[C]arefully curated perfection is exhausting. The twists and turns of the creative process can give rise to unexpected beauty. This is the philosophy behind KIRSE – an Instagram account sharing the sketchbook of Latvian artist, Katri. Through a captivating series of moving images, GIFs, sketches and even embroidery, Katri opens up the journey towards her final concepts and ideas. It’s about trusting in the process and enjoying each moment along the way – a lesson we could all apply to our own lives. We caught up with Katri to find out more about her visual inspirations.
Hey Katri, what’s KIRSE all about?
KIRSE is an attitude. It’s a juxtaposition of mean and lovely, rude and dreamy. Details are very important and so is the gut feeling that you get when in touch with anything KIRSE. It’s about having a language of expression that helps me find people who understand me completely, understand what KIRSE is and where it’s coming from. I was born and raised in Riga, Latvia. Part of the city where I grew up is called Zolitude and it’s a post soviet feel of apartment blocks. Add a forest, a swamp, some water, a bridge here and there – you get the picture.
Your sketchbook and collages have a beautifully analogue feel, can you tell us a little bit about creating them?
The sketchbook is my thought process and I believe there is no other way to create your own language than to be transparent. My Instagram stories are a daily look behind my shoulder. I am collecting material for a series of coffee table publications. And the sketchbook is a part of it – you get to see how I get where I am going with certain projects, I have always found the process almost more inspiring than the final work. I often lose interest when I can’t see how things came to be and so many artists are secretive of that part of their work for no reason.
Technology (I use apple pencil, iPad pro and a Procreate app) allowed me the freedom to visually express myself in a way I never could on paper. And I really enjoy the contrast between the tool and the feeling. It’s made digitally but it reads like paper. I spend a lot of time on Pinterest for visual research. I like to pick a photo that is going to be the croquis and then some photos of my own or sourced online for inspiration or to cut up. And then it’s just layer after layer for every new thought or idea. I always record the screen during my sketching sessions – it helps remember all the small ideas I get while working that I might draw over and forget about otherwise. I share all of my sketching videos
What are some of your strongest visual influences?
I like to take a subject and interpret it through KIRSE. Some visual influences that are always there are : florals, Riga, the Renaissance paintings. I like a good typography or graphic design poster, stills from french movies. Lately I am obsessed with fungi!
Embroidery is particularly seeing a resurgence lately - do you think this is because people are feeling digitally overloaded?
People want to be personal. For me, to be personal you need to be tactile. Hand embroidery is literally the result of hands working for a long time. Bespoke hand embroidery is a way to speak without talking.