Katia Wojtkow and Artienne presents:

Artist Illustrator, Drawings, Music, Photography

Music has always been a huge part of my soul and I loved being in a band … .. Playing my guitar or keyboard is something I love but making 3D illustration, traditional, digital painting, talking with different kind of Artists and have with them photo-session make me very happy also.  A few months ago, together with Katia from Belgium, we decided to do the exhibition of our photos and illustrations. The idea may seem crazy because we live in different countries, but strong people create reality and make their dreams comes true… 

Artienne: Photography is an art of observation. It has little to do with things you see but everything to do with the way you see them… When did you become interested in photography? Is this is your way of escaping from the grim reality?

Katia: I have always been fascinated by the image … to reflect the moment … beyond everything, I like delivering a message, a symbol … for example, I adore playing on the contrasts as the Parisian bustle seen in a peaceful garden of Montmartre, showing a clear landscape but enabling to perceive the place of shooting. Life is movement, peace, agony, rest … a permanent duality. I like encouraging people to interpret my photos (front and background) … each one will find his own symbolism according to his real-life experience, according to felt sound.

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Katia: What is your way of escaping from reality? How do you find inspiration for your illustration? What are the messages you are trying to convey through them?
Artienne: With my own experience I know that escaping from reality is not possible because everywhere you stay, sooner or later your own life will gonna get you. Yes, the escape into the world of fantasy brings temporary relief and sense of security in a new dimension, but never eliminates the hazards of life. It is important to find balance and be active regardless of what you do. You can escape into a world of fantasy, but you can not be passive. The imagery should be used, not escape, but create something new and interesting. My way of activity is the world of music, making tracks, painting, drawing, 3d illustration, embroidery, writing poetry, making viking clothing, learning new things from other people. The main source of inspiration for me is of course Norwegian nature, the voices of her children, and the magic of her sounds. I love walking by the fjord, meditate there, read old legends , folk fairy tales about magical creatures, secretive feminine and male characters.
I would like to show people some kind of spirituality and bring them positive thoughts, magic, joy and uplifting mood. Inside me is also some kind of duality and my soul cannot reject dark themes. Many people are afraid of experiencing this kind of plastic expression. My illustrations bring them a message that you can not completely avoid the darkness and run away from it. We cannot laugh all the time and say that our life is amazing. There is also place for sadness, bad mood and illness. But we have to find a balance between Dark and Light… even if we have to wait long time to reach the right points.

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Artienne: The name “Rillifane Rallathil” is elven god of protection of woodlands and the guardian of the harmony of nature. Probably this name come from the Forgotten Realms and I have to say that it fits very well to the topic of your art. On your web page I found lovely photos of nature, plants, animals, rivers, streams , sometimes people etc. What is your goal? Do you treat photography as a hobby or something more serious? Nature is probably the biggest source of inspiration for you?

Katia: I have no precise purpose, I’ve got an excellent job that fascinates me and widely feeds my family and my animals, I am thus free to work as I want in photography. It is of course a hobby that allows me to express my feelings, may they be happy or darker according to moments.
Nature inspires me, obviously as it is a big provider of lessons. It invites you to philosophy about questioning, humility…
It is not rare that when I do not feel good, I go and make a walk inthe woods I let my spirit wander, and often, I get out of it with a solution to my concerns.
Trees bewitch me in particular, I am next to them in my work a lot because I am responsible for the forest asset management of a city … they are my biggest source of inspiration.

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Katia: What’s the importance of nature in your art? Fairies and elves occupy a central place in your drawings, where does this fascination for these magical beings come from?

Artienne:

Very important for me is my determination to pursue my passion despite criticism from others who would prefer me take a more safe and lucrative path in life. I like to bright and colorful images, because they provoke positive feelings. But like I said won’t shy away from darker themes because they represent the human spirit as well. But even when if I exploring darker themes, there is always light and a “way out”. And that is because, no matter how hard my life gets, I never give up. This is the reason why I talk about to finding a balance between dark and light.
My fascination of Elves and fairies comes from folk fairy tales, books, music, paintings and illustration various authors.
I think that the roots of my inspiration should be sought during my childhood. I have enjoyed hearing grandma’s stories about magic, elves, and my mum reading from very early on. I learned to read very quickly and when my mother was at work, I quietly read her books. From what I remember, there were books about Greek and Roman mythology, history of Alexander the Great, Cleopatra, Ancient Egypt and Sumer, Old folk fairy tales etc. With the passing of years, the time has come to read about German, Slavonic, Finnish and Laplandic mythology. While I was studied of History at University I was fascinated by Sumerian mythology and Ancient Egypt, then by the Celtic and the Viking beliefs. I was also looking for inspiration in the world of fantasy literature, computer games, music and painting as well.

