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Clara Selina Bach is a mixed media illustrator from Denmark, fusing digital art with traditional “analog” methods such as watercolor, pencil, gouache, and acrylics. Her colorful and fresh impressionist figures carry an airy and liberated aura of femininity, politics, visual identity, and empowerment while remaining uniquely playful and endearingly uplifting.
With an interest in fashion design when she was a teenager, Bach has “always been drawing and wanting to create something.” Her interest in fashion waned as she came to the realization that her passion resided in “the drawing in itself and telling stories with illustration”. Bach pursued her artistic kinship and completed a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Visual Communications at The Danish Academy of Fine Arts.
Attending illustration classes “awakened a passion” in her, and as she and her classmates were encouraged to experiment, Bach discovered that the “perfect drawing was not always the most interesting one”. Bach uses this organic and relaxed dynamic when approaching her works, where rigorous planning is not a part of her process, allowing room for “something unexpected to happen” fuels her drive and creativity. This happy-go-lucky approach to the process does shine through in her effortlessly relaxed designs, where holding a patient and expectation-less space has created a lovely sense of breathing room for inspiration to flourish within.
Heavy and Light-Hearted
Bach is inspired heavily by ancient art, with its disproportional stylisation and incorrect. The conceptual stylisation has clearly influenced Bach’s style, where instead of focusing on realism and proportional accuracy, more attention is paid to the message to be drawn from the piece.
Using a range of tools also enables Bach’s varied and unique aesthetic. Clara Selina prefers tools that can be used in, what she calls a “painting way”, where she can combine shapes and strokes to build a dynamic and colorful character and mood. Bach hopes that her work “awakens some recognizable feelings to the viewer. That the viewer can relate to or react upon the story/ character that I’m portraying.” She also endeavors to touch people with her imperfect, light-hearted quirkiness and the message that it represents.
Reflecting upon her identity as an artist today, Bach believes the access to other artists work and the ability to draw inspiration from them helps her to “take her work seriously and to believe in herself”. She celebrates the worldwide connections made possible by social media and technology, but recognizes that “it can be hard to remember to focus on your own thing, and not get intimidated by all the very talented artists out there.” Clara Selina Bach manages to capture a jovial, almost childlike playfulness in some of her pieces, and a raw, unapologetic femininity in others; the range of messages evoked from her simple and eccentric design pays dividends to the power of the imperfect and quirky, not all messages need to be laced in realism and mastery, but simply need to evoke the inside; outside, which Bach has so clearly achieved.