Making a Statement

Editors’ Note

Danish-born artist Ann Lindgren started painting at the age of seven. Her inspiration comes from traveling extensively all over the world. Prior to becoming an artist, Lindgren worked at Leo Burnett in Copenhagen. Before that, she was a graphic designer working with various companies in the advertising and publishing industries. Lindgren studied at the Ulrich Hoff School of Art & Drawing in Copenhagen, was educated as a graphic designer at Copenhagen Technical Academy, and studied design and communication at The Graphic Arts Institute of Denmark. She also spent two years in Paris working as a model.

Company Brief

Ann Lindgren (www.GalleryLindgren.com) specializes in mixed media. Ann Lindgren primarily works with acrylic colors, creating a combination of art and collage on canvas. Most of her paintings use a combination of colors, manipulated photos, and graphics.

How did you get into the art world?

I’ve been painting since I was seven years old, but I knew it was difficult to work as an artist so I got my education as a graphic designer. I worked as a graphic designer for eight years. I did a lot of corporate identity and commercial work for companies like Proctor & Gamble. Then I started painting again and eventually decided I had what it took to work as an artist full time.

What is the inspiration behind your work?

My work is really specific. Especially in the U.S., the type of work I’m doing is really unique. I’m not intentionally trying to stand out, but I don’t see anything similar to it. My inspiration for the various expressions in my paintings comes from life’s great and small facets. Traveling extensively all over the world for years has inspired me with much cultural diversity and has deeply influenced my soul. I prefer to bring a wide range of emotions and curiosity to my work rather than feel like I’m trying to manipulate the audience. I am fond of observers forming their own opinions, thoughts, and associations through engaging with my art work.


Ann Lindgren with some of her artwork

Are you focused on European and U.S. markets?

I sell most of my work in Europe, and I want to continue that, but I want to do more in the U.S., as it is so different. For instance, I’ve come to learn that, particularly in New York, you don’t always sell your art through galleries. A lot of people don’t go to regular exhibitions – they have art dealers and interior designers that work for them. I discovered this when I did my first exhibition in Manhattan last year where I met several interior designers and art dealers.

Does technology play a role in the way you create your pieces?

It’s a lot of computer manipulation, mixing materials, collage, and paintings altogether because it’s mixed media. So a lot of the background is computer designs or manipulated graphics.

Are you happy with the way you’ve been able to get the word out about your work?

A typical artist waits for galleries to knock on his door; I’m the opposite way. I am very business-minded and I get the word out. I like to be challenged, and I think it’s important to find the most direct way to the customer.

Did you know a career as an artist would work for you, and has it gone the way you expected?

People tend to think about it too much, but I didn’t – I just jumped in. I wanted to commit to it fully. In Europe, for the past four years, my artwork has been on a four to six month waiting list. I always knew I could accomplish what I wanted.

Was painting an important part of your upbringing?

My father is not an artist, but he is very creative and can draw and paint, so I think it’s in the genes. I always knew I’d be creative in life.

Do you offer custom pieces for corporations?

Yes, corporations typically want to focus on the culture of the company, so I’ll have a meeting with them, see the corporate head office, talk to the people in the company, and engage in a dialogue with the marketing department. It’s another way for a company to express themselves, their values, and their corporate identity and get in touch with their customers.

How do you balance providing the type of work you do at a reasonable price?

I work with galleries and art dealers on pricing, as I don’t want it to be too expensive. As an artist, it is important for me to stay busy and constantly work on new projects.

Do you ever turn off your creative side, or are you always looking for ideas?

I never have one day when I don’t want to paint. I always have a lot of ideas, and I’m always looking for new inspiration. Sometimes, I don’t think there will be enough time to carry out all the ideas I have.

Do you know from the beginning of the process if a painting is going to work?

Yes, always. I have a clear plan whenever I start a project and I am able to control and adapt the creative process while I am working.

What would you do if you weren’t painting?

I would be some sort of artist or designer, maybe working in fashion; definitely something creative. But I also like the marketing side, so that’s why what I’m doing now is perfect for me.

Do you have an interest in working with young emerging artists?

Yes, that would be fun, because I’m not a typical artist. Companies love me, but some colleagues in the art industry think I’m too different and too business-minded. They do things the same way they’ve always been done, and that’s an old-fashioned way of thinking. I am more open-minded and am always looking ahead. So when I find galleries, it’s important for me to see the type of artwork they have to identify their target group. If I don’t like the artwork they exhibit, then I don’t work with the gallery because the customer won’t like my artwork. A lot of artists will say, “I love this gallery because it’s on the perfect street in the city,” but if the customers don’t like the art, then they won’t buy anything.