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 Artienne: Many legends are surrounding me and one of them says that I’m feeding Heiðrún with my leaves… Hléraðr Ramblings…. the name is connected to the millenium oak of the islandic deep forests…. Why did you choose the old Icelandic name instead of old French for your web page? Which kind of meanings have to you?

Katia: Iceland is one big source of inspiration for me. This country fascinates me both by its landscapes and culture, I dream to visit it. They apply a politic of very avant-gardist nature conservation. The name of Hléraðr came quite naturally, inspired by the legend of Yggdrasill, Christophe made a very good representation through logo with Heiðrún feeding on this tree this symbol is important for me ; a friend told me a day ” distance yourself from those who don’t nourish you”
By making reference to people who surrounded me but emptied me of my energy instead of bringing something positive to my life. This image of Heiðrún, which feeds on leaves of Hléraðr, comes from this idea … the blog is in fact, the ramblings of this old oak … I can dive in him and rave on what it could imagine in its distant forest.

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Katia: I think Nordic culture has also inspired you a lot in your 3d illustration especially the Viking tradition. How does this culture fascinate you?

Artienne: It is true. Nordic culture has had a huge impact on me. I have a nature of a viking traveler who likes to visit, discover different countries. For many years I have been fascinated history, the Viking and the Celtic beliefs. The subject of my Master’s Degrees was Old Uppsala and Heathen Cult in this place. Then I moved to England where I joined to a Viking re-enactment group in Bristol and I learned to design costumes and various apparel . In Otley I met a woman Katrin Newman who helped me enter the world of living history. During this period I was very fascinated by Birka, because of the interesting ornamentation. For many years I learned to draw portraits, embroidery, take pictures and always the subject of my work were Vikings, Scandinavian artists or creatures associated with Nordic culture. I am a big fan of the vikings series and Skyrim game 🙂 I do also listen to Scandinavian folk as well.

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 Artienne: “My artistic inspiration varies all the time between dark and bright at this moment”.-Katia. Yes I notice some kind of duality of your art. I found this interesting that you submitted on your web page color together with black and White images. Where are the roots of your fascination?
Katia: As Nature and seasons, I have a multifaceted personality. I oscillate between four seasons: Spring: euphoria of changes, the freshness of childhood, frivolity…
Summer: passion, enthusiasm, but also heat storms
Autumn: cleansing of the soul, removing the excesses of the summer, the need to be protected, following the example of the bare trees, we feel fragile, the sensibility is exacerbated.
Winter its coldness, its peace, its darkness …
My mood and inspiration follows these seasons … my photos are very different and so my texts.
This seasonal evolution was the electrical wire(main thread) of our sylvan musing, Christophe’s logos according to its inspiration, becoming completely integrated into this evolution.

Katia: Is your artistic inspiration more linear? Do the natural cycles or another natural phenomenon as the moon influence your work?

Artienne: You know, I was always alive and imaginative person who is not able to limit herself when it is come to the inspiration subject. Although the Nordic culture had a huge impact on my illustrations, however, you can see the diversity in my work. The image of “Eleanor” is a more like a smile of the Renaissance, court culture knows from historical novels Philippa Gregory or Alison Weir… Another series of illustrations I made have Pre-Rafaelite style. Also I really like reading books about Ancient civilizations. My renders Eudaimonia, Greek Oracle or Satyricon is a tribute to Greek mythology.
My own mythology … My wounded whisper..The only thing you hear …
In the one hand, I am talking about the culture of Ancient Summer, in another hand, I have the desire to create my own mythology. The inspiration come from Epic of Gilgamesh, Necronomicon, the music of Morbid Angel and the paintings by Zbigniew Beksinski. Other illustrations are an invitation to the world of computer games like Star Citizen, Conan Exiles, Witcher or Skyrim. I made a few illustrations with starship Antares and Twilek’s because of inspiration from Star Wars Movie. One of my illustration” Autumn Magic” touched the natural cycles topic. For me the magic school is a forest with trees, falling leaves and dry yellow grass. First character represents Autumn Spirit who came to us with her treasures, positive warm colors, the second is human being just looking for connection with nature. Meditation is just the way to help us to find the right path. I am looking for something spiritual in my life.. Winter is the time when the human body and nature have to regenerate. But after the storm, one day we must come out in the sun. Therefore, for me, Winter brings a balance between darkness and light. When it’s cold, the snowflakes are falling down, my soul is happy and full of energy. When it comes to a natural phenomenon or the moon phase, you will surely find more accents in my works in the nearest future. One of my favorite illustrations I made is Dark Elf Who has stolen the moon. For me, a character holding a small moon has a symbolic meaning. The phases of the moon have always been of great importance to me. When I lived in England, I also dealt with herbalism, I had my small garden with various herbs and flowers.

