Josephine Kyhn is a Copenhagen based illustrator and artist and has a Masters Degree in Visual Communication from The Royal Danish Academy of Architecture, Design and Conservation. She uses people, animals and nature in her illustrations to tell surreal and magical stories which is often an interpretation of her own world or how she sees herself in a certain universe.
Conversation with Josephine
Where are you from and where do you currently live?
I was born and raised in a smaller community just outside Copenhagen, Denmark. Now I live in the Northwest of Copenhagen, and working in a studio called Kulkælderen at Vesterbro.
When did you become an artist and what was your first project?
Tough question, really. I have always been drawing, and pretty good at it. When I started at The Danish Royal Academy of Fine Arts Design School (KADK) I didn’t really know I wanted to be an illustrator. I enjoyed drawing and making illustrative and graphic projects, and I guess I found out that I had some talent for it. From then on all my school projects where illustrative and I chose the illustration as my main focus planning my schedules. After a semester at HAW in Hamburg I felt that I really developed my style. I guess my first real illustration project was a school project about phobias, where I made a kind of love story about two people having phobias for each other's properties and looks. It was actually a fun subject, though my style back then is way different from now.
Did you study art in school, if so where?
The Danish Royal Academy of Fine Arts Designschool + 1 semester at HAW Hamburg
What inspires you? Any particular artists?
Hmm I can’t really put a finger on my inspiration. Bit of a cliche, but everything around me. Movies, books, people, music. My inspiration is very sudden, I don’t find myself browsing around for any particular inspiration, other than when I’m doing a specific project where I want to create a universe around it.
I’m very fond of Mari Kanstad Johnson, Matthew The Horse, Lisk Feng, Sarah Mazzetti, Roman Muradov, and danish Simon Væth, Rasmus Breignhøi, Otto Dickmeiss. I could go on.
What are some of the ideas behind your work?
I guess it’s all an interpretation of my world or how I see myself in it. Small random sketches turning into complex and layered illustrations, just by imagining how I would feel if i placed myself in that particular situation or universe.