Fanny Bostrom Gentle.

“My studio is opposite a park in the east Willamsburg…I usually bike there with my dog Sprout in the basket. My husband Bill has a studio in the same building, when we are lazy or it’s too cold or hot we drive our white Volvo Snoopy up there. My favorite thing about my studio is the big windows that covers one of my walls in my studio. When I used to walk by one of these buildings with the old small glass windows I used to think that I would love to have a studio like that one day. They are a pain in the ass though, lets water and cold winds in and heat out in the winter but I still love them with all their light and airiness.”

“Right now I’m moving my studio around a bit. Sometimes when things feel a stagnant I like moving furniture around. I don’t know why, I’ve done it since I was a kid, maybe I should have done interior decoration instead! But it makes the place feel new and fresh. In the middle of the room, I’ve got a big table that is usually covered with stuff. Usually a sit here and work on jewelry…as you can see. I’m working on fall pieces for my online shop.”

“I’ve been working on patterns for a friends clothing company the last couple of days. All blue ink drawings, blue is one of my favorite colors, can you tell?? Also infront of my desk is some samples for my textile jewelry line Folki.”

“All over my studio there is clusters of thing, sea shells from the beach and vintage finds. I love little odd things, figurines and that sort of stuff. Maybe I’m going to be one of those crazy old ladies that display porcelain figurines everywhere…Next to my desk there is lots of books, one of my favorite things are to read and look at art books. It makes me so happy and inspired there are all these amazing thing out there and people making those things.”

“On my wall I have stuff I’m working on at the moment or old paintings that I’ve done, I like to have them around to remind me where I’ve been are where I want to go next. Sometimes they stare at me angrily, when I haven’t painted for a while, telling me: “Come on, lets go!”
“Here is my studio buddy Sprout. We hang out all day everyday! When we both get bored we go to Cooper Park to hang out at the dog run or throw balls on the roof. Sprout’s favorite thing in the world is this small circular round shape we call ball.”

Fanny Bostrom Gentle lives in New York with her husband Bill and their animals. She’s been showing her paintings in different galleries in Europe and America since 2006. Her first solo show was in New York at 31 Grand Gallery and then in 2008 her second solo exhibit at Jonas Kleerup Galleri in Stockholm. When she’s not painting, making illustrations or film, she works on her textile jewelry line Folki. Inspiration comes from color, patterns, dreams, books, flea market finds and all things quriky!

FROM YOUR DESKS: How do you work?

FANNY BOSTROM GENTLE: At the moment I’m doing so many different things, it’s a bit mind boggling to keep on switching things up all the time. But I never get bored, so that’s good! Some days I work on paintings or illustrations or making jewelry designs, when jobs come in I have to lay everything a side and work on that. It can be print, design or even styling jobs sometimes.

FYD: In one word what do you covet most about working? 

FBG: Magic.

FYD: I approach work the same way I travel or eat– with love and gusto. Do you spend your day-to-day the same way you might hang out with friends or have a meal out? 

FBG: No, when I work…I work. I’m just concentrating on that. When I’m with my friends I want to play and have fun, I try not to think too much about work. It makes me too serious!

 Hemingway said, look at things, listen and feel.

FYD: You are self-taught. What do you want to tap into that you haven’t? 

FBG: Oh, there are endless possibilities! That’s what is so great, I keep on learning new stuff. I love learning something I thought I was bad at and then one day your like; I know this now! It’s the best feeling. For me it was computers, I used to think I was bad but now I’m much better.

FYD: Animals play a role in your work. Why do you fancy them?

FBG: I’ve always loved animals, more than humans sometimes. I grew up with cats, dogs, horses and rabbits on a farm in Sweden. So to me it’s like second nature, they have funny characters and are very uncomplicated. There is no weird bullshit, streamlined thinking, I wish I could be more like that.

FYD: How does fashion influence your patterns?  

FBG: Fashion is such a great source of inspiration! When I see shows or some cool textile pattern it make me have ideas for new illustrations. When I was modeling years ago, I totally lost interest of fashion because there was a lot pressure. Now it’s fun again, like it should be!

I hate when a house has perfect design and tidiness….it always makes me wonder about the person who lives there.

FYD: Do you have a favorite childhood memory, something that helps you recall it’s all worth it.

FBG: I had a pretty idyllic childhood, I think for me it was my horses, riding out in the woods for hours, finding sand roads and just letting them go, running so fast tears coming down my cheeks. We also used to swim the horses to this long sand dune and running them on that. For me the sea is so close to my heart, it resembles my heart. It’s crazy to have been away from it for so long, sometimes I have such a crazy longing for it, for Sweden.

I always dream about moving back, having a house and studio, long green fields, the sea, the woods, sun bleached bed linen worn so much they feel like silk, old furniture, books, coffee, animals, a place that is lived in and cared for but not pedantic, I hate when a house has perfect design and tidiness, when it looks like a showroom, it always makes me wonder about the person who lives there.

The sea is so close to my heart, it resembles my heart.

FYD: Did growing up on a farm help you explore natural materials and the more rustic way of life?

FBG: I’m not sure exactly but it definitely does, I always have this image in my head, the little girl and the big woods reaching up behind her. I love that notion, I love nature, nature and magic, maybe the two are the same.

FYD: Who is your ideal dinner companion and why? 

FBG: I was thinking about this yesterday. First I thought of Tracey Emin, since I find her interesting and I think she would be good fun. But on second thought it might be exhausting and I like to take it easy when I eat. So I thought of my friend Lia since she loves food and we always have interesting conversations. It feels like a lot of people nowadays eat their dinner with one eye on the phone.  I find it sad that people constantly need to be taken way from where they are, need to check in with their web buddies on Facebook or look things up every second of the day. If you want to feel alive, like Hemingway said, Look at things, listen and feel.

FYD: What is your late summer motto? 

FBG: Stay cool!

Follow Fanny on Twitter @fannybostrom; her curiosities blogspot is here + online Folki shoppe.

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