donderdag 15 oktober 2015

Interview: Gerda Louw (English version)

In all honesty, we often look for artists in countries like America, France, Netherlands and Italy. We sometimes neglect to look outside of those borders. South Africa has numerous great artists. One of which is Gerda Louw.

Her creativity knows no boundaries. Fine Artist (pen, watercolor and oilpaints), photography, dance and poetry.

Gerda Louw in action (photo's used with permission)

Apart from her creativity she also has educational degrees in languages and education.

Well known in South Africa and loved by all her friends and family, she inspire others to thrive. Always humble and thankful for what she was blessed with.

Artwork by Gerda Louw (photo's used with permission)

I have had the opportunity to interview her on a more personal level. It was an honor to do this interview with such an inspirational artist and I do hope you take the time to visit her website.


HA: You have been creative since a very young age with Pen Art. What was your inspiration for this type of art?

GL: I started drawing with pencil since a very young age, I think that was just the easiest way to express myself as a child for that was the medium available. I would draw on what I could find including old cardboard boxes, my mother was not very happy about it, saying I was throwing my talent away!

HA: Did you ever have formal education in creative arts or are you a self taught artist?

GL: I never had formal education in creative arts, which proved to be a positive thing in creating my own style.

HA: What is your opinion in creating your own products eg. paints etc. Or do you choose to work with store bought products only and why?

GL: I use store products, the main reason is that it saves me time, leaving more time for creating the actual painting

HA: You chose to make your hobby your business. Do you find it easy to work under pressure of getting pieces out on a deadline?

GL: When I do work on commission I try to make sure that I give enough time for me to successfully complete a piece, I do not believe in rushing the creative process. Art lovers need to also know that commissioning an art piece is not the same as commissioning a piece of decor, they need to realize the value of it. I do however put pressure on myself sometimes when I work towards an exhibition, but that is not the ideal.

HA: You have had the chance to work with pen, watercolor and oil paint. What, in your view, is the most challenging medium to work with and why?

GL: Drawing, although surely challenging in general, comes natural to me, therefore I would say oil colour is.There is always something new you can discover about the medium and how it reacts even after years of using it.

HA: You are also a published poet. Your first publication is in Afrikaans with the title "Eg" ("Real"). How did you go about getting your work published and how long did you work on your book?

GL: I had the work published through a small publishing company after one of the bigger publishing companies told me that they loved the work but that there is no budget for publishing poems – something you will hear often when trying to publish poetry. It was a compilation of poems I wrote over a period of four or five years.

HA: Will there be a English publication in the future?

GL: There will be an English publication of poems written in English(so not translations) in future. After reviewing my portfolio, it was proposed to me by a widely published photographer-author that I publish it alongside some of my photography series, and that is probably what will happen.

HA: You have a formal education in languages and education. What languages do you speak, and what field of education did you study?

GL: As part of my BAEd degree  I studied Afrikaans, Dutch and English also Biology and Psychology, I continued to do my Honours degree in Afrikaans. I also speak a little bit of French, just enough to get me in trouble!.

HA: How do you juggle your hobby with your personal and family life?

GL: I share my space with 3 of my children and they are all creative, so they understand my passion for art and my need to create. Sometimes I have to choose however and then of course the family must come first when there is a conflict of time. Maybe that is part of the reason why I often work late night and also throughout the night sometimes.

HA: You have many exhibitions across South Africa. Have you ever had the opportunity to exhibit your work abroad?

GL: I did not have the opportunity yet, mostly because I did not pursue it because of my family obligations. The only overseas gallery that exhibited my work was one in Abu Dhabi when we lived there. I did have several overseas buyers over the years, but they saw my art mostly when on visit in South Africa.

HA: What inspired you to study oriental dancing?

GL: I just started it for the joy of it. I love dancing and wanted to do a form of dancing where I did not need a partner to perform it.

HA: Which artists do you take inspiration from? Musical, poetry and art.

GL: I take inspiration from many things that surround me, from colours, smells, even conversations and definitely from dreams and stories. So I would rather say it is these “everyday things” that inspire me.

HA: As an Artist, is there anything you want to share with hobbyists?

GL: The most important thing is to do what you love, do not try to do something to please anyone else, believe in your own ability to create something unique. Do not be afraid to try new things, it is often the “mistakes” that turn out to be your best work in the end!. 

"The most important thing is to do what you love, do not try to do something to please anyone else, believe in your own ability to create something unique. - Gerda Louw"

Interviewer: Sandie van der Graaf

2 opmerkingen:

  1. Leuke blog post en prachtige schilderijen!

    1. Gerda is echt een aanwinst in de kunst wereld. Op haar website is veel meer te zien.


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