Emilia Ilke Talks us through her illustrations and her love for home

We stumbled upon Emilia Ilke’s paintings and fell in love with the raw, simplistic shapes and the beautiful photography that she present on her Instagram account. We decided to interview her for our series on here, talking everything social media, inspiration and vintage finds.


Hi Emilia! Tell us a bit about you: who are you And Where are you based?

I am based in Stockholm, Sweden. After several years of working from home and sharing rooms with other artist I just moved to my first own studio. It was love at first sight from the time I entered. I’m so happy, this has been my dream for so many years.

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Did you always want to become an artist/illustrator?

No, not really. I dreamed about being a hairdresser or working with animals. But I do “cut” a lot in my art so maybe it isn’t so far away from what I dreamed about. However this has been something that I wanted to since I was fifteen.

Your illustrations - or cut outs - resemble the shapes of pots and ceramics. Did you have a relationship with the ceramic world before?

I’m inspired by that world, and it’s true that in the past I have also tried to do some ceramics. But Lord! That’s so tricky. I had no control at all and just fiddled in the dark. But I would love to give it another try. I often go to second hand stores to find inspiration, looking for things with nice shapes and inspiring colour combinations.

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You not only seem to have a interest in art but also seem to have a close relationship to interiors. We noticed you previously got published in Plaza Interior: what is your relationship to your home?

That’s true, I'm very inspired by home decoration. I’ve always loved to make a place/space/apartment feel very me. And I’ve always loved to be at home. My home or someone else’s: I find it very inspiring to see how other people live. 

Do you have any inspiration in your day-to-day practice?

Yes, all kind of pictures inspires me. But mostly art! But I've also learnt that you have to be able to work without very much inspiration, you just have to do it anyway just like any other work. 

You use your Instagram on a weekly basis, sharing your art with your followers. How do you use this platform? 

From the beginning I didn’t really understand what Instagram was about and what I was gonna have it for. Somehow I started to put up a lot of art and got great feedback, so it became a ”professional account” quite quickly. And I’m really thankful and happy about it. It has really helped me to reach out to my followers and people who like what I do. I’ve sold paintings all over the world thanks to Instagram and met so many new and inspiring friends that I hang out with IRL. 

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I’ve sold paintings all over the world thanks to Instagram and met so many new and inspiring friends
— Emilia Ilke

What does your typical day as an artist based in your studio look like? 

I go to my studio by bike or bus around 9 o’clock after leaving my son at kindergarten. I’m always working on several paintings and commissions at the same time so I just continue where I left the day before. When one painting dries I do cut outs for another one, and so it goes. I’m a big fan of tea and I always have at least two big cups a day. Something I do is always try to visit a vintage shop on my way home.

What is coming next for you?

I’m working on three patterns for a new lovely blanket company called Jordling - @jordling.home. It’s so much fun working on this project!

Photo by    Ulrika Nihlén @     billie_and_i

Photo by Ulrika Nihlén @billie_and_i