius idea, but no time to realize it and another artist get quicker in publishing ‘my’ idea. This brings me a bit under pressure. I wish the day has more hours for me.

5) When did you decide you wanted to be an artist? And has the internet become a good or bad aspect to life as an artist?

I was always a doodler and drawer, all my school exercise books are covered in doodles. Each page had a flower frame or some patterns. But I never thought of making a living out of it.
I started a photography business for pet, children and wedding photography, when my hubby became very sick and we needed to have an additonal income. Parallel to this, I started uploading my photos to Society6. When I`ve made my first sale on a iphone case I was doing the happy dance! Society6 became quickly my addicition and still is. Without the whole business of POD with all the good and bad aspects, I would not be living as artist. I`m very grateful for this awesome opportunity to share my works with the whole world and to make a living out of it. Thank you WWW and POD!

copyright © Monika Strigel
copyright © Monika Strigel

6) What do you like most about the art world?

It`s so much that I will try to mention the main points, but always in connection to the online art world:
1.) I like the people I can meet and that share the same interests.
2.) I`m grateful for the support and the nice comments that total strangers make on my works or when they post pics with my purchases works.
3.) I like to see the various art styles, the fantastic skills of some artists, the ideas, the positive vibes, the funny ideas or creative outbreaks. It`s fascinating!

7) What do you dislike about the world of art?

It´s the big and unclear field of copyright infringement. Once you had a ‘popular’ design, you can find it on all places for sale without your permission. I`m very confused about my inner thoughts to this part. One person in me says, it`s okay, It`s your part to support maybe some small businesses or single mothers to raise their kids, with selling my designs in Indonesia or somewhere else. So I can give something back to the world. And the other part in me is very frustrated and downhearted and wants to ‘kill’ them all, as it feels so unfair. Especially when it comes to mass producing in China. I decided to register my name as trademark and I hope it will lead to better protection of my works.

copyright © Monika Strigel
copyright © Monika Strigel

8) What is the toughest thing about being an artist?

Last year I`ve got a threat against my family and me, because I protected my rights and reported copyright infringement on Amazon. That was NOT funny. This is why I don`t post pictures of me in public.

9) You have been given a room in a house to paint! Each wall has to be a different colour! Which colours do you choose and why?

White, white, white and white. The ceiling and the floor are white. White is the colour (of course, it is NOT a colour) that brings the pure, original spirit of all colours to their best presentation. White calms my mind and white is clean and plain. White offers room for creativity and happy thoughts. White reflects the light and is spiritual. Maybe I would change my mind when they invent a brighter colour than white.

10) You are being sent to a desert island and are told you can decorate your hut with 5 famous paintings. Which do you choose and why?

I’m not so into famous paintings. I would prefer to paint the hut in white and to decorate with photographies of the Allgäu landscape with every season pictured.

copyright © Monika Strigel
copyright © Monika Strigel

11) You are asked to draw an image of your favourite animal as the next painting. Which animal do you choose and why?

That`s hard because I love nearly all animals with fur. I`m dreaming of a doing a dog series or maybe cats. Can`t decide – I love them both.

12) You’ve been asked to hold a dinner party for famous painters. Which 4 would you invite? What would b on the menu?

First to the menu. I hope there is a good home delivery service, because I don`t like to spend time in the kitchen. I like to eat delicious and healthy food, but I don`t want to prepare it.
For the famous painters, I think you want me to think about the big names. But that`s not me. I`m more interested to sit and talk with living artists and so I would love to invite Ben Kwok, Bianca Green, Danny Ivan, the Fan Brothers and of course most of the lovely artists I`ve met online in the art world. I had the chance to met in real life artist friends like Garima, Nika, Tina Ann, Angela and Jacqueline – would love to meet more friends!

13) What’s your message to the World?

‘When it rains look for rainbows, when its dark look for stars.’ Keep holding on, look for the positives in life even when its raining inside your mind.

copyright © Monika Strigel
copyright © Monika Strigel

14) Which is your favourite POD, and why?

I love to be on Society6. I like the people I`ve met there and the products are great quality. They improved a lot in the last year and I think they will get better the next years. Looking forward to more great products and more great friends!

15) Finally

I want to point out, that along my artistic journey, I`ve met a lot of people, that were supportive and helpful. I`m very grateful for that. I don`t forget, where I came from and I like to say ‘Thank you’ to these people and to the world in general, because I can now make a living with what I love most.

For more information and to see Monika Strigel’s amazing work, visit his website: Monika Strigel, or contact her here: email!

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