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Artienne: Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions. To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.What means creativity for you? You organize exhibitions for different kind of Arts – one of them was called Reverie Sylvestre. Can you say some thing more about your exhibition and activity. You made this exhibition with Luca Devinu Blessend illustrations and Christophe Szpajdel-Lord of Logos. How did you find the common theme?How do you remember this exhibition?

Katia: I always need a sheet of paper and a pen with me because everything can be source of inspiration, it’s just necessary to be ready to welcome the message that offers itself to us.
Christophe and I we know each other for more than 25 years, gathered by music at first (we realized and managed together the fanzine and the label of distribution “Burning Corpse” from 93 to 97) … we evolved, a bit as an old couple those who know us will say… because working together is sometimes very tiring, we are both very passionate and often, a new idea can take us in an euphoria state that requires to be supervised.
Both of us are fascinated by trees, birds, birds of prey and of course photography, this exhibition was for us an obvious fact.

Luca joined us by exhibiting drawings that became well integrated into our work reflecting a little bit of the mystic side of nature.
This exhibition has known an unexpected success.
We organized it from Friday opening to Sunday.
We had many visits, not only by people stemming from the field of music, many came for the “Outside World» … from logos, photos, paints, stories told with a lot of talent by Christophe …
All this in the back room of a pub … the public was diversified, and inquisitive, the purpose has been reached.

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Katia: We moreover exposed several logos that Chris realized for you … why this collaboration with Christophe? How you are known each other? What means “Artienne” for you? In French, it is an adjective concerning an art school.

Artienne: The main reason for my interest in Chris was his personality, great talent for logos, good heart and creative spirit. Of course, his work , all his logos has made a huge impression on me from beginning. A long time ago I made a zine devoted to metal music. We published the first issue of this zine in the printing house. Once I found an address to Chris and wrote to him or opposite :). I think it was 95-96. We lived in different countries, far from each other, therefore the meeting was not possible. For a long time we have been conducting correspondence, exchanging demos, zines, various things. It was a fantastic time, I asked Chris to make a logo for my music projects, I sent him a demo and he helped me. He was the only man I could trust. He wrote to me a lot about the Belgian and Portuguese scene at the time. I wrote to him about other bands … Later I had a conflict with my co-worker and again asked Chris for help and making a new logo. Then we had a break period. After finishing studies, I moved to England, while Christophe lived in Exeter. After many years I found him on Myspace and again we re-freshed our contact , this time thanks to the new technology and internet we managed to talk on the phone and skype 🙂

Artienne is a French name… ARIENNE: French form of Latin Ariadne, meaning “utterly pure.” , some people claim that Artienne means devoted to the Gods, but in my opinion they are wrong because they are thinking about form Arielle, Abrielle, Ardelle which means the lion of God. Artienne is more connected to the spirit and human beings, who decided to devote all their life to the Art. So it make sense for me that Artienne must be a an adjective connected to Art school. When I pick up the name I didn’t think about the name Artienne which contains “Art”. I was happy with the sound and old french origin. My great-grandma and grandma was born in Charbonnier Les Miles in France and they lived there for many years. My great dad was the miner and musician, who played very well violin and viola. This is what I know from my grandma Anne.

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 Artienne: Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, to the imagination and life to everything-Plato.What is music for you? I know you love metal music and many years ago you made fan zine with Christophe. You are also manager of Burning Corpse. Can you say something more about your demons and your old fan zine? 🙂 How you see future of metal scene?

Katia: Metal is a magical music… a friend told me a day ” we, the metalheads, are in the extreme, our sensibility are exacebated “… it’s so true!
I adore frequenting little fests where I don’t know many people… after a few hours, we discuss as if we known ourselves for a long time.
Seen from the outside, it’s difficult to understand this mentality but it’s in the world of the music that I made the most beautiful meetings, the most true, richest, strongest…
Burning corpse was a fanzine and a distro -list for small independent groups that contacted us (we interviewed them and we took some demos from them to be distributed), we worked mainly with Riccardo Figiaconi (Miscarriage Records) and Dan Swanö (Unisound ) for the more known groups.

I took back this name for my page Facebook of live reports.

At the beginning of the 90s, when I began with music, internet didn’t exist, it was a great time for tape trading.
We knotted contacts throughout the world by exchanging k7’s with our untraceable musical discoveries at the record dealers.
I remember that was a blessed era…
Exchanges of handwritten letters with one tape and small explanations about the pieces we made discover to our correspondent. It was really magic, we looked forward to the postman.

