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Coveted Interviews

Meant to Inspire: Naja Conrad-Hansen

I first came across Naja Conrad-Hansen from IQONS. Of course her bold graphic style just drew me in. Looking through her website, I just got the most intense feeling.. mixed with a wonderful humor, (’Yes, I can see into the future’) the only way I can articulate, dark optimism, like rock music, sexy chic, and loud as hell. Here Naja talks a bit about her obsessions and her favorite pair of shoes….

The Coveted: What’s your latest obsession about?
Naja Conrad Hansen: Ministry, AC/DC and Iggy Pop like, always. A relative new Danish band Volbeats song called “ sad man”s tongue”. Monkeys, silver and gold, paper cut, oriental patterns, coffee, black and white and purple, ice and Holiday
TC: When I was in college, my tutor told me that he was suprised that my work was so subtle, because I have such a “flamboyant” personality. That comment has always intrigued me when looking at other people’s art. Your work… is stunning, bold, graphic, dynamic. It can be a glossy photo collage or a doodle on steroids drawn with a black marker half out of ink. I love the depth of it. How is your work a reflection of your personality?
NCH: Thank you…. I think it reflects my personality quite well, I also had a teacher many years ago telling me that I should show more of my “untamed personality”, but I think she more wanted me to reflect that she had a very flamboyant personality herself. So I think in the long run, the artist most likely knows what is the right thing for her or him to do and not what a teacher or tutor tells you to do. They will always reflect on your work from their own world. Where they come from, what they have experienced and they will never know what YOU want express with the artwork. So my advice is: learn as much as you can from others, but follow your own hart and keep having fun while doing it.(or whatever suits your personality) One other thing, have you noticed that many illustrators have at least one small feature from themselves in their work? I tend to draw a gap between the front teeth because I have on myself, but often I delete it in the end because it looks kind of funny to have all these squirrel drawings.

TC: I noticed that there really isn’t a clear distinction between personal an commissioned work, how do you keep them connected?
I don’t try to separate or connect them. I just work on both with all I’ve got, aiming to make good stuff. Often I find it really great making personal work after a commissioned work and vice versa. They kind of feed each other and I really prefer about 50% of each.
TC: What’s the most outrageous project you’ve been commissioned to do?
I think all project is somehow outrageous and if not I will try make them so. My latest one is the most outrageous, but I can’t talk about it yet. I know that I’m annoying now::::

TC: The first thing I thought of when I saw your site was “Gareth Pugh“… even though you two are completely different, but there is a quality that is similar, bold with a dark whimsy. Do you ever think of certain fashion designers when you work? Who?
NCH: Thank you so much again…I think he might have another opinion. I first got to know about his work in the December issue of pop magazine and I thought he’s work is absolutely fabulous . And no I never think of certain fashion designers when I work unless it’s commissioned work from one.

TC: What’s your favorite item of clothing you’ve ever owned? Ever. ; )
NCH: Why can I only say one thing that’s mean?!”#¤%&&//….
A pair of wooden leather clogs…the uppers have holes in them. I think I have had them for 13 years, pretty disgusting when I see it written here, but I love them.

TC: Have you seen the Northern Lights? Are they as beautiful as people say?
NCH: Yes, I’m half Finn so I have seen the northern lights in Finland. And yes they are beautiful. But they can only compensate a tiny bit for all the darkness we have to deal with here during the winter.
Naja Conrad-Hansen can be found at : www.meannorth.com

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7 comments for “Meant to Inspire: Naja Conrad-Hansen”

  1. i like the bold black and white with the pops of bright color

    Posted by Candid Cool | July 3, 2007, 1:17 pm
  2. Ooh… the avant meets ‘trippy synth’ aesthetic. I appreciate the surrealist aspect of her images.

    Posted by F.M. | July 3, 2007, 5:18 pm
  3. this is amazing! I absolutely love the powerful images she creates. Thanks for the interview too. It’s always nice to hear artists talk!:)

    Posted by dianabobar | July 4, 2007, 2:48 am
  4. Hi there,

    You’ve been tagged, find out more on:


    Posted by Theresa | July 4, 2007, 12:02 pm
  5. The sister sare and the second to last pic I find most inspiring and eye-catching.

    Posted by fashionistakay | July 5, 2007, 10:42 am
  6. Hi Jennine,
    It’s so wonderful to come back from traveling to pour over so many lovely photos and musings from your blog. Thanks for having so many things to look at!

    Posted by Serena | July 6, 2007, 9:50 am
  7. Oh my gosh Serena!
    Welcome Back!
    I hope you had a lovely tour…
    : )

    Posted by jennine | July 6, 2007, 11:37 am

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