Meet Elke Foltz, a painter and illustrator who embraces challenge, is always ready to try something new, and isn’t afraid to fail.

Elke’s work is, in her own words, “wild and peaceful, tragic but funny, colourful and dark”. We sat down to talk about her passions, inspirations, and the challenges and excitement of moving from France to Berlin.

elkefoltz.com

Hello! What’s new in your world? What are you working on at the moment?

Hello!

Last week my atelier hosted the event “Open Studios” as part of the Berlin Art Week. It was very nice to meet so many others artists there and to get a lot of feedback from them on my work.

I am currently working on many projects, for example the album covers for different artists from the Berlin music scene. I will soon work in a big format of paintings, maybe only colours or with drawings, too. In the next months I will make a project about scarves together with the graphic designer Lou Hillereau. And sculptures around Voodoo culture together with the art director David Vitry Ferreira.

What drew you to Berlin? What’s the city’s art scene like?

I wanted something new in my life, to travel a bit, and I had heard so many positive things about Berlin. The city is wild and warm in the same time. So two years ago, I told to myself: let’s go discover it with my own eyes! The city’s art scene is rich, many events are organised around art in general, concerts, exhibitions, theatre. In September, for example, there is the Berlin Art Week, and it’s during this event I could open the door of my studio and meet many people.

What drew you to Berlin? What’s the city’s art scene like?

I wanted something new in my life, to travel a bit, and I had heard so many positive things about Berlin. The city is wild and warm in the same time. So two years ago, I told to myself: let’s go discover it with my own eyes! The city’s art scene is rich, many events are organised around art in general, concerts, exhibitions, theatre. In September, for example, there is the Berlin Art Week, and it’s during this event I could open the door of my studio and meet many people.

What were your biggest challenges, as an artist, moving to a new city in a different country? Would you recommend other artists get out of their “comfort zone”?

I am from France and when I decided to move to Berlin, I did not know what the city looks like.

Sure, I knew about the history of the city, but nothing about the current life. It was scary, but very exciting at the same time.

One of my first challenges was to travel alone, it was the first time for me. To be far away from my family and my friends in order to find my own way. To learn other languages. But maybe the biggest challenge is actually the same like when I was living in France, to stay strong for doing what you love, which for me is art!

Yes, sure, I totally recommend other artists to get out of their “comfort zone”. For me it was to move to a foreign city alone. But I think the most important thing is to be ready to do it. To take some time to think, but then when you’re ready – not to hesitate. That could be travelling, trying others medium, techniques, not to be scared to try new things.

What are your earliest memories of art? How did you discover and define your personal style?

I’ve drawn since I was a child. And my earliest memories of art were with my father, he used to draw and paint a lot. He was my first example of an artist. My mother gave me the passion for African art and the sensibility for colours. I had the chance to go to design art school when I was 15 and it was the beginning of many experimentations. Afterwards, for discovering my own style, I had to work a lot, to be curious and to take time to explore what I like and who I am.

It’s always difficult to define my own style. But I think my personal style is wild and peaceful, tragic but funny, colourful and dark. I try mostly for my illustrations to let the colour and the idea to be the initiation of my drawings.

What are your earliest memories of art? How did you discover and define your personal style?

I’ve drawn since I was a child. And my earliest memories of art were with my father, he used to draw and paint a lot. He was my first example of an artist. My mother gave me the passion for African art and the sensibility for colours. I had the chance to go to design art school when I was 15 and it was the beginning of many experimentations. Afterwards, for discovering my own style, I had to work a lot, to be curious and to take time to explore what I like and who I am.

It’s always difficult to define my own style. But I think my personal style is wild and peaceful, tragic but funny, colourful and dark. I try mostly for my illustrations to let the colour and the idea to be the initiation of my drawings.

Where do you work best? If you could create the ideal work space, what would it look like?

In my atelier, at my place and my boyfriend’s place, I am already lucky to share a studio with my friends Florent Lubienicki and David Vitry Ferreira. But if I could bring some new things in my atelier it would maybe be a place with natural light, all day long. High white walls and big windows like in an old factory.

Do you experiment with any other artistic disciplines? How do they inspire your work?

Yes! Music, dance, sculpture, embroidery and tapestry.

Music because sometimes lyrics can inspire me, the tempo can also bring me in a specific mood. Dance because I love to observe people, the body and emotions of movements. Many other artist inspired me, like Brecht Evens for example, both for his colours and his skills as an author, and Joan Cornèlia for his dark sense of humour, and also the sculptures of Giacometti, only to mention a few.

Do you experiment with any other artistic disciplines? How do they inspire your work?

Yes! Music, dance, sculpture, embroidery and tapestry.

Music because sometimes lyrics can inspire me, the tempo can also bring me in a specific mood. Dance because I love to observe people, the body and emotions of movements. Many other artist inspired me, like Brecht Evens for example, both for his colours and his skills as an author, and Joan Cornèlia for his dark sense of humour, and also the sculptures of Giacometti, only to mention a few.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Not to be scared to fail when you create. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Even the failures can bring you to something nice and true.

Find Creative Opportunities

Discover creative exhibitions, paid projects and cash-prize competitions!

775