Atelier Visit at Bettina Holst
Bettina Holst is a Danish artist and has in addition been blogging about DIY, interior, and many other things since 2011. We asked her about how she organizes her creative life, where she finds inspiration - and which future exciting projects she is dreaming of.
Dear Bettina, first of all thank you so much for letting us into your creative universe and for answering our questions. As our first question, we would like to know more about you as a person, so who is Bettina Holst?
I am a Danish artist slash creative-to-the-bone-person. I am 50 years old, but act as if I was still 27. That’s just me. Keeping myself "young" with the job and people I love the most in the world. I live in Denmark with my husband Thomas, I’m a mother of two boys (age 24 and 27). I have my studio the same place as I live. Actually, I’m living my dream life.
Where and when did your interest in painting and being creative begin?
My interest in abstract painting started back in 2004. My interest for drawing started when I was just a little girl, so I have been creative for almost all my life.
What does a typical day in your life look like?
A typical day for me starts about 8 to 10 am, having a slow breakfast on my sofa with the TV on. After breakfast, I go to my studio – only 5 meters from my home. Monday and Tuesday are my office days. The rest of the week I am creative or painting all day.
Do you have a favourite motive that you enjoy painting?
I paint abstract (at the moment) – but somehow I always get funny little drawings of “animals/people/things” in my paintings. Typically abstract cows, mushrooms, lamps, pistols etc.
With limited time and a busy schedule, how do you manage to have time to do all the things you want?
I am self-employed, but I never have enough time because I’m doing everything on my own; painting, making other products (pillows, bags, wallets). I’m also my own webmaster, photographer, writing blog posts, doing my own marketing on social media, making invoices, doing accountings and so on.
Many creative people describe how they get a special feeling of calmness within them when they work with their creativity. Is that something you recognize? What happens inside when you’re painting?
When I paint, I forget everything around me. I can be so stressed about all the things I also have to do, but when I give myself the time to paint – time flies so fast, and suddenly I have been painting for three to five hours and I didn’t even notice the time. I listen to pop music, dancing, singing and painting. Great combination.
What is the one thing that you love most about your job?
What I love most about my job is being my own boss. I sleep until I wake up. If I’m not in the mood for painting, I don’t paint. If I’m in the mood for painting, I paint. I work much more now being self-employed, but I love it so much and wouldn’t change my job for anything else in the world.
Is there any of your projects, that stands out in your memory, that you’re especially happy with or proud of?
Hmmm… Not any special projects. I have painted a lot of paintings and I still have a few paintings that I love more than others. I am being more and more my own hard criticizer – harder and harder on my self. I want to paint quality art and not just “fast painting”. Quality. Not quantity.
Congratulations with the title as “Årets Boligblog 2016” (Home/Living blog of the year 2016). How did you feel about receiving this title and the great recognition that it is?
Thank you so much! It was great and I was so honoured that the readers spent time to vote for me. It makes me want to post more in the future. I love my blog because home decorating is my hobby and writing about it gives me joy and at the same time it gives me a window for showing my paintings and my own home projects now and then. And my blog has given me the opportunity to open doors to being featured in Danish magazines.
It is, of course, possible to read all about the reasons for why it was you who got the prize, but in your own words, why would you say that you got it? What makes your blog something special?
Good question. I don’t know the answer for that… Maybe because I provide inspiration for homes and creative ideas, and don’t post “you must own this and that”. I also post pictures from my own home and my own creative ideas. And maybe because of the way I write… You know, ”down-to-earth and with a twist of humour”?
In what direction is Bettina Holst’s art and creativity moving towards in the future?
Now that’s also a very good question. I ask my self this every day.
First of all, I will always paint and sell paintings (hopefully). I have a lot of new ideas for new paintings – more figurative, but with my abstract approach. I am dreaming of making more pillows and accessories (bags etc.) with my own fabric and also of hiring an agent who can sell for me. I have plans for making videos on YouTube, getting my own YouTube channel and posting videos on Facebook and Instagram also about the processes etc. I have plans for making online painting-workshops and much more.
On your blog, you write about dreaming of making a “creative book” – is that dream close to becoming reality?
No it’s still just a dream. I would love to make a book. Two books actually. One about making your own lamps and one about how to decorate your home creatively and cheap with recycle materials and stuff you already have. Maybe someday my dream will come true :-)
And last but not least, which other artists or inspiring people would you recommend us to follow in Instagram?