Artist Spotlight: Sonne
Sonne, otherwise known as “SonneArt” or “Simon Nielsen,” is a self-taught small time artist from Bornholm, a beautiful and unique Danish island located in the Baltic Sea. Currently residing in Copenhagen, Denmark, he enjoys painting magical portraits of handsome and beautiful men.
Sonne specializes in digital media portraiture, especially portraits of men, his favorite subject. He spends much of his time looking for references and marveling through the rows of impressive men, then studying the anatomy of his subjects. Playful with his use of color, Sonne enjoys casting his subjects in dramatic lighting and using bright, saturated tones to contrast with the dull tones of their skin. He often encompasses his male subjects within a ring of solid color and frequently uses large washes of single hues in his backgrounds.
Interested in the idea of anonymity, the faces of Sonne’s characters are often disguised by scars, paint, shadows, or floral elements. Sonne also draws from his own personal weaknesses when creating work. “I suffer from mental illnesses and one of the symptoms is paranoia,” he explains. His compositions often have symbolic value and represent deeper themes that result from his own personal perspective. “Scars” is one of Sonne’s proudest accomplishments as it divulges buried insecurities. “It symbolizes how I feel like I look through other people's eyes - scarred.”
Sonne has always been interested in creating art, but was fueled with inspiration after receiving a digital drawing tablet at the end of 2015. By 2016, he was familiar with his new tool and found artists to inspire him on the livestreaming platform, Twitch. One Twitch Creative artist in particular, StevieRaeDrawn, allowed him to discover new possibilities in his digital art. “She opened my eyes to techniques and theory that I would never have found on my own,” he notes.
When offering advice to those interested in pursuing the arts, Sonne believes that mileage is the most important factor in improving. “Just keep drawing or painting,” he states. “Even if you just draw the same thing over and over, you’ll learn from it - learn how to create what’s in your mind.” Sonne recommends using photographic references of the subject matters that most interest you in order to reinforce your mental image and strengthen your recollection. Study the forms you see and never give up when creating.
COLOR ME KURT: How did you first become interested in your craft, and how long have you been creating?
SONNE: I've always been interested in creating art, however, I started doing it seriously around May 2016. I got a drawing tablet for christmas in 2015, and once I had gotten used to working with it by May 2016, I had also met stevieraedrawn, a digital artist on Twitch Creative. She opened my eyes to techniques and theory that I would never have found on my own.
CMK: What is your favorite part of your line of work?
S: Looking for references. It's so satisfying when looking through rows and rows of just beautiful men!
CMK: What creation of yours is your favorite, and why?
S: Probably either of these two:
The former for the sheer technical skill I have shown in form through it and the latter for the symbolic value. It symbolizes how I feel like I look through other people's eyes - scarred. I suffer from mental illnesses and one of the symptoms is paranoia. This is a representation of that.
CMK: Do you have any advice for those wishing to pursue a similar interest or career?
S: Just, keep drawing or painting. Mileage is by far the most important thing in art. Even if you just draw the same thing over and over, you'll learn from it - learn how to create what's in your mind. Never give up!
CMK: Lastly, your favorite color?
S: Is it bad that I like gray the most? But if I gotta’ choose a spectrum color, I'd say dark Boudreaux red, or seafoam green...Oh, or magenta! Basically, I like colors?