Interview with SilverSphynx (Anete) – gothic, pagan model, visual artist
Interview by Jessica Plumb
Firstly, Happy New year! Thank you so much for this interview today and hope all is well, especially considering the event of COVID-19.
What first got you into creating art through self portraits and drawings?
I’d say it’s always been me simply seeking ways of expressing my inner world, feelings, emotions and getting out of myself all the anger and frustration with the world around me. My journey started with some little scribbles in my school notebooks that worked as a quick therapy session so to say. I was drawing all sorts of creepy faces and silhouettes with a simple pen or a marker. And as a very introverted but also an angsty teen, I found my own ways how to seduce my need of self expression through drawings and other forms of art. And it has always worked as therapy for me.
Did you study art and photography or are you self taught?
I’m all self-taught and it’s surprising to many people. I’ve never studied photography professionally or anything, but I recently got accepted in an art school. But my whole life I always naturally, on my own picked up and developed the skills I have today.
What was the first camera/lens you purchased?
Interestingly, the majority of my older photos are just taken with my phone camera. I only recently purchased a used Canon EOS 800D and 18-55mm lens. It proves how with a lot of practice and skill you can create beautiful masterpieces with a damn potato. It only matters HOW you use the item, and not what the item actually is.
What got you interested in doing nature and the dark arts photography?
What got me interested in photography in particular have always been all the incredible artists on social media. I just kept adoring everyone’s style and aesthetics till the point when I asked myself – why can’t I be like that as well? Throughout the years I have developed my own sense of style and fashion which could be described as very gothic, elegant and even medieval, pagan and witchy. And all these aspects of me I included in my self portraits.
What is your process from start to finish creating your beautiful and stunning art?
Everyone’s probably heard of how artists get the most genius ideas very randomly, out of nowhere. Well, for me it’s rather different. I get inspired in the making process. I have to start doing SOMETHING before I even know what the hell am I doing. If I force myself to begin with something, the hardest part is already over. It all comes naturally from there. I just do what feels good, what pleases all my senses.
You are very creative with your makeup, do you have a professional makeup artist or do you do it on your own? If on your own “wow, stunning” and what makeup brands you use?
I have never even thought of needing a professional makeup artist. I am my own boss here. I treat my body and face as a canvas, all the rules of drawing and visual arts apply here as well. Makeup brands… hmmm… nope, I can’t name any. All the things I use are either very cheap drug store finds or some random, old products found somewhere laying around the house or stolen from my mom or some friends basically. It just once again proves that it really doesn’t matter what brand or what price are your products.
Do you have a personal ‘hands-on’ approach as to how you run your website/social platforms?
The way how I run my Instagram page is all logical and based on human interaction. I respect and try to communicate with every person that has shown any interest in what I present on social media. Kindness creates kindness. You cannot expect to grow a large following if you don’t create this special bound with each follower who is reaching out to you. It works almost the same as real life interactions. Love creates love. And we continue to bound and grow strong together.
Were you always interested in creating when you were a child?
Of course! Even when I didn’t really know how to draw or create any other forms of art that bring people money, I still expressed myself in ways that felt right. I always found creative approach to every day things. It’s always felt natural.
Where do you find your inspiration in creating new ideas?
Everywhere. Anything you can ever imagine brings me inspiration and motivation day to day. Of course it’s mainly nature and music, but other artists on social media also give me a huge creative boost.
You are a talented musician too, when did you start to have the passion to play?
I started playing flute and some piano in a music school when I was 9 years old, but it wasn’t long till my teenage years came and I discovered my passion for heavier music. I became a huge metalhead, picked up guitar skills by my own (and the help of the internet), started developing my fashion style and my spiritual world. Therefore, it was very hard to continue learning and memorizing classical music pieces and writing exams about things I did not enjoy at all. It was a pain in the ass but I made it through. I finished music school and I couldn’t be happier about it now. Those probably were the hardest years of my life, but I’m so glad I didn’t stop fighting and kept going and finally graduated after 6 years of endless anxiety attacks, tears and a lot of stress. It was only after being free from music school when all the passion for music came to me. Finally I didn’t feel forced to like playing music. I floated in my own bubble with my own music taste and it helped me so much to grow as a person. I even regained my love for playing flute and piano through different musicians, idols and music genres. And I am definitely looking forward to learning how to play new music instruments.
