Tell us about yourself
My name is Kaja and I am from the south of Germany, pretty far from the ocean. As a child I spent most of the family holidays in the woods of Scandinavia, so it took me a while until I discovered salty waters. Drawing and painting was always part of my life and especially in my teens I used it a lot as a filter of my emotions. After my bachelor’s degree in communication design, I moved to Berlin and started working as a designer for streetwear. Without nature close to me I felt soon pretty stuck in the big city. Luckily I got the opportunity to change my full-time job to part-time and home office, which was a turning point in my life.
Following my desire to explore different cultures I traveled to Israel, India and Venezuela. Each country, so unique and beautiful in its own way, taught me a lot about myself, gave me a new perspective of the world and allowed me also to broaden my horizon as a designer. I realized how lucky I am to be born and raised in Germany, where you can live very free and independent as a woman, having access to education and a passport that allows you to travel the planet easily, which is sadly still nothing you can take for granted in this world! But it was still clear to me that I don't want to go back, as there was a place calling me for years - the stunning south-west-coast of Portugal where I am living right now in a garage with my partner Francisco. The Atlantic ocean as a new playground in my backyard is such a big influence in my lifestyle and art. For me life is all about growth and transformation, I probably never become a fish, but the water taught me so much already! Surfing allows me to learn from an element and understand and value its power. And it is such so much fun to be in the water!
What inspires the art that you create?
My art is influenced a lot by a life on the beach, Portuguese architecture and mother nature. Through my fascination for astrology, I get some of my inspirations by looking into the stars as well. But mainly I try to manifest the naturalness, playfulness and free spirit of a woman. Which is expressed a lot in surfing as a beautiful ocean dance. I believe in a way we lost our wild femininity and I am on a journey to find it again. My craft is a tool to visualize my path as a woman.
What is the biggest challenge you face as an artist/entrepreneur?
As I am just starting to work as a freelancer there are so many challenges! Organizing yourself and finding a routine is the first one. But I guess my biggest challenge is to believe 100% in myself and to promote my art as I am in general a shy person.
What advice do you have for other artists looking
There will be times when you feel unstoppable and times when you are full of doubt. The trick is to just keep going.
When did you start surfing?
I got in first contact with a surfboard in 2007, when I took a surf class in France. But it is clearly not enough to go once a year for a week on a surf vacation. I would say I really started surfing 4 years ago when I left Germany and started traveling. Especially since I have my home pretty close to the beach it got more serious.
Longboard or shortboard?
Good question, I am still figuring that out. I am playing a bit with both depending on the conditions.
Dawn patrol or sunset surf?
I am definitely team sunset. I love it when the sky gets really dramatic and everything is dyed in warm orange and red tones. Ending the day with a nice session is just the best.
Where is your favorite surf break?
One of the most amazing spots I surfed so far was in Puerto Azul in Venezuela. I felt like in a magazine with the view of the Avila, a green mountain framed by palm trees and flying guacamayas. A perfect little right in a Caribbean paradise.
Your favorite quote to live by?
“It is not our purpose to become each other; It is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is.” Hermann Hesse
Kombucha! I just discovered a homemade kombucha from an amazing brazilian lady and it is pure magic!
There are so many, but my absolute favorite is M. C. Escher.