Many of these friendships continued, we met each other again thanks to Facebook but the magic, the intimate side and the confidence of letters is not there anymore.
The future of the scene metal? I don’t know … I keep following a lot of young groups but in a undefinable way, there’s something that does not exist anymore … the spirit is not the same anymore…
I exchanged a lot with Dan Swanö, we always had in mind discovering new talents without prejudice ; there was this underground spirit, every group had its luck…I don’t know how to explain, but the contacts with groups is not the same anymore.

Katia: What are your musical influences? What impact have they on your work? What is your approach of the scene metal in particular?

Artienne: In my home, my parents listened to different music, but my spirit needed more diversity and an element of mysticism. I love guitar music by Hendrix, Steve Hackett, Eddie van Halen, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Jason Becker, classic (Mozart, Bach, Betthoween), Chopin, Berg, Grieg, Elend, metal and rock with various styles. I have always liked music that is more difficult to receive.When it comes to concerts, I loved going to talk with people but after some time I needed loneliness and time to create music or make illustrations. Unfortunately, my parents were not delighted with my actions and the fact that instead of earning money I am like drunk marine who just spends money for new instruments, softwares etc.. But you can not live according to the wishes of your parents or other people. You have to be yourself :). I kept contact with many musicians but not so often because of my studies. When creating illustrations I listen to different music, for example Sopor Aeternus, Morbid Angel, Blind Guardian, Dead Can Dance, The Gathering, Anneke Van Giersbergen, Arcturus, Wardruna, Chaostar, Garmarna, Devil Doll, Immolation … The magic of sound put me to the right mood. For many years I have not been drinking alcohol or taking drugs. The only stubs I can not get rid of is the magic of sound and the cup of coffee.

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Artienne: Horses carry the wisdom of healing in their hearts and offer it to any humans who possess the humility to listen. You are living in a farm with plenty of horses and i can see that they are very special to you. Can you say something more about the Spirit and magic around them?
Katia: I don’t live in a farm but I have got a house filled with animals, dog, cat, reptiles, fishes and I breeds Bantams of Beijing.

My horses stay in a private stable within a few kilometers from my home.
My relatives and grandparents always had horses too, the divorce of my parents had risks of everyday life and also a bad fall took me away from this passion for a few years and then, having caught the virus, my daughters brought horses back in my life.
In the evening, I’m going out of the office, I drag my feet at the stable, cursing the cold and then there the breath and the look of my horse, « El’ Boy », erase takes away any trace of discomfort… it puts ts head tenderly against me, I brush her and the magic operates… everything fades around me… the carpet, the saddle, the girth… this small game between us, iEl’Boy nibbling the belt… , I dispute it kindly …I close the last loop and now we’re off to runway…
There, it pays attention to the friends who join us … we walk a little, we discuss, we calm down … and then I ride it calmly… and during one hour, time does not exist anymore, … exercises of softenings, body-building … we end sweaty, a small cover on its back, some carrots, a big cuddle … moment of calm, incomparable sweetness, impression of well done work … a feeling of plenitude.

Katia: Animals are very present in your 3D illustration, drawings also, what are the ones which inspire you most? What is your approach and your relation with them?

Artienne: That’s right. In my illustrations, there are animals such as wolves, squirrels, cats, tigers, horses. But I have special sympathy for the wolves. These animals can follow the gaze of others. In social animals, it is an important skill because it allows one to predict someone’s next move, such as a predator or victim, and to follow important events in the herd. .. The wolf also found its place in the traditional legends of China. According to the Chinese, the sun sometimes eclipses, because a huge wolf swallows them. In ancient Rome, it was believed that one who managed to see the wolf who was associated with Mars was the god of war. So whoever saw him, he could be sure of good luck in the battles. One of his greatest victories over the Gaelic armies, the Romans in their opinion attributed to the wolf. The animal was sent by Mars to the enemy army of the Gauls. One of the most famous Roman myths tells the story of a female-wolf who nursed Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome. The wolf’s qualities made such an impression on people that all the cultures of the lands on which this animal lived had included his character in his religious beliefs, symbols or legends. Very old tribes dressed up in the wolfskins  of hunters and sorcerers. This was to provide them with the most valuable features of these exceptional animals. The wolf’s teeth hung around his neck to protect people from evil.
Many people say that I have a wolf spirit. I do not know if it’s true, but I’m a little loner by nature. I love lonely walks and taking pictures in plenary to different animals. I come from a big city, so it’s hard for me to talk about my relationships with animals. At home, my mother did not like animals so I did not have any. When she was pregnant , my father took me to the grandparents, who had horses, dogs, cats, and other animals. In this short period I had a closer contact with animals, but I was a small child, so my behavior towards animals was like any child in the city. I had to understand and observe many things. My parents got divorced when I was eight years old and since then I have not seen my grandparents. Relations between parents were far from ideal, so in my private life I was very careful when it came to setting up a family. I love also dragons, demons and these sweet creatures have also special place in my heart.

