Artist of The Week: Sille Lund
This week, we’re headed to Copenhagen, Denmark for our Artist of the Week series to speak with Sille Lund, AKA Instagram’s “Dnulellis“. An illustrator and painter focusing on line work and design, Lund is driven by “the power of simplicity and colors.” Lund’s characters are often minimalistic, and sometimes accompanied by short phrases. Her work showcases the human form, combined with surreal and animalistic traits. Sometimes you might count a couple extra fingers or see an extra long tongue in her drawings. Read below for our full interview with the Scandinavian artist to get a glimpse into what it’s like growing up in Denmark, why it’s important to push positive values in art, and how she’d like to see her artwork on beer bottles.
How does living in Copenhagen affect your global view and practice as an artist?
I think what has actually inspired me most by growing up in Denmark is being surrounded by the very clean and minimalistic space that my parents created around me. My mom is a very colourful and bright person who loves to collect knick knacks, while my dad is extremely minimalistic and clean. I think I am a merge of those two mindsets, I love the power of simplicity and colours.
Living in Copenhagen is extremely privileged compared to many other places in the world and it’s definitely important to be respectfully aware of that growing up here. Denmark has a great support system for artists and anyone can basically say and create whatever they want. I think that the comfort of living in a place like Denmark gives a lot of opportunities for self-development and choice when it comes to expressing oneself and choice of life. I don’t think Denmark has really had a big influence on the specific pieces I create but more so growing up here, has allowed me the space and time to draw and be creative.
Who are some of your favorite artists living in Denmark right now?
I love seeing local art around Denmark and there is so many wonderful and talented artist right now. I could name so many, but a few of my current favourite artists living in Denmark right now are Tina Maria Elena Bark who makes these very sensual, beautiful pieces. The Danish Icelandic Olafur Eliasson and his amazing work with light and colours and Malthe Junge Knudsen who works with shapes, light and shadows, and who also happens to be my sweet boyfriend.
Many of your drawings have transcended to tattoo design. What was the first design you did for someone? What does it feel like to know that someone will have it forever?
I still remember the first tattoo that was ever based on my design. I had made a piece called “Get in Shape” and one of my friends, and fellow amazing artist, Emil Wæde, founder of Quisling—texted me and said he wanted to buy the original as well as getting it tattooed on his thigh. I remember I was completely terrified by the thought that someone would get something I had made imprinted on their body forever. It stressed me out but Emil got the piece and I have to say it’s still one of my favourite tattoos ever made of my designs until this day.
I honestly don’t know how many people have my stuff on them by now, I stopped counting.
I usually work together with people on their specific piece, we will talk about what they want and how we together can create it.
I like to include the client so that we together can make the piece feel personal to them. It’s really such an honor to create a bond with my overseas costumers, I love to follow the process of designing the piece together and receiving the final picture!
But just as often I’ll just receive an email or a DM from someone whom I don’t know, who sends me a picture of a piece from my Instagram they got tattooed and a message that says “Hey I just wanted to show you this!”—that’s really awesome as well!
Where do most of your ideas come from?
For me my inspiration comes mostly from phrases or a state of mind that I am in. My pieces often represent a certain phrase that I either hear somewhere, read or that just comes to my mind. I like when text is short and descriptive.
I like to embrace raw human/animalistic needs like dance, touch, pleasure and nudity. I try to make it very simple, especially with faces and bodies, because I don’t think the face or the body in itself, is what’s the important message it’s more of a soul-drive.
I also get inspired a lot by my dog Hachiko.
I’ve read that world peace and breaking down social norms are important to you—how do you achieve this and push these values as an artist?
It’s such a huge subject and it’s definitely hard to take the credit for any of that, especially in a time where we are lucky to have so many artists who sacrifice so much and push forward.
I like to focus on what I feel like all this can be broken down to very simply, and for me, that Is that even though we live in a very visual 3D world, in bodies with names and genders, sexual preferences, educations and skin colours—when it comes to an end, we are all spiritual beings with very powerful wants and when the light is turned off and you can’t see me, my want to dance, touch, eat, sleep and love is not coming from my name, my body type or biological gender—but from spirit! I literally don’t get why we spend so much time caring about all this 3D stuff, our life here on earth would be much more fun and powerful if we could evolve and expand our minds.
Describe your perfect day.
I feel like this Is the hardest question because stuff like this always depends on the current circumstances…But right now, I would like to have been able to sleep for a longer time in the morning instead of waking up early to catch a bus. Maybe some nice late breakfast by the water with my boyfriend and a swim! That sounds pretty perfect!
Are there any artists you’d love to collaborate with?
Too many! Right now I am excited to work with one of my best friends from South Korea Hyemi Kim from Veronica Effect, who’s an amazing writer. Her and I are working on a children’s book together and I can’t wait for it to get published!
One of my biggest goals is to work with a brewery. I’d absolutely love to design a bottle or a can!
Describe your creative process from start to finish—do you sketch your ideas first? Do you utilize Photoshop or any online applications?
It really depends on the setting. If I am out and about and I get an idea, I’ll doodle it in my sketchbook and clear-draw it when I get home. Then I’ll either draw it with a black pen or, usually for bigger works I will paint it with acrylic paint. Sometimes I will make a piece in hand and colour it in photoshop, I’ll sometimes also do this to test out different colour combinations before I paint it by hand.
My self portraits I usually just paint in photoshop over my picture or on the phone using Instagram’s own drawing feature.
What art supplies do you always have on hand?
A block of paper, black markers in different sizes, a red and a blue touch, a pen, an eraser and a ruler.
Images courtesy of Sille Lund
Stay tuned to Milk for more artists of the rise.