Maria-Thérèse Sommar, fotograf, frilansskribent och författare. Ej körkortsfoto!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

English translation of Dagbladet interview

PERSONAL NOTEBOOKS. Maria-Thérèse Andersson creates the notebooks, her big sellers, all by herself from doing the cover art to cutting the pages.

VERSATILE. Maria-Thérèse is also a writer. She has written as well as illustrated this book of poetry. ”I was going to become a concert pianist. I have always loved several of the arts.”

SECRETIVE. The envelope labelled ”secrets” can only be opened by the person who buys it. Only Maria-Thérèse knows what's inside.

MAGIC. By mixing photography with other techniques, Maria-Thérèse creates her images. ”I don't have Photoshop; I use a bit of magic”, she says.

SHE BELONGS TO HERSELF. "Freedom - that's the very thing. I also work a lot with the concept of freedom in my images. Being your own person and also being able to illustrate it", Maria-Thérèse Andersson says.

Maria-Thérèse's picture poetry has found its way to Hollywood

Maria-Thérèse Andersson decided to turn her hobby into a job one year ago – now she has customers all over the world. Her artistic images have even found their way to a movie production in Hollywood.
- I have never had a secure job, so I thought perhaps it's not much harder working as an artist, she says.

If you have a dream and you really want something, you should give it a serious try, says Maria-Thérèse Andersson in Härnösand, and she is living proof that it may very well pay off. Once she decided to really give her hobby a go, things started to fall into place.
- I have always created images, but not in the public eye, only for myself. I worked as a substitute teacher for a while but I remember the exact moment when I knew I'd had enough.

Dreamy collages

- The decision was easy because I had nothing to lose. I thought: I'm going to take everything I love and turn it into a business.

That is what happened, and February last year her business Afiori [sic] started, complete with an online store. Apart from taking artistic photographs, she also creates dreamy collages, unique notebooks and other things which come to her mind.
- It's going well, even though it's probably the worst time in the world to start a business. However, I really wanted to do what I love; I wanted to evolve and also give something to other people, she says.
Just a few weeks after she started her online shop, a Hollywood production company contacted her, wanting to buy photographs for an upcoming movie.

- It's called ”The Roommate” and will be released in February next year. I was so excited to hear that one of my favourite actresses, Meester Leighton [sic] from Gossip Girl, is in the movie.

The production bought eleven of her photographs, among others a photograph of a black cat. Her neighbour's cat, Maria-Thérèse reveals.

Old letters

- I find a lot of my subjects in my immediate surroundings; it may be a photo of a flower, a teacup or my neighbour's cat. And then Hollywood buys it, she says with a laugh.
She often uses vintage letters, postcards and different kinds of papers when creating her collages. The results are fragile, veiled images, reminiscent of a faded memory or a dream.
- I work a lot with surface and depth and things that are hidden, she says and shows us her latest invention – a transparent envelope, tied with string; we catch a glimpse of the word ”secrets” on the inner envelope.
- I'm not going to say what's inside. The person who buys it will have to decide whether the artwork should be what's inside or whether, in fact, the secret itself is the work of art, she says with a shrewd smile.

Interview by Victoria Engholm, photos by Mats Olsson. Published in Dagbladet 10 June 2010
(translated by me)
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