In Conversation with

Elke Foltz, Artist. Berlin, Germany.

Based in her Berlin apartment, french visual artist Elke Foltz has a love for colour. Her work (that we’re itching to get our hands on) captures present and imagined situations through abstract arrangements of simple shapes and lines. We loved learning more about Elke’s studio practice and we hope you do too.

Hi Elke! Can you start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

My name is Elke Foltz, I am 30 years old and I am a French visual artist based in Berlin. I started my practice after my graphic design studies, ten years ago. I then worked as an illustrator, sometimes having a part time job on the side. My practice now tends more towards abstraction in painting. My work balances between simple shapes and vivid colours. 


Tell us about your studio space. 

My studio is located in my apartment. I am lucky to have enough space to divide my living room into two distinct spaces - one space to relax and the other one to work.  

Working at home suits me perfectly. Of course, it would be great to have a separate workspace. But honestly, I feel so grateful to have enough space to do what I love most. The time will come when I'll look for a studio because there won't be enough space for my paintings in my apartment soon!


Inside Elke's Berlin apartment and studio.

Where do you source inspiration?

I find inspiration especially in the landscape that surrounds me and with my talented friends and family.

How did you get started in the industry?

I started by doing small exhibitions in Toulouse, and collective shows in Paris. Then I moved to Berlin 5 years ago. I then developed my art practice and worked with other creatives, artists and musicians. After 2 years, I have started to paint large canvases again, so it's definitely a new challenge for me!


What is a favourite project you have completed?

I think my favourite project is the one I’m working on right now. Of course it’s far from being complete, but I'm pursuing my dream of expressing myself in large format. At the beginning of the year, I also worked on an album cover for the new release of the German contemporary music group Pain Perdu. The music really touched me, so I'm very happy that they gave me their confidence. Their album is called Brandströmer, it is worth discovering.

We’ll definitely have a listen to Pain Perdu’s new album! Could you talk us through the process of creating the album cover?

Great! For this album cover I used ink and acrylic. I started by researching textures and colours on paper. I referred to an established moodboard and keywords, which I found together with the band. The second step was to scan all my forms and colours in HD and to play with them through distortions and effects on photoshop.


What is important to you in your studio space?

The most important thing for me in my studio is light and keeping the walls free. I don't put too many things on the wall, because if I do, I always keep an eye on what I've done and I start to compare. There are only some illustrations on my desk, but I don't use it that much. I work better on the floor when I'm in the studio. I always like to start a project with a fresh eye.

What do you do when you need to step away?

I go out, I step back from social media, I remember that I have time. I also see or call my friends and family. I try to believe that I will find an answer to my questions somewhere. 


Advice for other artists and creatives?

This is a tricky question because it always depends on your life journey and your self-confidence. We're all different, with various life experiences. How we move forward, step by step, reflects who we are and that's great.

Be yourself, be patient, don't hesitate to get in touch with the people you want to work with, learn how to calculate your rate, work hard but also enjoy the moment.

Who do you have your eye on at the moment?

There are too many creative people I'd like to work with, but just to name two, I'd like to work with South Korean contemporary artist Lee Junwon and the french street activist artist Kashink.

What is one of your favourite reads?

I love the illustrated book of Brecht Evens titled Les Amateurs. Another book that is important to me is The Origin of Others by Toni Morrison.

What are you listening to at the moment?

At the moment, when I work I love to listen to Yussef Dayes x Alfa Mist, the song “Love is the Message” is my favourite!