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Artienne: I know you like this author and also you added this quote to your page. What is special about Jack Kerouac in Big Sur? which kind of literature and poem you like?
“Because a new love affair always gives hope, the irrational mortal loneliness is always crowned, that thing I saw (that horror of a snake emptiness) when I took the deep iodine deathbreath on the Big Sur beach is now justified and hosannah’d and raised up like a sacred urn to Heaven in the mere fact of the taking off of clothes and clashing wits and bodies in the inexpressibly nervously sad delight of love- don’t let no old fogies tell you otherwise, and on top of that nobody in the world even ever dares to write the true story of lovem it’s awful, we’re stuck with a 50% incomplete literature and drama- lying mouth to mouth, kiss to kiss in the pillow dark, loin to loin in unbelievable surrendering sweetness so distant from all our mental fearful abstractions it makes you wonder why men have termed God antisexual somehow- the secret underground truth of mad desire hiding under fenders under buried junkyards throughout the world, never mentioned in newspapers, written about haltingly and like corn by authors and painted tongue in cheek by artists, agh, just listen to Tristan und Isolde by Wagner and think of him in a Bavarian field with his beloved naked beauty under fall leaves.”
Jack Kerouac in Big Sur

Katia: I really like this author as many others … in fact, the choice of the literature excerpts depends on my feelings in front of the picture illustrated … Christophe and I are very fond of quotes, and book excerpts … as soon as we meet a little sentence that challenges us during our readings or our meetings, we talk about it …. Sometimes Chris makes a beautiful calligraphy cfr example.
This quotation from Big Sûr illustrated a photo taken in the Ninglinspo valley in the south of Belgium, the coolness of a forest and its spring statements reminded me of the beginning of a romantic relationship …

My readings are a bit like my artistic inspirations … very changeable according to my mood …

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Katia: Your drawings, renders sometimes seem straight out of the pages of a book. Have you ever thought of illustrating books?Are your drawings inspired by literature? who are your favorite authors?

Artienne: A year ago, I made illustrations and covers to both e-books of George Sophie Ramey. I think you can still get these books on Amazon. At that time, I was the person who took the first steps as a graphic illustrator so I didn’t have much experience with Daz Studio. I also made some pictures for an English company that produces furniture.
I love reading historical novels, fantasy books, philosophical essays and poetry. The paintings of various periods and fantasy illustrations have had a huge impact on my imagination.
I like reading book from : Tolkien, Steven Erikson, R.A. Salvatore, Terry Goodkind,Richard Kirk, Umberto Ecco, Lovecraft, Cleve Barker, Stephan King, Sapkowsky, S. Lem, Graham Masteron, Robert E Howard, Bernar Cornwell, William Morris, Andrew Lang, Francisco de Moraes, Johann Ludwig Tieck, John Ruskin, George Mac Donald, L Frank Baum, Robert E Horaed, Ursula L Le Guin. Necronomicon by Simmons, Socrates, Platon, Empadocles, Anaxagoras, Thales, Pitagoras…

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 Artienne: The heart of the chakra is our potential connection with the highest levels of awareness, innate intelligence, which cannot be taught, intuition and knowing. It is the balance point for the other six(chakras)-the lower three largely relate to this reality and the higher tree largely to expanded levels of awareness and communication. The heart is at the governor sitting of the centre or should be and is potentially ,emphasies on potentiality -our connection to infinitate oneself. What you think about the chakras ?

Katia: I know the main principles of the chakras but I have never really been interested in it. For me, harmony of the body goes through harmony of the spirit. I am convinced that when something is stuck in my life, it will manifest itself as a summarization.
But I admit it’s a philosophy that I don’t know well enough.

Katia: Can you explain to me how this philosophy works? How do you apply it in your everyday life?

