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ART / INTERVIEWS / PAINTING & ILLUSTRATION

The Imaginative World of Claudia Six

A warm, comforting feeling washes over my body and soul whenever I see a new piece from Claudia Six. Her work radiates feelings of cozy nostalgia and a longing to reclaim the childlike wonder and infinite imagination we all possess as children. While some may believe this feeling is lost to time, Claudia proves us wrong as she keeps precious hold on this childhood gift. Even in adulthood, her imagination continues to stretch to new heights, creating new imaginary friends along the way. So, come on in, join the fun and rekindle with your inner child as you explore the imaginative world of Claudia Six.

Claudia Six is a true jack-of-all-trades when it comes to her art. The Austrian artist uses mixed media to create a unique patchwork world that blends reality with imagination to create a place of comfort and escapism. Growing up, Claudia found herself gravitating towards the strange and unusual and this interest would only continue to evolve as she entered art school where she studied silkscreen printing and textile design. Claudia’s imagination has continued to evolve as her monochromatic world extends beyond the canvas, weaving its way into disciplines including photography, tattooing, animation, sculpting, puppetry and fashion to create an incredibly distinctive yet cohesive style. Imagination isn’t the only thing that drives Claudia’s art however, as she also has a deep love for animals and the natural world that help to provide her work with a soothing yet emotive atmosphere. Continue reading to learn more about Claudia’s infinite imagination and her passion for animals in this exclusive interview.

The imaginary world that I inhabit evolves continuously, reflecting my life’s changes and experiences.

Interview with Claudia Six

What is your earliest memory of art?

It‘s my grandmother, making things out of some sort of homemade salt clay with me. Also my grandmother painting with me (she painted tiny miniature things and was a great painter until she lost her eyesight almost completely). And the house of my parents, being full of art and artist friends.

You’re a big animal lover, I’d love to hear more about your passion for animals and what they mean to you as both an individual and an artist.

Animals touch something so deep inside of me. It is hard to put it into words. It‘s like the world stops when I watch them. They always make my heart happy and it shatters my heart when I see them in pain. Or even imagine them in pain. When I was little, I didn‘t sleep for nights because I learned about factory farming and I would lie awake, thinking of all the animals, afraid and in pain. This now translates a lot into my work because with my art I started a healing process. I created something nurturing and protecting for myself and for others. I always feel for the outsiders and the ones who are overlooked from most. And this also includes animals. I feel for the ones who are not naturally loved, like cats or dogs (I adore them too though) I feel for pigs, pigeons, mice, insects and worms and all of the animals who are normally not loved. I create my friends and monsters for them too. They are protectors and guides, for us and for them.

Your work includes various animal and nature motifs whether it be through photography, digital art, tattoos or puppetry, how do you think nature intersects and inspires your artistic world?

The fragile aspect of it is the inspiring thing for me. The innocence. I am sure I am projecting a lot there. Nature can be cruel too, I am aware of that. But seeing how fragile and wonderful animals are inspires the innocence and curiosity that I want to see in my puppets. The full heartedness that I want in my work. Animals make me feel all the feelings and I want my work to transport all that feelings too.

What are some of your favourite animals and why?

My all time favourite will always be the whale. It’s crazy that we get to live with a mammal that big. One that lives in the water. One that communicates in the most complex ways, that has a complex social behavior and is SO gentle! Also, no dinosaur was ever as big as a whale (the blue whale, in fact). This fact makes it just so awesome that we live among them. We are so lucky and I think we must protect them all costs. 

And pigeons! Pigeons are incredibly smart and gentle creatures, making them wonderful companions. With their cute, rounded bodies and large, expressive eyes, they even come friend-shaped! Throughout history, pigeons have proven to be invaluable to humans. During wars, they served as reliable messengers, delivering critical information across great distances. Pigeons also mate for life and show high loyalty to their partners. I think we really let them down. They deserve better. And of course, DOGS! I mean, we don‘t deserve them, really. It is fascinating how they read us and that they love us so unconditionally. 

If you could transform into any animal, what would you be and why?

A whale. But with my human mind, so I could get to know their way of living. This would be the most fascinating thing ever.

Do you keep a sketchbook? If so, what do you like to include in it?

I keep a journal that is a mixture of drawings and lots of planning. Lots of writing down goals and dreams. Ideas for new projects. I also started a face drawing challenge, because I want to get better with faces. Daily face drawing for 20 minutes, that‘s the plan. I managed to do it once.

Your world of imaginary friends always feels so full of life. Is this world of yours ever evolving? A lifelong project perhaps, given that the imagination is infinite?

Absolutely! The imaginary world that I inhabit evolves continuously, reflecting my life’s changes and experiences. My imaginary friends have undergone countless transformations, adapting to the shifting phases of my journey. While these changes might not be apparent to others, the roles and tasks of my imaginary companions are constantly evolving. This infinite, dynamic imaginary realm flows with my emotions.

Animals touch something so deep inside of me. It is hard to put it into words. It‘s like the world stops when I watch them.

Your work is more often than not, exclusively in black and white with occasional pops of colour. What attracts you to working in a monochrome palette?

It calms my mind. I, myself, was wondering about this. But then I realized that I need to see the outlines of things and the contrast. It‘s, and this might be a strange thing to say, more clean for my brain.

You dabble in everything from puppetry to tattooing to animation and more! How do you manage to balance working in all of these diverse mediums?

I have always different workstations. In my studio there is a corner for sewing, one for sculpting, one for painting. So, in every corner there is a little project waiting for me and I can move around. I always start projects early enough so that I have enough time and can move around whenever I feel like it, adding little layers onto new projects. Tattooing however is something different as I need to make windows within the year that are specifically for tattooing. I don‘t enjoy it that much because it makes me nervous. Tattooing carries so much responsibility that I need lots of breaks from it.

What advice would you give to budding artists who want to start working in mixed media?

Uff, this is tough. Sometimes, I feel like I know nothing and that I’m just figuring things out as I go. However, I’ve found that the best and also the hardest advice is to believe in yourself and your work. When you create with unconditional love and passion, everything else tends to fall into place. At least, that’s my theory — I’m still on that journey myself.

Where have you been looking to for inspiration lately?

I am currently working on a project about the witch trials and the power of storytelling. This will be a more performative piece of work using puppets. The other inspiration that is huge right now are plush toys. They are emotionally charged and I want to see what I can do with that. And of course, animals. Always. 

Claudia Six Social Media

Website | Instagram | Facebook

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