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Ziska (Reykjavik, Iceland)

We introduce an illustrator and designer inspired by myth, mysticism and magic

Harpa Einarsdottir graduated as a fashion designer from the Iceland School of Art And Design and has been busy ever since, running her fashion label Starkiller, and working as a costume designer and stylist. At the heart of everything she creates are her beguiling and often creepy illustrations, which are infused with the kind of darkness favoured by acolytes of Kenneth Anger.

... your work all about?
Mysticism and magic, earth, creatures, love and balance. There has to be evil so there can be good. Accept your inner demons, flirt with them instead of fighting them, trim their claws and braid their tails….

... the next great art movement going to be?
There will be a resurgence of symbolism and magic.

... the most satisfying thing about illustration?
The loss of time and space. It can be meditative, like making a spell or a mantra. It has healing powers for the spirit.

...the best piece of advice you've ever heard?
The earth is beautiful. If you start living its beauty and enjoying its joys with no guilt in your heart, you are in paradise. If you condemn everything, every small joy, if you become a condemner, a poisoner, and then the same earth turns into a hell... only for you. It depends on you. It is your own inner transformation. It is not a change of place, it is a change of inner space.

... the most important thing for an artist to remember?
Have passion for what you are doing, and don´t bother to much about recognition, if you don´t love what you are doing and you are only doing it to be appreciated, it´s not real. If you do not love it, change it!! Whenever you are total in anything you will feel more alert, more awakened, more fresh, more alive.

… the most inspiring thing you've ever seen?
Iceland is a constant inspiration. I just have to look out my window or run barefoot in the moss, then my mind is glowing!

... the greatest book you have ever read? What did you love about it?
Recently I read a book written by the icelandic author Andri Snaer called Dreamland, it´s  about a nation standing at cross-roads. Leading up to the country’s greatest economic crisis, the government started the largest mega project in the history of Iceland – to build the biggest dam in Europe to provide Alcoa cheap electricity for an aluminum smelter in the rugged east fjords of Iceland. Today Iceland is left holding a huge dept and an uncertain future.In Dreamland a nation with abundance of choices gradually becomes caught up in a plan to turn its wilderness and beautiful nature into a massive system of hydro-electric and geothermal power plants. Clean energy brings in polluting industry and international corporations. It’s the dark side of green energy.

... the stupidest thing you've ever done?
I have done so many stupid things in my life, I don´t think I can pick one out... but I´m glad I did them because sometimes you have to take the long road to become wiser!

... the next big thing?

... the point?
Be good and have fun!