What is your favourite piece of art you have created, and any artists you admire ?
There isn’t a single art piece that is ‘’the best’’. There definitely are photos and drawings that I love more than others, but it’s impossible to decide on one particular piece. Speaking about other artists – from photographers I won’t bother to name anyone because the list would go on forever, but I can definitely mention a great visual artist, painter and whatever he likes to call himself – Lars (@lerson_murman on Instagram). Once I randomly stumbled across his page and realised the style of his drawings and paintings is so amazing and in a way very similar to mine. (If you’re reading this – hello Lars, yes I am crazy.) He is awesome, but I’ve been way too big a of a fangirl over the years that he probably hates me now. Oh well…
If you could choose anywhere to shoot in the world. Where would it be and why ?
Scandinavia. Forests. Rivers. Lakes. Mountains.
What advice can you give to models who are starting out?
It is a very saturated market, so over time you have to find something that will make you stand out. Find ways to fall in love with yourself and find your own unique style. Whatever it may be, I believe if you put passion, your heart and soul into it, it’ll shine through. Everything takes practice. You will make a lot of mistakes and it will feel frustrating, depressing or totally worthless at some points. The key is not to compare your own being to any other artist that may be more or less successful than you. What helps me stay true to myself is that I literally remind my brain every day that I have my own life, my own journey and my own story. And none of the people on this planet have the same backgrounds they come from. You are literally doing harm to your authentic self if you shame yourself or think you’re not good enough. Just keep swimming! Just keep swimming! And please, oh PLEASE swim in your own pace. No matter how fast, slow, active or passive it may be. Learn to love who you are!
Is there anyone you would love to collaborate with in the future, be it a model or another creative?
I would like to collaborate with any of the people I admire and follow on Instagram, but to be honest collaborations and working in groups/pairs has never been my thing. I’ve been a huge loner my whole life. I am very self-sufficient.
Does music play any part in your creative process ? and if so, which music genres/bands do you like?
Music is one of the main sources of inspiration for me. I love all things atmospheric, doomy, gothic, heavy, but honestly I can listen to and admire all music genres. Some of my all time favourite bands and musicians are Chelsea Wolfe, Depeche Mode, HIM, Marilyn Manson, Heilung, Children Of Bodom, Type O Negative and many, many more.
You have a really good media presence including a following of over 9k on Instagram, what do you do promotion-wise to keep the momentum going and what do you feel is the best way to advertise your art?
I keep being consistent and true to who I am. I never promoted anything for money. Although I can agree to other people saying you have to be out there. You have to be a little pushy and demanding. There are a lot of people fighting for the glorious place under the sun, so you have to drag yourself out there by making big, strong and powerful moves.
After Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, are there any projects planned? Also has it effected your creativity?
I have to record a fricking album in a different country this summer, so the virus better be gone by then!
I’d be lying if I said that all these restrictions have brought me down. It’s the other way around! I was nothing at the beginning of 2020, but now I’ve come so far in terms of art and portrait photography. It all happened so fast in one year. I loved working from home so, so much. I could get creative whenever I wanted to and it helped my imaginative spirit find its place in this world. It has been such a good year for my artistic self.
Were it not for photography/art, what other interest would you have pursued?
Anything related to animals, especially birds. I am a big birdwatching nerd so I probably would be studying ornithology more professionally. Or music… of course. Even now one of my main goals in life is to become a successful musician.
What other interests do you have outside your business? Do you have any hobbies?
As I said all my hobbies are deeply related to nature, paganism and all wildlife. I live to keep the old Latvian traditions alive, connecting with my ancestors and keeping up the paganism in my homeland.
Thank you for your time today, is there anything you would like to mention or say to our readers?
Thanks for giving me this opportunity! It was great speaking to you! And thank you to everyone who supports me and my art. It means the world to me!