Malwine Stauss

24 September 2020

Leipzig

"I feel like I can express most through colors and also get really emotional with colors of other people's work or just around me."

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How old are you, where do you live and where did you grow up?

I was born in 1993 in the east german city of Dresden. I grew up in several cities in east Germany, spent one year in Copenhagen and half a year in Tirana in Albania before I moved to Leipzig to study at the Academy of Fine Arts. I graduated in 2019 and since then work as a freelance artist in Leipzig. I'm part of the artist collective SQUASH together with Lina Ehrentraut, Eva Gräbeldinger and Franz Impler. We founded the collective in 2018 while we were studying together. I also teach a pre-course at the Academy of Fine Arts in Leipzig.

What’s your favorite place in Leipzig and why ? 

Hmm that's not easy to answer. Leipzig has so many nice places. I think my favorite places are the lakes that are around the city. There is at least one lake in every compass direction and they are easy to reach by bike. Leipzig is so nice in the summertime because you can just go for a swim after work on weekends.

Do you remember what your first drawings were, and when you thought “ok, this might be what I want to do forever”?

I remember how I felt as a child when I was drawing. It was kind of the same feeling as I have now. When I think about the images I made back then I see that there is a really strong connection to what I do now. I was very impressed by female characters from films, fairy tales and stories as a child and I drew those characters all the time. I loved to draw female characters with really fancy outfits and hairstyles and I still very much like to do that. So I think that the visual and aesthetic content of my paintings today comes very much from my fascinations in general.


I remember the moment when I decided that I wanted to draw "forever". It was during my time at the Academy in Leipzig, I was studying graphic design and was doing an internship with a really great graphic designer whose work I admired (and still do). I was extremely happy to get this internship but soon realized that, despite the perfect conditions of the internship, I was not really seeing myself in that work field. On one of my final days there I got the task to search for drawings and illustrations of flowers and fruits for a client. I got kind of frustrated because I thought all the time while searching "I want to draw these flowers and fruits". This was when I realized that I only want to draw and write, to think of images and stories. I realized that I really enjoy creating content. After this I changed the courses at my University and was a lot happier with the studies in general. And I'm very happy now that I get the opportunity to do this so much.

How do you work (most of the time) ? 

I like to work both in a studio but also at home. I work mostly with small format and with paper and watercolors so I'm very flexible. But working in the studio is better for my time management I think. I like to use a lot of colours. I work intuitively with colours, so I don't plan but choose what feels right.

Female characters are very recurrent in your work, are you inspired by people you know or you’ve had a special connection with?

"I feel the need to change and expand the perception of female figures,

especially in the field of art."

Yes, female characters are the protagonists of my work. There are a lot of different reasons for this. One is of course the influential female persons in my life, like my sisters, my mother and my friends.
 

All the strength, beauty and magic I see in them is what I want to bring into my work too. Another reason is the importance images have for society in general. Images can depict a perception that already exist but also change the perceptions of a person, group or society. They create reality and show reality. I very much feel the need to change and expand the perception of female figures, especially in the field of art.

What do you feel when you draw ?

I feel a lot of different things while drawing. Of course I enjoy it very much and I am extremely happy when I've surprised myself with a painting that I didn't know I was able to do. But I'm also frustrated sometimes when things don't go as I imagine. I feel a kind of freedom, because I need so little to work, only paper and colors and can express so much through it. Like the only boundaries are my own abilities. For me, colors are the most important part of my work. I feel I can express most through colors and also get really emotional with colors of other people's work or just around me.

Capture d’écran 2020-10-14 à 17.42.22.