Artienne: I was interested in these topics very long ago when I had health problems(allergy, rheumatism and gallstones. In England I met a woman named Maria who was interested in esotericism and told me that I have blocked, blue sacral and red chakra (Roots). I used chakras and crystals for meditation. She told me also to use blue and red candles, wear clothing in this colors, put some decorations , use special kind of herbs, oils and crystals. When it comes to chakras, it is best to talk about when we will meet in Belgium at the exhibition. I can only tell you a little bit about it…
Imagine the spine as the shaft of the elevator, and the chakras as individual floors on which we experience life. When we rise from one floor to the next in consciousness, we broaden our perspective.Suppose that the chakras are seven floors of a building. When we are on the lowest floor and we look out the window, we have a different view in front of us than from the other floors. On each successive floor we gradually see more and more. If the windows on all floors are clean, the views are uninterrupted. However, the window panes are often obscured by our beliefs. We must be ready to verify all beliefs to clean them. Chakras determine how we use energy. They are batteries for various levels of life energy. They collect, store and give shape to energy through communication with the cosmic life force. The free flow of energy between us and the Universe is directly dependent on our overall health and contentment. Chakras determine how we use energy. They are batteries for various levels of life energy. They collect, store and give shape to energy through communication with the cosmic life force. The free flow of energy and contentment. The first step to understanding the chakras is to see their action in our life in the form of energy flow. The same life force flows through us as through plants, animals, clouds, rivers and mountains. It flows through the chakra system in an organized and visible way. You can watch it and feel it, but you have to reach the observer’s perspective. People with sensitivity that allows them to see the chakras define them as vortices of energy, rotating like luminous circles and emanating each with their own color.
The faster they spin, the more energy they can download and transfer.
However, always the lowest energy frequency is shown by the root chakra (emanating in red), and ever higher each one towards the head crown chakra – analogously to the higher notes in the range and the colors of the rainbow from red to violet.

The combination of these circles of light creates our aura, which is the radiation of subtle light energy from the chakras.

Chakras are usually associated with the system of endocrine glands. Their position in the body coincides with the location of many of these glands, and the importance of each chakra is closely related to the function of the corresponding gland.
However, this relationship is not physical, because the chakras, despite their position along the spine, are not physical.

In contrast, the energy of the chakras, although it is subtle by nature, not physical, permeates all aspects of our life. By acquiring awareness of its operation, we direct our attention from the physical manifestations to the energy hidden behind them, that is, where the changes take place really.

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 Artienne: Do you have any plans for the future?
Katia: A new project on the way with you … our conductive thread is slowly taking form …
Other projects en route in early 2018 with Christophe, the time to meet a few days and develop ideas of a new collaboration …

I also have other projects on standby like the publication of several albums containing my most beautiful photos of forests embellished with quotes but cumulating several professional and artistic activities, I would just like to find the time … to live, to dream, to let the inspiration carry me …

Katia: And you, do you have other projects in mind?
Artienne: At this moment in my head I have an exhibition project with you in Belgium. I hope Chris will join us. I started work for Elite 3D Artists as well. I think about creating covers and illustrations for books and metal albums. When I saw the Artwork of Ken Coleman, I realized I had to do more useful things. I would like to do something more with the music but I am getting older and it is hard to find a person to cooperate with. That’s why i think about making music for games. I do not want to plan too much because for the present time it does not make sense. I will see where art will take me. 🙂 Thank you Katia for brilliant talk.

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Medusa Gorgona Photography

Photography

Medusa Gorgona: I am photographer inspired by fairy tales and Pre-Raphaelite paintings. I love create dark whimsical romantic pictures with textured look, dominated by strong colors. 

My goal is find a speck of magic in every woman and turn it to bonfire to light a beautiful vessel of human body from within. 

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“Wind among the Blooms”
Cool and cold day with Gemma, when we shop for dresses to shoot and shoot each other in my garden. I love Gemma retouching style, so pre-raphaelite.
Photographer Gemma Wyrd – model & photographer
Model Medusa Gorgona Model
Studio Medusa’s Garden Studio
— with Maria Mirage.

Artienne: What was the first modelling or photography? How long are you interested in photography? What was the first impulse?

Maria: Difficult to separate what was first as I started taking pictures when I was a teenager, and it was all kind of pictures cloud in the sky, feral cats in old houses, macro of flowers, landscapes, friends, really everything. So photography was not a separate form of art for me then but way of capturing memory of my reality. For example I had a long period when I was very interested in body art. It started to making patterns on the papers, back side of copybooks, later on patterns creep in from papers to my palms and arms and or thighs. (What you comfortably can reach with pen). I was doing body art with everything  ink-pen, markers, iodine, other antiseptics, eye shadows, lipsticks later on with theater makeup set, and everywhere city, camping trips, sports camp..

So I literally “apply” my vision on me and to other. When I became member of local photo club I model more just because I am female as I was helping my other photographer friends. But I really became interested in modelling when my camera broke and I was in kind of  zone when you don’t want to buy the same camera, but don’t have money on much better one. In one year I made more than 20 shoots. It taught me a lot about modelling, photography, people and life, it brought me a lot of joy, excitements and disappointments. I never forget this year when only way I could express myself artistically it actually being a model. I don’t believe you have to always use proper tools, the motivation and desire is more important. I think important things was I wanted to create something which did not exist before.

