For your reading and viewing pleasure this week, I sat down with the lovely, German-born, Laguna Beach-based sculptor, Antje Campbell. Antje’s works, both in clay and bronze, have been featured in galleries across the US and Europe, and locally, she is an accomplished Festival artist. Her passion for creating came through naturally in our conversation and it was a delight to learn more about her. Please visit antjecampbell.com for information.
Antje: The best work comes from your heart—and as an artist, you’re really compelled to do what you love, even if it’s not practical. So foremost, make sure you are doing what you love while still being true to yourself. And, at least in the beginning, don’t expect to feed your family with your sales!
F & O Team: Other than your own work, whose work do you admire?
Antje: Sculpturally, I love the simplicity and classical style of Britain’s Henry Moore and Swiss artist, Giacometti. I’m also drawn to the color palettes used by the German Expressionists.
F & O Team: What do you love most about your medium?
Antje: Clay is the most basic earth material; the decisions I make in regard to form and the uncertainty of the firing and then the finishing of the layers, you really only have so much control over the outcome. The surprise of opening the kiln is the equivalent to a day at Disneyland for me—and 30 years later, after opening thousands of kilns, I’m still that excited.
F & O Team: How do you know when a work is finished?
Antje: There comes a point where you just have to say to yourself, “This is finished.” Then there’s always the next piece to move onto.
F & O Team: If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
Antje: I love design, every kind and in every form. Anything creative pulls at my heart, whether it involves interior design, architecture, gardening or knitting. If I weren’t a sculptor, I would find a way to create something regardless of the medium.
F & O Team: When you’re not creating art, what are you most likely doing?
Antje: I love entertaining, and do it often. I love the process of making a meal together, and fortunately, the richness of my life really lies in the range of eccentric and diverse people that I’m so grateful to know. And of course, being a grandmother and seeing my three grandchildren (although two are in Minnesota), makes any day worthwhile.
F & O Team: What is your favorite spot in Laguna Beach?
Antje: Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach brings together artists and people of all ages, from all walks of life and is a must see for visitors and locals alike.