Self Portrait 2.0 - Edited transparent.j

A SHORT INTRODUCTION...

I'm Silja and I'm a fine artist from Iceland.

With a passion for travelling, my artwork is greatly inspired by my adventures exploring the world.

I specialise in realistic charcoal and graphite pencil drawings, decorated with bright colours and metallics.

I'm currently exploring the great beauty of Canada.

For commissions and all enquiries, please send me an email: silja@siljaroswang.com

Get in touch!

THE FULL STORY...

Born and raised in beautiful Iceland, I had the most wonderful upbringing and am forever grateful for that.

I've been creating art my whole life and am mostly self-trained. I was born very ill and growing up I struggled to keep up with friends - I was often home with a flu and I was bad at most physical activities and went to a physiotherapist for 15 years. So, my parents encouraged me to do the one thing I did best, which was drawing. My parents have always been my biggest supporters and I can't remember a time when they didn't call me an artist.

At the age of 6 a local artist in my village named Guðrún noticed me in a classroom because of how much I enjoyed drawing. She later offered to mentor me in using oil paint, so between ages 9 and 16 I'd go to her studio every week to simply sit together and paint.

42926000_2187768064836673_48397461790948

This opportunity completely saved my life, it gave me a purpose and made me feel like I had a value. All my friends were much better than me at playing sports, but drawing was my thing. When I was 11 she even invited me to join her own art exhibition, where I got a small room all to myself. I learned a lot in those years, although I have since then moved on to drawing, which is completely self-taught.

But despite all this, I never believed I'd be an artist. I always thought that being an artist was only a career for a few, lucky people - I imagined that if I studied art, my only option would be to become a teacher and that was not my dream.

 

In college I lost nearly all my drive to create art. I chose to do social studies and became a top student in my year. I was still known as "the artist" and would draw occasional portraits for family and friends as presents, but I never drew for myself. It wasn't until in my 3rd year that I started getting back into art. That year I was offered to draw caricatures for the students that were graduating. I took on the project and completed 36 individual caricatures on a deadline. In that moment I realised I could actually see myself creating art for a living. I accepted the job again the following year and to this day I have been the caricature artist for the college 4 times.

I'm still offering caricatures to groups of any kind (friend groups, classes, sports teams, mastermind groups...you name it), so please get in touch if you're interested!

2013 marks another milestone in my life. I graduated from college and ventured out into the world on a backpacking trip (with a suitcase!) to Australia - all by myself. It was terrifying, but I am SO glad I did it.

My plan was to travel for 6 moths and then go home to study - but things changed and I ended up doing 2 years in Australia, where I worked and traveled. I still call Australia my second home, especially Sydney where I stayed the longest. That's also where I met my partner in crime, Phil. After meeting each other in person 4 times and staying in touch long-distance for 6 months, we took a huge risk and moved into a camper van for 2 months while driving across the country...and we haven't looked back since. After Oz I've visited New Zealand, Southeast Asia, Germany and most recently Wales and Scotland. In total throughout my life I've been to over 20 countries.

During my travels a whole new world opened up to me. I saw how many paths you can take in life and that we can do a lot more than we often realise. I eventually found myself longing to pick up a pencil and paintbrush again. So that's what I did and I haven't put it back down since. I learned that my desire is to create art and travel the world, while encouraging other people to follow their own dreams.

Travel is the most amazing thing I can think of. It brings out a sea of feelings, mostly good but some more difficult. You'll have the most incredible experiences that help you grow, you meet so many interesting people that you otherwise wouldn't have met, you get to see some magnificent places and it all adds up to create a mosaic of beautiful memories. 

 

As an artist I'm inspired by everything I experience and see on my travels, especially the people and wildlife.

Currently travelling around Canada, I'm busy with commissions for custom portraits, while also working on my own personal artwork - all inspired by my life's adventures and my love for the people in it, the ones that stand by me no matter where I am: my family. 

Where you can find me

IG painted - Edited transparent.jpg
FB painted - Edited transparent.jpg

©2021 BY SILJA RÓS WANG