The Heroine’s Journey of Josefine Andersen

What is the best thing that I love about my work? I have always loved to play. In any creative field of work there is an essential element of playing and experimenting with your interests, and for me, that happened to be playing with craftsmanship. Ever since I was little I loved being in workshops, starting at the after school care, where I was exposed to sewing, painting, clay and other creative things. So now, as an adult I feel like I get to be that kid again, now with more purpose and more directed intentions for the final outcome.

What is my idea of happiness? To share my life with others. Having people to celebrate life’s journey with, and to cry with them through hard times…and my work of course, if I didn’t have the outlet to express myself creatively, I would properly go a bit mad with all the questions raceing in my head.

What is my greatest fear? To have caused more social- or emotional damage to the world than before I arrived. By that I refer mostly to the people who are closest to me, but I in general intend to be a good person and to have empathy for others. The worst feeling ever is when you wake up with a so-called “moral-hangover” and all you can think is `why did I do that, why did I say that, why was I not paying attention to this ́, but we live and we learn.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? For years I thought I was a good listener. Sincerely sitting and listening to someone and afterwards to have a reply that would help or soothe their worries. But I have recently come to the conclusion that this is not the case and I think a lot of people have the feeling of “no one is perfect, but at least I’m good at this one thing” – self-reflection is important to me and I try to exercise that as frequently as possible.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? Lucy Mcrae (AU), Isabel+Helen (GB), Beate Karlsson (S), Crag Green (GB), Anna Aagaard Jensen (DK) and Ernesto Neto (BR).

What is my greatest extravagance? Oh for sure, tools and materials. I’m in constant exploration of new crafts and methods of work so I try to borrow from friends, but I am the kind of person who likes to have the things I need accessible at all times, so I don’t feel unable to work at any particular moment where it is needed.

On what occasion would I lie? Don’t we all lie a little bit everyday? But I properly lie the most to myself everyday. Telling myself today is the day you stop smoking or today is the day you start living healthy. But like the cartoon cat Garfield says, ”all diets start tomorrow”…

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? The industry itself… Like many other professions you have to know someone, who knows someone, who knows someone to get a foot in the door. But in the art and/or design industry it is basically (almost) impossible to get “the dream job” through hard work and talent. Everyone has to start somewhere and if you are never given the chance but you have to have experience in order to get the job, well, then we have a situation of “what came first; the chicken or the egg”

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? During my second year of Design Academy Eindhoven, I made a project about anxiety. It was based on my own experiences and it was showcased through a performance, which made it relatable for the audience. The reason this project was so special to me, was the fact that it had an important message from me personally as well as a critical questioning of the society we currently live in, where mental health is increasing more and more everyday, especially amongst young people. Which is also why I chose the medium performance, it allows you to connect with your audience in an emotional and direct way and that is why I do what I do – to make connections!

If I could, what would I change about myself? Unfortunately I tend towards having low self esteem, its properly quite a normal characteristic in artists but this constant self doubt and inner thought of “I am good enough” can sometimes impact me to cease work for a while and my work is what makes me happy. I am my own harshest critic which in my field of work can be a good thing, but I try to be kinder to myself and remind myself that it is in the “faults and mistakes” I learn the most from and where I grow the tallest when overcoming them.

What is my greatest achievement in work? When you work creatively you are in constant development, and for me that means encountering people and thereby new perspectives which ultimately forces me to think critically and have somewhat self-reflection in all aspects of my life. And if reproduction isnt the meaning of life, I think personal development and growth is.

Where would I most like to live? That ́s a question which is hard for me to answer, because I feel like i haven’t explored enough of the world yet to answer it truthfully, I do however have this dream that one day, I will buy a piece of land in the countryside of portugal with a little farm on it and start up a combination of a collective/art-residency where everyone is an expert of one creative element, and therefore collectively we have the possibility to help and learn from each other.

What is my most treasured possession? My open-minded attitude and physical health because it allows me to travel and gain new insights and have new adventures. Don ́t get me wrong, I own material things that I care for very much, but at the end it is just stuff. At the end of it, the things you will never lose or regret are the memories of your journeys and these experiences.

