Visual Stories - MLindDolls

In a constant rush that we call life, we end up hitting a wall. Very personal, with all sorts of cracks and holes. All sorts of color, sound, and sorrow. Maybe you were lucky and didn't yet see yours, but you might felt its presence. The silent presence of fear... A thought: "We might hit it next time. Will we break it? Or it will break us like it broke many people around us."
It is important to know, that every wall is built brick by brick. And there is no human being that can break it with its fist. The same way we build it, let's unpack it. Brick by brick.
Here at Fourline Design, we love to turn to our favorite medium - ART. And although you might find it ignorant and funny, art is a powerful force. Art can heal. Creative therapy is a form of therapy that involves a person receiving treatment through art-based activities. That's right! And we will repeat it again - Art can heal people.
But if you still have doubt, lovely Marianne that stands behind MLindDolls brand, will solve it for good. Enjoy reading the lovely chat we had with her.

Where are you from? Where does the art journey start for you?

My name is Marianne. I am a dollmaker and I live in Estonia, a tiny country on the Baltic Sea coast. I have always been creative and actually wanted to become a writer, but around 5-6 years ago I suffered a major writer's block after the death of a few of my close friends. So instead of writing my way out of grief,  I began making things with my hands as creative therapy and eventually discovered that I was able to tell stories again, just not in words, but visual stories, using wool as a medium. Thanks to this practice I am slowly finding my way back to writing as well.

What is the first emotion that drives you towards creating an art piece? Do you recognize the connection immediately and let yourself flow on the creative process? Or do you "bake" the inspiration for some time?

I am inspired by Nature and the materials I use: botanically dyed fibres and fabrics. I often have a dream about my characters and then have to bring them to life. Most of the time I start with an idea, but the end result depends very much on the process, too, as wool has a mind of its own, and often I have to take it into account. So it is more of a collaboration with wool... often the piece itself leading the way.

What is the back story of your design? Because every one of us sees the world through separate lenses. How hard it must be to transfer it to other people?

I started working with my hands to work through my grief, and many of my collectors have also found solace in my work when they're going through a difficult period. I wish to create a little happiness with my work, and give comfort to those who might need it. My work is earthy and grounding, and sweet, and lambs wool is warm to the touch.

When it comes to making a living from your art, what are the main struggles? And what would be your advice for starting artists?

For me, the main struggles are related to money and overworking. I don't like taking care of the business-side of things, or selling my work. I wish I could give it all away for free, but I also have to pay the bills.. I also struggle a lot with time management - I usually work way too long hours, and forget to take a break when I am in the flow. Due to this, I have burned out twice in the last 6 years. At the moment I am taking some time off from my art practice to spend time with my 9-month-old daughter, and to gain some perspective on where to go from here. My advice is to work hard, but to give yourself some rest, too, and not spend too much time worrying if your work is selling enough, is original enough, if you're enough. Just do your own heart's work.

What do you prefer, single pieces or storytelling through a whole project? And what approach do you use in each case?

I think I do both. Sometimes I like to create elaborate, one of a kind pieces, but they all fit into the story I wish to tell with my work.

Why do you use certain materials? What connects you with them, and makes you feel they are perfect for your art piece? 

I work with natural materials, especially the humble lambs wool. I love using undervalued and coarse natural fibers, adding some additional magic and love, and create something beautiful out of it. You can dye and felt lambs wool yarn, and there is always an element of surprise involved when I work with wool. Each piece felts differently, depending on the heat, water quality and soap used. I love working with plant-dyed Estonian lambs wool, as it is imbued with the creative energy of my home.

What does ART, in general, mean to you?

Art is akin to breathing for me, a refuge and a way to find and create meaning. It is how I communicate with the world, and how I make sense of my place in it. It also is a way to step out of the current, and just be in the moment.
The FOURLINEdesign team would like to thank Marianne for sharing inspiring thoughts with our community.