Surreal Everyday Scenery

24th May 23 - By Nikolai, Writer

PeopleArtist Portraits

With the release of their first collection of art prints for Paper Collective, we caught up with Julie Sommer – the woman leading the female owned Danish art studio Misfitting Things. We talked about how her background in the toy industry helps fuel a sense of play within their work and how they combine AI with a mix of digital and hands-on processes.

I have been told that my work is a bit over the top - and that is exactly as it should be.

Julie Sommer

Hi Julie, it’s great to talk to you. Can you start by telling me about your studio, where you are located and the different projects and mediums you work with?

Misfitting Things is a multidisciplinary art studio working quite broadly with both art prints, ceramics and other art objects that are made to equally disrupt and brighten your space. Most things are produced locally in my backyard studio and workshop in Herning on the Danish mainland, but I like to find inspiration and cook up ideas with other creatives in my network. I get easily excited by new materials and technologies and I generally don’t feel confined to any medium. But I always return to painting - that’s my favourite.

Your first collection for Paper Collective features obscured characters and everyday moments mixed with a strong use of colour, shadow and light. Can you tell me about how you combine these elements and what feelings and emotions you are portraying?

With a background in the toys and games industry I am inspired by youth subcultures, nostalgia, childhood fantasies and kitsch. I like to make vivid art that celebrates shape, feel, colour and also a good portion of ugly. I love drawing people and still life’s that feel a little extra and have a story to tell. But I also like to leave something open, also quite literally, which is why I tend to crop my pictures the way I do. I have been told that my work is a bit over the top - and that is exactly as it should be.

At Paper Collective we are always exploring new ways of creating art and how artists can express themselves, and your collection is no different. How have you incorporated AI into these works and in what ways are you excited to keep exploring this new technology?

I think I have always been quite curious to explore new ways of making stuff - I could probably supply an average city with my stash of gadgets and art supplies. But with AI I feel that a new playground has opened up for me, and I use it in all sorts of ways; as a kind of colleague to bounce ideas back and forth with, as a brainstorm tool, to make mood boards and even to generate compositions that I use as background for some of my art pieces. Earlier I have used both photography, 3D engines or made collages from stock photos to create compositions and position light and shadows - AI just makes that process much faster and easier.

How do you mix the digital and physical within your work?

I don’t know if I really think of my work as mixing digital and physical. Technology these days quite effectively blurs those lines, and I feel I work the same way in both worlds. It is just way less messy to paint on an iPad! I actually also use AI to sketch out ideas for my ceramic collections, so going back and forth is just second nature to me.

What does Paper Collective mean to you?

I think Paper Collective is a great fit for my art studio because they are so good at picking out art that tells stories and starts conversations. I also like that all collections are so carefully curated, and that I am getting both a serious and creative partner to work with. That means a lot when you normally work on your own.

Julie's work is exclusively available through Paper Collective in sizes from 30x40 cm to 100x140 cm.

Find all the artworks below to shop online or enquire with your local Paper Collective retailer.

Misfitting Things

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