I first saw Antonia Stangl’s artwork on Instagram and was really drawn in by them immediately.
The composition of colours and shapes is just amazing.
Especially in her newer work, it feels like you’re entering a space that captures the essence of dreams perfectly, which is the richness of possibilities and everything can happen.
For the following I asked Antonia if she wants to do an interview with me:
Luna Maluna Gri: Tell me a bit about yourself and your work
Antonia Stan: I went to an art school in Graz, where I graduated from the fields of sculpture and restoration. I then worked for a time as a restorer and since 2015, in addition to my teaching course at the Academy of Fine Arts, I have been working as a freelance artist, mainly in the field of abstract painting and illustration.
LMG: How and why did you start painting and illustrating?
AS: I’ve been painting for as long as I can remember. Even as a small child, the paper drawings piled up at home and my parents often no longer knew what to do with them. I think I was born with this creativity, because my grandmother and mother are also artistically gifted and I noticed it from an early age.
LMG: What is your experience with the art world?
AS: The art world is always surprising to me. I have made the experience that where a lot of art is gathered (for example in the academy where I have already unsuccessfully applied for the painting class umpteen times) I am much less noticed or valued than where I would never expect it. I often get my assignments out of the blue and most of the time I am written to by total strangers via some form of social media. When it comes to the world of art, I think that many artists take themselves too seriously and many do not value themselves enough. It took me a long time to really appreciate my work and there is still room for improvement.
LMG: Is there something you want to change about the art world? If yes, what and why?
AS: If I could change something in the art world, it would be that many more talented and creative people should have the opportunity to present their art to the public without paying a lot of money to galleries or exhibition venues. I think the feminist side of the art world must also come to the fore. In most minds, Picasso, Michelangelo, Monet, van Gogh, Dürer, Da Vinci, Klimt, and all other white men are still known for their works and there is hardly any talk of the women who created the quite remarkable art during this time. Not to mention the art from the eastern area and POC!
LMG: What do you think is / are the role / s of artists and art in our society?
AS: Art certainly plays one of the most important roles in society, but it is all too often dismissed as unimportant. This is where the future art teacher speaks from me when I say – the problem should be tackled from the roots. In the future, many artistic subjects will be shortened and technical and textile work will even be merged.
As a result, a lot of valuable time is lost for creativity and it is suggested to the students that creativity and art do not have an important place in our society. If we manage to change that, creativity can also flow in areas where one would think it is not needed (for example in the office, management, organisation, but it’s also so important in subjects like maths or physics, etc.)
LMG: What does your creating process look like?
AS: I actually work in phases. Because I don’t do it full-time, but alongside my job and my studies, I am not dependent on creating something every day. So it can happen that I don’t pick up a brush for months or switch completely to another medium, for example, I discovered needle felting in lockdown and have since built my little shop “the Fantastic Beasts”. The ideas just gush out of me and I actually always work without planning, and just go for it! It can also happen that I finish painting a picture and in the end decide to paint over everything, simply because I feel like it. Sometimes it also feels like a kind of inner cleansing. When I paint it out, it’s no longer in my head.
LMG: What inspires you?
AS: What inspires me are, among other things, my fellow students but also random photos or images on the internet, and above all architecture in public spaces. Sometimes very simple things like a color that I would like to work with and the rest will come by itself.
LMG: What artist / artists would you like to meet (dead or alive) and if you had one question what would you ask them?
AS: I would want to meet Ingeborg Strobl, Ana Teresa Barboza, Peter Gric, Alan Lee & John Howe, and so many more. I would ask them: what was the most defining thing in their life.
LMG: What does a normal creating day look like for you?
AS: On a normal day I start university work in the morning, felt an animal for my shop in the afternoon, and in the evening until late at night I stand in front of my easel or sit at my desk and am absorbed in my artistic work. I don’t notice anything around me anymore and sometimes even have to force myself to take breaks. I often don’t notice what time it has become until one or two in the morning.
LMG: What is something you can’t create without?
AS: I cannot work without motivation. If I start to work only half enthusiastically, then I already know that it won’t work out in the end.
LMG: Is there something you want to achieve in your art life? Dreams? Future plans? Or projects you would like to do?
AS: A few years ago I had the naive idea of becoming a great artist. But now I know that this is an incredible amount of work and that I just have to concentrate on it so that I can really achieve something. Talking to my art teachers also made it clear to me that an infinite amount of effort does not automatically lead to success, that is, it also takes a little luck. I have also learned that it is important for me to be able to express my creativity in all directions and not have to limit myself. As for the future, I would like to create more children’s books.
LMG: What was the reason for you to become an artist (if there is a specific one)?
AS: There was never a reason. The art was always there so it was only a matter of time 😊
Thank you for reading.
Don’t forget to follow Antonia on Instagram to keep up with all that she’s doing. https://www.instagram.com/antonia__stan/?hl=en