Growing up with seven siblings, Seline Burn has always found comfort in drawing at an early age. While studying illustration, she developed her love for painting and views her practice as an intimate journal fueled by recent experiences, distant dreams, and internal processes. Seline Burn summarizes these themes in her clear and colorful paintings, playing with light and shadow. Her work draws influences from symbolism, conjures evocative images where intimacy and radical strangeness are balanced in a practice that allows the viewer a glimpse of her inner life.
In conversation with misa.art, Seline Burn speaks about finding her place in the art world and the intimate relationship between herself and her paintings.
misa.art: You describe your work as an ongoing personal diary. Does your inspiration come mostly from within?
Seline Burn: I wouldn’t say that I find the source of inspiration in myself. I’m always inspired by outside stimuli, such as interpersonal relationships, social currents, or the books I’m reading. It’s in responding to that, finding a way to process it, where the diary part begins. Except that I do it with oil on canvas instead of with a pen in a journal.
misa.art: Your inner world as well as close relationships are the main motifs in your paintings. How do you create intimacy in your works?
SB: My mother once said that it would take me two hours to process a one-hour conversation. I remember coming home from kindergarten and sitting at our dining table, where I would record my day in drawings. I think that’s how my work has been intimate ever since, because it has been a safe place to process life and its real conversations and feelings.
misa.art: Do you sometimes lose yourself in your paintings?
SB: It’s true that I lose track of time whilst painting. But my work actually helps me to find myself and not the opposite. I couldn’t do it in the same way if I did.
misa.art: How have you found your distinctive style?
SB: By trusting that I already had it somewhere in me from the beginning and that it’s just a discovery journey whilst digging deeper into my practice. And by showing up every day except on Sundays.
misa.art: How does your use of color interplay with your personal storytelling?
SB: I have a great interest in the interpretation of colors, because we are quick to judge and react to the combinations set before our eyes. It must therefore come from a place of unconsciousness, which is something so intuitive and therefore attractive to me as an artist. It allows me to playfully find just the right color for the emotion I want to express.
misa.art: As a young female artist, have you found it hard to find your place and voice within the art scene?
SB: It’s true that I’ve felt belittled and underestimated because of that fact. But this also brought forth the optimal soil for resilience to grow.
I wish we all wouldn’t have to fight for the acknowledgement of others, but I feel like if we create from a place of knowing our worth rather than trying hard to prove it, the creative process will not be a fight but an honor.
misa.art: Do you follow a certain routine when creating?
SB: I usually have a brief idea in my mind, but I try not to get too specific about it. I don’t want my work to have the same process with, say, a coloring book, where everything is predestined. It excites me not knowing where the adventure goes, it challenges my creativity from day to day.
Timewise, I try to work from 9–6 just to be consistent and to be able to have a healthy social life outside the studio. I have to mention that I rarely achieve these working times, though.
misa.art: We’re experiencing challenging times. How can art make a difference in society?
SB: Times have always been difficult from different perspectives; each generation has had their troubles. For me, the change art can bring lies in how I respond to the challenges of our day and age. I want to have an acumen for what defines the identity of society and the courage to use my voice boldly, so that it will be heard and make a difference.
misa.art: Is there anything you would like to change about the art world?
SB: As an artist, I want it to be less about money and more about passion.
Seline Burn's works are part of the collection "Paradox Paradise" on misa.art. Please click HERE to browse through the collection.
Seline Burn, Sugar on the Rim.
Seline Burn, Rosy Gloom.
Seline Burn, Let it Rain.