Maria-Thérèse Sommar, fotograf, frilansskribent och författare.
Ej körkortsfoto! Ej fotostudio.
No ID / passport photos. No studio.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

English translation of Yippie magazine interview

original text at

With inspiration and creativity as her tools, Maria-Thérèse Andersson runs afiori, a full-time webshop and blog. She photographs and creates albums, notebooks, poetry and novels. Last winter she photographed her neighbour's cat in Härnösand and sold the photos to Hollywood film The R o o m m a t e.

In her webshop, Maria-Thérèse sells her own work. Imaginative albums with details such as added envelopes to hold mementos. She also makes notebooks in sizes small enough to fit in your wallet, and postcards and envelopes with images she has taken herself.

Her flower photographs can be seen at Technichus at the moment, and next year, 11 of her images will be seen in a Hollywood movie.

Do you work according to set hours or do you let your inspiration rule when you plan your workday?

- The urge to create comes to me like a flow during the entire day. I don't assign time to get inspiration; it just rises inside me. However, I try to run errands and do administration early in the day so that afternoons and evenings are free for me to write, take photographs and perhaps paint.

How do you get inspiration for your creative work?

- I have no idea; it's something that just keeps talking inside me all the time. Sometimes I feel it's pent-up inspiration; for instance, when I worked as a teacher and had to correct a lot of tests. I would sit all night writing and painting to release all the energy.

So you worked as a teacher before starting your own business?

- Yes, I used to work as a teacher, mostly at a highschool level. I started studying at Mid Sweden University when I was just 17. I got permission to take courses while finishing my highschool studies [the Swedish equivalent to years 10-13 in school]. I remember how the librarians made me a pretend library card since you had to be 18 to borrow books at the university library. I have a Master's degree in Philosophy with English as a main subject. Other subjects include Swedish, World Literature, Art History and Visual Literacy.

- I didn't open my webshop until February 17 this year. In just four months I have sent 200 packages with images, texts and books to places all over the world. It is amazing to me to think that someone in Australia might be looking at one of my photos hanging on the wall this very minute, or that someone is leafing through a notebook I made. I just think that is really cool!

Could you tell us about your background?

- I'm from Helgum close to Sollefteå. I moved to Härnösand about 10 years ago because of the ocean and because I would be able to continue my studies at Mid Sweden University. Commuting from the forests north of Sollefteå to Härnösand was not all that fun.

- I want to convey emotion with my images, thematically. I strive to work something out or put emphasis on a certain subject. At the moment I'm working with the sensation that the object inside – or the subject of the image – is moved from focus and not directly available in the image. I am very much in a photographic phase right now, maybe because winter has been so grey. 14 shades of grey made me want to see colours and light. Flowers, many of them orchids, have coloured my work this past winter. However, I'm guessing this period will turn into something else soon; possibly writing poetry and novels again.

FACTS Maria-Thérèse Andersson

Address:, and the island of Härnösand

Favourite music: A lot of musicals. Elaine Paige, Tori Amos, Fiona Apple and others.

Favourite drink: Coffee, cappuccino, caffe mocha and chocolate cake.
Favourite destination: Italy. I get loads of inspiration there from ancient architecture, culture and people.

Secret ability: I sing but only in secret. I get sheet music from my singing teacher sometimes and use it for my albums and notebooks.

TEXT : Emma Nordin LarssonPHOTO : Annika Östman (portraits), Maria-Thérèse Andersson
TRANSLATED by Maria-Thérèse Andersson
© Copyright © Maria-Thérèse Sommar unless otherwise noted.
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