What is my most marked characteristic? Hmm… perhaps my friends would say that I am the most independent person they know. I always had to take care of myself and when life throws a curveball, because it will happen, Iv become pretty good, over the years, at letting it go and getting back on my feet.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? Recently I moved back to my home town of Copenhagen and after many years abroad I am currently in the position of being able to explore it again. I was born and raised here, but it is not as I left it of course, and neither am I, so I try to approach it with new eyes and see where the wind will take me.

What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city? A regular old pub in CPH is the best! There isn’t much to eat, but as they say “3 beers is a meal” and that meal comes with lots of great conversation and stories, unfiltered and full of life!

What books influenced my life and how? I am dyslexic, so heavy books have never really been my thing, unfortunately! But the children’s book “The giving tree” made a huge impact on me both as a kid and later in life when reading it as an adult.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Who doesn’t love Queen? What a classic! So full of emotions and passion! So if I was on my deathbed waiting for the last few minutes to pass, I would wanna listen to `I want to break free ́ on LOUD volume and just think of all the wonderful moments I got to experience in this lifetime. – But I have quite a broad taste in music and I feel like music ultimately carries the atmosphere, so it is about the right music at the right moment.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? As a kid, me and my brother would watch `Courage the cowardly dog ́on Cartoon Network. Back then we just really enjoyed the humor of the show but later in life I came to the realization that it takes a lot of courage to do the things that scare you. Be brave, we all have to throw ourselves into it even if it seems scary.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? That is without doubt my friend’s mom, Lene. She is a fighter, the kind of person who lets no one or nothing stop her from having the life she deserves but more than that, she is the person that has given me the most wisdom in life and taught me to love myself, keep going and stand tall. Everyone should have a Lene in their life, she is just incredible!

Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? All Wes Anderson movies ever made! His mind works in mysterious ways and creates wonders! The storytelling is quirky, the characters are weird and dont even get me started on the set design and costumes!

What role play stories in my life and work? Stories are like memories to me, they shape you, but also they change over time. For every time you tell the story/memory, details can get distorted little by little and it’s not intentional, it is just how the brain works. So I try to focus more on the emotions present in the story, that usually doesn’t change as much.

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ to me? During my life I never had the element of surprise, life always surprised me. And I have a tendency to fuck it up. So I guess I ́ve learned to not hang on to the things that hurt me but to make the best out of what you are given. Trying to make everyday better than the last – if that makes sense. But all in all, I have a lot of ambition and I try to make it possible to achieve all the things I dream of doing.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? She is my dear friend and definitely my partner in crime, but for some reason she was my biggest fan even before we knew each other, the artist Ori Orisun Merhav. We studied together at the academy and I remember in second year, sitting outside of school one day, not knowing her that well yet. She looked at me, with these intense, beautiful amber eyes and she determinedly said: “We are gonna be friends, you know”. Fast forward, we lived together during our studies and now she keeps inspiring me single everyday.

Which people or companies would I like to work with? I would absolutely love to work with Lucy Mcrae! Her work is incredibly relevant, abstract but still comprehendable all whilst being beautifully presented through poetic performances. She’s asking questions I can relate to, like: “Where is humanity going? How will the future of intimacy between humans be? And how will our bodies adapt to new conditions on planet earth (or perhaps other planets)?”.

What project am I looking forward to work on? I have a project in the making about disconnection / reconnection. We have created a society where everything we interact with is so far from our existence that we are disconnected to everything from our food, our clothing, our work and even the traditional family structure. The world has become a place of individualism… So I would like to make a project that allows us to reconnect with each other, our surroundings and perhaps with ourselves.

Where can you see me or my work? You can always follow me on Instagram @JosieAndersen_designs and see what I am up to. Otherwise, I am currently working on my web-portfolio, where each project will be presented more in depth. When up and running, you can find it on: http://www.JosefineAndersen.com

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? Passion is always there, but the more you know and the better you know yourself, it becomes easier to look for the things that really make you smile.

Which creative professionals should Peter invite to tell their story?

Liv Helena Kiggen (@livkiggen.design)

Salomé Sperling (@Showset)

Ori Orisun Merhav (@Ori_orisun)

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