Taudalpoi is a Norwegian artist living in London. You can see his work here www.redbubble.com/people/taudalpoi
Tell us about your practice
As a philosophy student, art is a form of escape for me – an escape from the hundreds of articles and books I constantly have to read. My art is usually made immediately after reading philosophical ideas and works, the consequence of which is a “wondering” type of art, where philosophical questions and ideas are – although not always directly involved – always in the back of the creator’s (mine) mind.My main motivation for this artsy escape, is to create something visually appealing and beautiful, in contrast with the visually unappealing articles and books I surround myself with. I escape from long philosophical articles, with art, to create beauty, but still carry with me questions and ideas from the texts. At the same time, I hope and intend, that viewers may also escape, for a moment, in my art – escape their daily life and experience something of beauty.
How did you become an artist? Did you always dream of a life in the art-world?
As the son of an artist and an interior architect (who met at art school) I guess I was born to do some artsy-fartsy things in life, no matter what else I decided to do with my life. So here I am, a philosophy student who makes art … I think I’ve always had a passion for art generally, but it was only a few years ago that I really started to make art myself – hoping to enter the very competitive world of art.
How has your education helped your career?
I don’t know how much my philosophy studies have helped my art apart from what I said in the artist statement before (and I think I would have done art even if I didn’t study philosophy); but the education I do think has helped is my High School. I went to a Rudolf Steiner (alt. Waldorf) school where, no matter what subjects you study (I did history and English(, you are “forced” to lots of art every week: painting, drawing, book binding, woodworking, printing, etc. Those hours really made me realize the importance (at least for myself) of art, no matter what else you are doing. I think it also helped me to continue doing art even though I am studying a highly text-based course, with little free time.
Do you work as an artist full-time? Describe your typical day. Do you have a routine?
No, I do not work as an artist full-time. Neither do I have a “typical day”, but an ideal day is filled with a balanced mix of philosophy lectures and art-making!
Which historical and contemporary artists do you refer to most often? How are you influenced by their work?
People often tell me they see “his” or “her” style in many of my works, but embarrassingly enough, I know so few artists names (at least contemporary ones). It might be because I’ve kept to myself most of my time in the art-world: teaching myself and finding out what I like.
Still, I am very fond of M C Escher and John Baldessari (whom some have said seem to have had an influence on me – they’re probably right).
What are the other influences on your work?
As I said, I’m not that conscious of who and what has influenced my works. When I see something exciting in art, I usually just make a “mental note”, and sometimes it pops up again when I’m working on a new piece – either consciously or subconsciously. No doubt, there are many influences, but I rarely know them by name. It needn’t be some famous artist or anything, just something I’ve come across scrolling down on tumblr or redbubble.
What is your favourite art gallery?
I think I’m forced to be boring and say the Tate Modern in London. I used to live a few hundred meters south of Tate Modern and frequently visited both the exhibitions and the shops. Also, whenever someone came over to the UK to visit me, I felt a responsibility to take them there. So I’ve been there many, many times, and come to love it.
What are your experiences of the ‘art-world’ and the business of art?
Horrible … The internet is both great and terrible. One the one hand, everyone can now get their art online, but on the other hand, that makes it so, so, so difficult to “stand out” – when there are millions of people each day registering an artsy account on tumblr, instagram, wordpress, etc. etc. I’m pretty unknown myself, but I do have some followers, I do sell some art from time to time, etc. But I’ve been “online” for a while now. I can’t even imagine “starting out” now – having to build everything up from the ground again, all that hard work, and so little reward … Plus, the major galleries, online galleries, etc. won’t showcase people without prior exhibitions, sales, etc.
Ah! This topic really frustrates me to be honest. To become embraced by the established “art-world” one has to have some degree of fame already; but to get that, most people need to start out on tumblr, etc. But on such sites, there are millions of people in that exact same position, so only a very few get the little bit of “fame” needed to reach the established art-world. It’s hard I think.
I think its also harder for us artists who do not attend art schools. We have to base so much of our art-life on the internet where there are millions of people doing the same – trying to build a presence on the web. At least at an art school you get to meet other artists, teachers (who usually have been somewhat successful), other contacts, etc.
Do you have any tips or advice you wish you had known earlier in your career?
It’s damn hard … One advice to other artists online or people thinking about starting out, is that you can’t “chill”, ever. You have to create and post constantly. At the bottom of the art-world is all of us now starting out, having created instagram, redbubble, tumblr, etc. accounts. People who come over our art and maybe “like” it or “follow” us do not really know us like we do ourselves. Most likely, they’ll see an image they kind of like, “like” it, and continue scrolling. They won’t – most likely – be awaiting more works from you, checking your account daily, etc. They’ll probably forget about you very soon. Thus, you have to constantly keep uploading, and eventually people will start to recognize, say, your profile photo, etc. and realize you’re awesome. But to make one person come to this stage is tough (and not enough). To make thousands of people reach this stage is near impossible for everyone to achieve (and probably not enough either).
But remember, art shouldn’t only be about that. Of course, if you really want to live off it, you seriously have to make an effort. But if that’s the only motivation (“I want to be an artist”) you’re really just a sell-out (aren’t you?). The most important thing about art (I think) is the making of art. Getting people to see it, love it, purchase it, etc. comes second. Art is personal.
(Note: Of course not all art is personal in that way – some works of art are made solely to have a large social impact, maybe a protest against something. But still: where does this motivation come from (the motivation to make an artistic protest)? It comes from within the artist herself …)
Do you or would you use assistants to make your work?
I wouldn’t use them for original works. Then it wouldn’t be “my” art … But for reproductions (i.e. prints, etc.) I would consider having assistants do the work. After all, they are assistants not taudalpoi.
Do you use social networks? if so, how and which ones do you find most useful?
I use too many social networks, I feel. I personally like wordpress because I like that it feels a bit more “professional” than tumblr, etc. (which I also do use). I also like twitter, and I’ve recently started to get on instagram. I use a lot of different social networks, but these three are the ones I’ve come to like the best. I think I like twitter and instagram mostly because of the response I get from like-minded people, and also that they are very easy to navigate within.
Which artist should we all look up immediately? What art magazines, blogs or sites should art lovers be looking at?
I would seriously check out Eugenia Loli and Ben Stainton (Hello, Fig). Both are deep in the collage-art-world, but they do seriously stand out – and they make so much, every day.