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Photo taken by Riitta Toro Photography
Model & MakeUp & Stylist Medusa Gorgona Model
— with Maria Mirage and Riitta Toro.

 

 

 

Artienne: What is your greatest success when it comes to modelling? Do you think the modeling is dangerous for women? Is it hard work for you?

What is your secret to look fresh and beautiful?

Maria: My greatest success as model were find another photographer/model ladies Gemma and Lillian. We had many photo session when in one day  we were shooting each other. It show that the vision is everything. You can shoot in the same place, in the same costume, but person who holding camera and moving on front of camera create new reality every time.

Modelling definitely provide dangers to women. Anyone who considering modelling should consider the risks and take all necessary precausions. I myself were lucky and did not have any really bad cases, but even despite taking all precautions I have a few unpleasant encountering. As well models have to grow very thick skin and be confident as you may see very unflattering picture of yourself.

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“Taste the Winter” Winter Fairytale series. Cold and Blue calling in winter short days we all want to add some sparkling beautiful magic to our lives.

Styling & Photography Medusa Gorgona Photography
Studio & Costumes Medusa’s Garden Studio
Model Natasha Felix
Makeup Monique Giamattei Makeup Artist

 

 

Artienne: You are fascinated by fairy tales, Pre-Raphaelian paintings, Gothic, Victorian, heathens (Wicca) and nature themes. Why this kind of influences? Are you also inspired by musicians playing this kind of music or poem written by heathen souls?

 

Maria: I think it all come to root that I always loved imaginary worlds. As kid I read tremendous amount of fairy tales, not just fairy tales your mother would tell you, but go to school and find all possible fairy tales, Africans, Persians, Japanese, Nordic. As soon as I grow up enough to have interest in science fiction I gorge myself in reading that sometime a few books at the time. My parents have huge library of science fictions and classical literature, I could just stretch my arm and chose new reality for a few days. Later on I start reading a lot of mythology and fantasy. I not just liking these genres I like to investigate it, like read myths and fairy tales from different cultures and different periods to see how humanity change and its vision to  imaginary things change with it. Morality, geopolitics, believes, aesthetics are all stored in myths and fairy tales as much as in scientific papers and just waiting for us to be explore, to be descripted.

Range of my styles are dictated I love to find beauty and love it to be magical so nature, fairy tale and pre-raphaelite is a core. I do venture in other styles like Victorian and Gothic as I love the looks but as well it is much easy to hold on on right costumes. I am not limited to that if I could have kimono, mermaid or native American costume or Egyptian queen outfit I would create pictures out of it too. I am actually looking for it right now. I guess I have very eclectic taste as well I don’t feel I am binded to some time frame or place in human history. I want to explore it all, but they way too much to explore in one human life time. So I start with the  esthetical pleasing to me and more easy to obtain.

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Photographer & Stylist Medusa Gorgona Photography
Model & Makeup Elladora
Assistance Isabella Barter
Rings & Headpiece Medusa’s Craft
Wig Gothic Lolita Wigs

 

 

Artienne: “My goal is find a speak of magic in every woman and turn it to bonfire to light a beautiful vessel of human body from within. “

Can you find the magic in every human being?

Watching your pictures I noticed that your main models are mostly women?  Why?

 

Maria: I do believe there is magic in every human, it just too many of of us get use to shot it down along with imagination and daring to dreams. Yes, I do mostly photographed woman. Apart of believing the female beauty should be celebrated as it such temporary and fragile things, and I want to empower women by showing them how beautiful they are there is a lot of personal in it. In my life I mostly live and work amongst men. I grow up as tom-boy wearing jeans and snickers, liking chess, shooting and preferring Lego to dolls. I am software engineer, I embrace logic and science as well, however women are quite rare in engineering. So whole day I spend with men, I married and have son as well so I spend my evenings with men too 🙂 I even got female cat to keep some balance in life. As well I wear a lot of skirt to remind me who I am. so photographing women is my way to connecting to female side of life more. May be my time to play dolls finally come to me ? I started collecting pretty dolls for my project couples of years ago.

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“Last autumn bloom” from “Autumn fairytales”

Photography Medusa Gorgona Photography
Videography Richard-Wakefield Photography
Model Jessica Megan
Studio & Costumes Medusa’s Garden Studio
Wig Gothic Lolita Wigs

 

 

Artienne: Can you tell us more about the genesis of name “Medusa Gorgona”? Why did you choose this name? What is special about “Greek Medusa”?

Maria: The name of my page was my nick name in photography for a long time, started as combination of my love to myth with a joke.

