Drawings as The Secret of Characters

Porches Tour Poster

Maren Karlson is a Berlin-based illustrator has a style of abstract combine with still life and portrait demonstrating a fresh and new perspective of the female in every bold characteristic should have.

From the interview by The Editorial Magazine to talk about her artworks. As a young girl, Karlson always felt very strongly that no matter what she did, no one would take me seriously. She figured it must have been because she looked younger than she was. Anything she did was called “cute”.[1]

Karlson is using the female character in her drawings as an outlet for the secret wish to be more intimidating, less cute, more assertive and less nice. The character she made basically embodies everything she has always wanted to be.

My Fortress

For Karlson feels it is important to portray a female that is expression extreme emotions; anger, fear, resentment, rage, shadenfreude-aggression which is not an emotion of young girl express freely.

She wants to draw girls who are unafraid of spoiling the fun, who demand the expression of feeling, who are proud to ruin an atmosphere that shames women for speaking up, who confidently take up the space they deserve, and who will never be scared into being silent because they have nothing to lose.

Dungeon Baby

Karlson is more in control freak to her creation process, she plans them out down to the very finest detail. These days she has come to think that it is also important to let go and not censor yourself before have even made anything. When trying to create without thinking or judging while she does it, and accept any idea, no matter how “bad” she thinks it is. There will always be time for judgment later.

2 Private Eyes

Karlson says it’s been very luxurious to live in Berlin as an artist. Berlin sometimes that she feels like a lot of people stay isolated, they don’t really care about meeting new people because they “already have friends.” She’s not seriously complaining because she has some amazing and inspiring friends who are really supportive, which she really thankful for.

Art Bug

Marlen Karlson


The Powerful “Kingdom of Girls”


Ibapyntngen in the cottage. (Karolin Klüppel)

Mawlynnong is about 90 kilometres from the capital of Meghalaya, Shillong, India. Mawlynnong is over hundred years old, keeping the surrounding environment clean an age old tradition. The society is matrilineal making women economically powerful. The Khasi trival inhabitans are known to be worshippers of nature which make them the main occupation of the villagers is agriculture.[1]

Wanda on the stairs to the treehouse, 2013. (Karolin Klüppel)

This Discover India Magazine declared the village as the cleanest in Asia in 2003, brought a Berlin-based photographer, Karolin Klüppel was travelled to india to document the phonemenon – tribes in the east Khasi Hills, Mawlynnong is located home to just 95 houses and a population of around 500.

Yasmin, playing at the river, 2014. (Karolin Klüppel)

In the Khasi tribe, when the youngest daughter inherits the family’s wealth and property, which men rarely own. The system also dictates that children take their mother’s surname and once a man marries, he lives in this mother-in-law’s home. A family with only sons is considered unlucky, Klüppel reports.[2]

Grace with dry fish, 2013. (Karolin Klüppel)

Grace in my dress, 2014. (Karolin Klüppel)

“To Disrespect a woman in this culture means to harm the society. Daughters are often more wanted than boys, and a family with just sons is considered to be miserable, because only daughters can assure the continuity of a clan.” Klüppel said in a statement to In Sight and Violet[3] magazine.

Ibapyntngen, playing, 2013. (Karolin Klüppel)

Steam, 2013. (Karolin Klüppel)

Karolin Klüppel saw this inverted world of herself. For nine months spanning two years lived with different Khasi families.

Klüppel says some, upset by their second-class status, are calling for gender equality. But mostly she was struck by “the respect that Khasi men have for women,” which is at the heart of this photo series. “I want everyone to know about cultures that are different from the patriarchal world we live in – and I want people to question that system.”[5]

Phida with balloon, 2013. (Karolin Klüppel)