We’ve been fans of Emilia Ilke’s artwork for some time now. Her bold brushstrokes, patterns and spots paired with sharp cut-outs of organic shapes, urns, and shells result in modern collages that couldn’t be more pleasing to the eye. With an exceptional colour palette, Ilke’s work easily translates into her home, style and through our eyes, her character too.
Cool and collected, with a confident sense of self is immediately apparent, but whilst openly admitting her aim to avoid adulthood for as long as possible, we sense a playful (and very wise!) side – all totally reflected in her work, home and family life.
This mega-talented mama of soon to be two gives us an insight into life in Stockholm, the joys and challenges of motherhood and her journey as an artist.
FIRST THINGS FIRST, HOW DO YOU TAKE YOUR COFFEE?
I don’t, haha! For me drinking coffee is such an adult thing and I guess I’m trying to avoid being adult as long as possible. I’m a tea lover and always have some oat milk in it so I can drink it faster. But when I have breakfast out with friends, for example @minimockspetra, @mimmistaaf, @alea_toire and @billie_and_i I always take a latte.
WHERE DO YOU CALL HOME? ORIGINALLY AND NOW?
Stockholm. I was just thinking about it the other day, how extremely happy that I moved here in 2014. Originally I’m from Uppsala which is 1h car drive north of Stockholm.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR FAMILY…
I grew up with my parents, four siblings and lot of pets. And now I have my own family growing with my partner Frekar and our son Igor. We live in an old school from the 50’s. In March we’re expecting a baby brother that won’t get any name because…
WHAT IS THE STORY BEHIND YOUR LITTLE ONE’S NAME?
…the name Igor was the only name we had in mind for our first child. It was my partner that been dreaming about that name since long before we even meet. He told me it’s perfect, “You can become whatever you want with that name, an ice hockey player or an artist” I didn’t really like it in the beginning and told him I’m gonna find a better name, but I never did.
WE’D LOVE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY AS AN ARTIST… DID YOU ALWAYS WANT TO BE AN ARTIST/ILLUSTRATOR?
Not really actually. When I was a child I wanted to be a hairdresser. But one thing I have in common with that dream is the cutting except I’m cutting shapes out of paper now. I started to dream about being an artist when I was 15, that’s 20(!!!) years ago. And 10 years ago I started my business and had my first real exhibition. During the first years I combined my art with working as an Visual Merchandiser full time, but since 2015 I got a job as an assistant for one of Sweden’s biggest Interior Stylists and since then my art has been very much influenced by interior and design.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU MOST WHEN YOU’RE CREATING?
I find it really inspiring to work with different stylists, I always get new ideas from them. Looking at photos, fashion and other artists is inspiring to me. I’m always looking for new colour combinations and new shapes.
HOW DOES MOTHERHOOD INFLUENCE YOUR WORK?
I work harder and more effective I think. I just have to do it. Working is also like my own ”me-time” now so I appreciate my studio time more than before.
FAVOURITE THING ABOUT MOTHERHOOD?
The unconditional love you give and get. And to see my child grow and progress, its a true joy for me. The smallest things makes me super proud and happy in a way that I wasn’t capable to imagine before.
…AND HARDEST THING?
The worries! About them growing up and if there will even be a world to grow up in. This climate crisis scares the shit out of me. I’m chill person and doesn’t worry very much but when it comes to my kids I can get really anxious.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU – BUSINESS OR PERSONAL – THIS YEAR?
Of course having an other baby is on top of the personal list. But I also have some really awesome collaborations that will be released 2020. For example a wool rug, wallpapers and a pattern collab for a Swedish well known interior brand.
GO TO: emilia.ilke.se
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