Apart just I love myths about Medusa and love symbols of snakes, I have certain compassion to the personage as she was punished for being beautiful and turned to a monster which is quite often scenario happening in Greek myths as it expressed believes of very patriarchal society. Joke related some of my friend commented once I looked at someone who was trying to chat me like I wanted to turn them to stone like Medusa. However I plan to stop using these name, and proceed with Maria Mirage as it more described who I am and what I do. I create beautiful mirages.

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Harvest fairy” from “Autumn fairytale” series,

Photographer Medusa Gorgona Photography
MUA Anna Fullbrook – Makeup Artist
Studio & “Magical forest” Medusa’s Garden Studio (my back garden)
Wig Gothic Lolita Wigs

 

Artienne: Your wardrobe is full of beautiful dresses, crowns, headpieces, nails, dolls etc. How looks like the process of creating such a costume? Are you fashion designer? What props are you taking to your garden for photo session? Where you are buying all these things like: chalices, bowls, cups, artificial leaves and flowers? Did you visit special shops and car-boots?

Maria: I wish I could be fashion designer, but I am not good in drawing so I never proceed to study design or fashion. However I have feel for beautiful things. Most part of my dresses and props were bought by me in all kind of places: car boots, charity shops, e-bay. I love to think I give them new beautiful life. I always adore big headpieces and flower crowns and I though “Oh you needed to be craftsman and an artist to create it” but step by step I overcome my fear, and start just putting things together with wire, glue gun, pins, by stitching. As I am trading in illusions my dresses or headpieces do not have to be fully real. They have to only look real in a moment of shoot. I literally assemble the outfit sometime using different parts, adding fabrics, belts, etc.

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Classical fairy tale couple ! Both are such fantastic models
Photography Medusa Gorgona Photography
Model & Retouching Gemma Wyrd – model & photographer
Model Luca
Studio Medusa’s Garden Studio

 

 

 

 

Artienne: If Photography is an art of illusion so how to bring dream to reality?

Any tips, advice for photographers or models?

Maria: Dream big, go to your dream step by step, repeat and try again, never give up no matter what people say or how long it take you.

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“Unlock autumn dream sadness” from “Autumn

Photography Medusa Gorgona Photography
Videography Richard-Wakefield Photography
Model Jessica Megan
Studio & Costumes Medusa’s Garden Studio

 

 

Artienne: How it looks process of your post-work? When I watch some of your photos like: Dark and Goth Vampires,”Raven Mistress”  “The melancholy of Arwen” , I noticed that you were using very strong colors.Do you like a strong contrast?

Maria: I think there are three main thing I do in post processing to move it closer to painting.

– Intensify main color and darken/discolored the edges of picture

– Add more light, contrast, sharpen to main object to emphasize it

– Apply textures

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Photography Medusa Gorgona Photography
Model Simone Clare Stocks
Studio & Costume Medusa’s Garden Studio
Wig Gothic Lolita Wigs

 

Artienne: You cooperate with many artists, models and photographers. What did you learn from others?

Maria: Let go of your ego, do not judge people before you work with them. I met brilliant but an confident people and overconfident people who was just full of themselves and complain about other endlessly.

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Photography Medusa Gorgona Photography
Model Simone Clare Stocks
Studio & Costume Medusa’s Garden Studio
Wig Gothic Lolita Wigs

Artienne: Once you have written about photo-sessions underwater. Did you realize your dream? What would you like to achieve future? What are your dreams?

Maria: Not yet – still working on it. I want it so much it make my heart beat faster right now when I even think of it. I love floating long dresses, long hair, contrast of flesh with fabrics.. For me just being underwater already magical as it change colors, movements, it play with our sense of gravity. There are so many ideas I want to do ! But I needed to be patient.

 

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Tempting beautiful “Raven Mistress” from Halloween inspired series. Magical powers embodied in enticing daughter of the night.

Photography Medusa Gorgona Photography
Model Natasha Felix
MUA Anna Fullbrook – Makeup Artist
Behind the scene video Fudge Tiger
Assistance & Video Nataliya Ilieva
Wig Gothic Lolita Wigs
Studio & Costumes Medusa’s Garden Studio

Byrkjedal – Norway

Photography

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Byrkjedal  is a small mountain village in Gjesdal municipality in Rogaland. The name Byrkjedal originates from the germanic words for birch and valley. In other words, a valley where birch grows. Byrkjedalsgryta lies sandwiched between towering mountains with Hunndalen and Sirdal in a north-easterly direction and Gloppedalen and Bjerkreimselva in southwestern direction. To the north there is a narrow “current” that binds Byrkjedalsgryta with Gilja and Dirdal.