by Lisa Heine

Normally I am inspired by nature, books, music or my own emotions. Often it is my dreams that give me a certain feeling that I process into drawings.

But sometimes the inspiration comes creepingly from the subconscious. A few years ago I became ill and red spots formed all over my body. This change lasted for months and I no longer felt like myself. When I thought about it, the shape of a winged monkey came into my head and I associated my physical change with it. This mutation described my condition and I could visualize my feelings. So I started to work on ‘Tobusaru’.

The winged monkey with bat wings is now a symbol of physical and psychological transformation for me. It is very interesting for me to work with symbolism to give the viewer enough space for interpretation. While working on it, I learned a lot about myself and how to accept change. It helped me through all phases of dealing with the problem.

Inspiration is a very abstract word and there are many different ways to find it. Sometimes you get inspired by a story that you found particularly gripping. On another day the singing of a bird is enough to give the idea for a concept. In my opinion the key is to be open-minded.

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