THE TOP MODEL THAT ABANDONED THE CATWALK TO PAINT
To fully commit to one's inner wishes, ready to throw all inhibitions out the window, is a mastery granted to few. Apart from requiring the willingness to put in the effort, one has to prove to oneself as well as to convince the surrounding crowd that you're serious about your work. There's no room to revel in self-doubt or give way to the fear of failure. The art of making up one's mind, letting go of excuses and stop dithering and start producing is both a scary but at the same time liberating process. A process of which Alice seems to be no stranger to.
The young painter gave up a modeling career across the Atlantic because of her attraction to the arts. After being selected winner on Top Model Sweden a few years ago, an opportunity opened up in the States. But eventually, her inner desire lead her elsewhere. She changed runways for oil paints, charcoals, and a blank canvas. She found her calling and embraced both the blessings and the uncertainty of her new path. She works almost all the time now and seems genuinely delighted about it. Well, when finding the thing we're meant to be doing, the line between work and desire becomes somewhat blurry.
Given our exciting new collaboration with Alice we met up with her to discuss a young painters reality of today.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNIFICANT ADVANTAGES OF BEING AN ARTIST TODAY AND WHERE LIES THE CHALLENGES?
Alice: The most significant advantage is social media. It has never been easier to reach out to a large crowd. It is very beneficial to me as a painter - a profession that is unfortunately often thought of as a dead artform within art schools whereas video installations, conceptual and political art dominates and gets much more attention. It's actually quite challenging for many painters to be accepted to art school and later to get their work exhibited in galleries. I've been working very hard, and fortunately, luck has been on my side. Thankfully I haven't been affected by it as much as I thought I would be.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS, WHAT EMOTIONS ARE INVOLVED?
Alice: I'm always eager to get started and I usually work at a fast pace. I have these visual ideas that I want to pursue quickly. I commence by imagining a color or a feeling that I then transform into a story. I gather snapshots from my camera or the internet and manipulate them into a photomontage in the computer. Then I make the first draft. As soon as I've settled on a final sketch, I work continuously with very few (if any) breaks until the piece is finally done. In my case, this part of the process is often associated with a lot of mixed feelings of despair, aggression, and happiness.
DID YOU EVER DOUBT YOUR DECISION TO PURSUE ART?
Alice: I doubted a lot during my first years of art school, and I felt the pressure to change the way I worked. But I'm glad that I didn't. As soon as I started to follow my own lead, the doubt faded away. I'm not convinced that a degree from art school is necessarily something that you need to become an artist.
HOW DID YOU FIND THE MOTIVATION TO WORK PAST THOSE FEELINGS OF INSECURITY?
Alice: I make sure to surround myself with encouraging people. My boyfriend Chris Högman is also an artist, and we have a two-way support system that helps us both staying motivated. Also, the uncertainty of my profession requires of me not to sit back and wait for praise or opportunities; I have to believe in what I do and show people that I'm serious about it.
WHAT INSIGHTS ABOUT YOURSELF DID YOU GAIN FROM YOUR MODELING DAYS IN THE STATES? DID YOU LEARN ANYTHING THAT HAS HELPED YOU IN YOUR PRESENT CAREER?
I've compared both professions many times and found similarities. In both cases, one has to be prepared to handle very personal criticism. Also, both careers are very much associated with elusive dreams and competitiveness. Thanks to my modeling days, I was no stranger to receive disappointing news and to be judged or criticised when I tried to make it in the art world. I grew a lot as a person while modeling in the States. Taking risks doesn't seem to scare me that much anymore.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WHO WANTS TO PURSUE A CREATIVE DREAM?
Alice: Do your research and be prepared, all information that you need is right at your disposal, make use of it. Use social media to reach out and figure out what you want to communicate and how to stay true to that so that you don't lose sight of the things that are important to you. Embody your dream and invest a lot of time pursuing it. The first months are the hardest, avoid people that might infect you with negative energy.
Alice doesn't seem to worry too much about what her future holds, well aware of the changeability associated with a career in the modern arts. She's careful not to restrict herself in her creative work. Just like us, Alice seems tempted to further explore the rich exchange of ideas that arise when people are joined together in collaborations across borders. Curious about the possible outcomes and insights that can be gained when uncovering new fields together. "My dream is quite simple; I want to pursue art for the rest of my life, although the methods may vary. My future can play out in many different ways... one short-term goal though is to find a space where Chris and I can work together and welcome visitors to a showroom".
STOCKHOLM: ALICE'S LOCAL FAVORITES
PRINS EUGENS - WALDEMARSUDDE
"The exhibitions at Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde is usually quite generous and very well executed. Besides, the beautiful surroundings are perfect for a walk no matter what the season".
ARTIPELAG MUSEUM - GUSTAVSBERG
"If you've already been to Waldemarsudde, then head out to Artipelag to enjoy even more art and beautiful surroundings."
PICARD - KARLAVÄGEN
"If I have zero inspiration on what to cook for dinner, I make sure to visit Picard on my way home. They have a wide range of frozen dishes to choose from."
ALICE AT THE ATELIER
In a rewarding collaboration with the young artist and entrepreneur Alice Herbst, we have had the chance to capture her devotion and lively brush strokes in print. The limited edition poster, exclusively produced for Bach at the atelier, represents a woman sitting on the floor with a yellow suitcase next to her. Although her story remains untold, kept within the secret mind of Alice, it is the viewer's ability to wonder that gives the painting its true meaning. The poster is exclusively printed in Sweden on high-quality, environmental-friendly paper. The first 20 copies are signed by Alice.