Artist Interviews

5 Questions with Icelandic Artist Kristjana Williams

Renowned Icelandic artist Kristjana Williams has produced a selection of 3D works and hand-embellished prints exclusively for Rise Art. Learn more about the artist in this Q&A and get your paws on on of these pieces asap.

By Aimee Morris | 08 Dec 2017

Kristjana Williams is consistently one of our top five viewed artists on Rise Art. The Icelandic artist is known for her fantastical illustrations of flora, fauna and the cityscape. Kristjana creates exotic creatures by fusing butterflies, tropical birds and exotic plants. And look closely at her cityscapes and maps - you’ll see a touch of jungle fever in those works too. 


Kristjana tells us about her process.


The artist has produced commissions for the likes of designer Paul Smith and Liberty department store, and she’s created installations for for hotels and exhibition centres in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Her most recent collaboration with Paul Smith, The Explorers' Voyage, involves an interactive exhibition featuring a menagerie of fantastical animals.


Visit Kristjana's exhibition at Paul Smith this month. Open daily from 10am to 7pm.


1. Kristjana, how long does it take you to create one of your original 3D works?

It depends, the ones I like doing the most are the private commissions where I personalise the piece for my clients. That whole process can take up to 9 months. It is a very private journey. A lot of my clients are not sure if they have enough history, others worry about having too much history - regardless the way the piece grows through the stages is a very deep, personal and collaborative process between me and the client which is incredibly rewarding.


Kristjana holding up one of her 3D collage works.


2. It looks like you love the London cityscape. What's so special about it?

Growing up in Iceland, where there are very few tall buildings, the impact the London skyline had on me was massive. I am truly inspired by this great city, and working on London themed artwork is a passion of mine.


These pieces are extremeley intricate and require painstaking layering work.


3. Why is it so important that each Artist Proof is hand embellished and different?

A hand embellished A/P is a special thing. All Artist Proofs are pre-edition samples where you test out colours and shades. So you are working on top of a print edition that is sold out, and the elements that I have added give the piece a three dimensional effect.


Detail shot of Vestur Uglu London.


4. What do you love most about making art?

I find the process of creating an artwork very therapeutic but it’s also like an adventure. With every piece you make you learn something new and discover something different. I don’t think there are any real aspects of art making which I dislike, I suppose it can be time consuming but I think it’s necessary to dedicate the time in order to be pleased with the final result.


Kristjana putting together Rosa Hjartar Tree.


5. What role does nature play in your maps and cityscapes?

Nature has always been really important to me. The Icelandic nature is really harsh and unforgiving, it is very stark with lots of blacks, whites and greys. The colourful flora and fauna in other parts of the world is a great inspiration, and I enjoy playing with colours in my work, the colours in the nature elements pring a piece to life.

Browse Kristjana's Works >>

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