Blanda is a Swiss contemporary artist living and working between New York and Los Angeles. In 2007, Blanda moved to New York to enroll in the School of Visual Arts (SVA) where she received the Silas H. Rhodes Scholarship. Her style, a mélange of collage, printmaking, drawing and painting, drew the attention of her professors, and after graduating in 2010 she was picked up by The New York Times for a coveted Art Director position.
Who are you?
Still trying to figure that one out myself…it’s way more of a transcendental search than I had anticipated a decade or so ago.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I always wanted to be a creative. But also a ninja. And maybe a scientific researcher and an Olympic swimmer.
What do you love?
Here is a small selection of things I love: Finding simple solutions to complicated things. The smell of coffee. Books. Boys with blue or green eyes. Large sweaters. Feeling sun on my skin. The color blue. Things that are hand made. Petrichor. This one beach in Greece. Waking up hungry. Forgetting time. Going to museums alone. The shape of hands.
Where do you find inspiration?
It usually finds me. That’s the whole thing with inspiration, it can’t be forced. It flows when it flows and sometimes it doesn’t. But exposing myself to creativity, and being part of a social environment that provides creative input obviously nurtures inspiration.
What’s your creative process like?
It varies from project to project. When I work on my own projects and art I try to be as close to myself as possible and minimize rational thought. When I work on a commercial project or a more graphic design based job I usually start in an intellectual place and do a ton of research. After I have absorbed enough information I throw it all out and start making stuff and see what happens. It’s usually quite interesting what comes out of subconscious memory.
What is something you had to learn the hard way?
Most things in our life are not within our control. I used to really make myself crazy over things I had no impact on whatsoever. Until I realized that I do have the power to change how I react to things that happen to me. Learning that has made me a lot more relaxed.
What is one thing most people would be surprised to learn about you?
My second major in art school was Physics (I was especially into Astro, Nuclear and Quantum Physics).
How do you define success?
Success for me is to be able to do what I love and feel entirely fulfilled and happy by that. Commercial success can be a desirable consequence of that but isn’t a necessity for me. Financial stability is a factor but only to cover my basic needs without having to stress out over it. Anything beyond that point is just one more cherry on top. That is not to say, that I don’t have high standards (I do!) but I will choose the life of a happy painter in the Provence over the one of a famous depressed artist any day of the week!
What’s the best advice you have for aspiring artists?
Accept and develop your style. Don’t try to change your natural hand, don’t paint like someone else but practice your very own individual style instead. Being inspired by other artists is obviously part of it but learn how to love your individual and intuitive creative expression. This has a lot to do with self-acceptance by the way. Possibly the hardest and most important lesson to learn.
How would you describe your art to someone who couldn’t see?
Well, that’s tricky because I would have to refrain from any visual reference. I would say that I paint and draw what I feel and that I want that feeling to transcend and translate into my work and from there to the viewer. I want it to be the equivalent to a really beautiful song or written passage. Something that evokes melancholy and longing in the most beautiful way possible.
How do you think we can make the world a better place?
By becoming more connected. To ourselves and to each other. We are in the midst of some kind of digital apocalypse, a rational and intellect-based crisis that demands an analogue counter movement. Not to go too esoteric on you here but we need to learn to put kindness first and not competition, to be compassionate and humanistic and recognize that separation is an illusion.
Blanda has worked with: OBEY, Kiehl’s, Volvo and DC Shoes, Elena Ghisellini, TopShop and Barbara Bui have commissioned Blanda for art-driven collaborations. Her work has been featured in media outlets such as Vogue, New York Magazine, Vice, WWD, Glamour Magazine, Elle and Rolling Stone have covered her work.
Featured photo by: Kaja_Eggenschwiler