30 Nov 2017
SMALL COMICS ABOUT BIG SOUNDS
Artist Lilli–Krõõt Repnau spent the month of September 2017 in HIAP as part of the CUNE Comics-in-residence Programme. Lilli combines in her work comics with printmaking, animation, music and songwriting, and she would love to develop all these aspects further in her future endeavours.
Having worked with comics, printmaking, animation and music, could you tell us what is the work you’re most proud of?
A week before I arrived to HIAP, I curated an exhibition about Estonian contemporary printmaking in Tartu Art House. ”Beyond Reality” offered the possibility to discover this “world” from the viewpoint of contemporary printmakers. This exhibition was not based on precisely defined technical boundaries, which meant that the artists could expand two-dimensional graphics through different other dimensions. Although I consider myself more as an artist than curator I felt great: I really enjoy making exhibitions and thinking in a particular space or gallery room, how different works interact with each others and create new dialogues. I also participated in that exhibition, but I was so fulfilled with obligations, that I made my works just a week before opening.
During my artistic practice I have noticed I like to tell stories. So from that point of view comics, printmaking, animations are very natural tools for me and I use them all in my art. I often think about material culture in our daily life and printmaking is an excellent practice to explore that.
What would you consider the hardest part of your job as an artist?
Nowadays artists have to write so many projects and think ahead, so sometimes it is hard to focus on the present moment. So I guess I deal with the same issues. Personally, the hardest part for me is to balance all my interests and make official reports.
What did you love about the ukulele so much that you decided to put it into a comic?
I started to rehearse ukulele last October and it has become important part of my life. I’ve always sung and made songs and lyrics, but usually kept them to myself. I have always been quite unconfident with performing, but I feel it is important to share and have the courage to open up. It made me think about how fear and insecurity can affect our lives, and I wanted explore that topic in my artistic practice and in comics. Also I have always wanted to play some instrument and ukulele was great to begin with. It is so tiny and it is easy to carry on, but still has its unique sound.
Are sounds an internal part to your art? How do you approach them visually?
At the moment, I am making an exhibition about finding my own voice and also about issues that have been holding me back. The past year has been like an explosion – the songs just keep coming. Sounds are a very important part of my art and I often I sing or repeat some phrase when I am drawing. I like to listen to different kinds of music, but also I enjoy silence and nature sounds.
During my animation studies, we had an exercise in sound art to observe different sounds in environment. I felt like I have done it all my life, observing, but not only visually but also with my ears.
It sounds like you are especially into smaller books – the non-superhero stuff.
I enjoy the variety in creating narration in artistic books. I have also done superhero stuff, but it has never become my main focus.
Do you wish to have your comics widely published?
Yes, that could be nice. I overlooked some materials about an animated film that I started to make during my MA studies. I would like to finish that project and work both in animation and in comics. Sometimes it is difficult but often more inspirational to move between different media, I have come to realize it is in my nature and it allows me to discover new perspectives. It keeps me curious and excited.
What are you currently reading?
On this year my focus has been in female songwriters-artists and their stories. I had great impact from Patti Smith, “Just Kids” and Kim Gordon’s “Girl in the Band”. I just finished the Muñoz&Sampayo comic-book about Billie Holiday. Also I am currently reading Nikolai Berdyaev’s book “Sense of Creation” and Joan Didion “The White Album”.