Freja Friborg is a visual artist and a musician from Greater Copenhagen, Denmark. She has traveled the world using artmoney, art and music to get by. Catch a glimpse of Freja in this interview
What is your name?
- My name Freja Friborg Lundbak Christensen, but I mostly use Freja Friborg.
Where do you live?
- I live in Husum, Copenhagen, Denmark in an old community community garden settlement, that has been converted into permanent residences. You can see all the hedges and feel the community garden spirit still, but it is now all permanent residences.
Is this where you grew up?
How old are you now?
- 28 years.
Are you pregnant?
- Yes, with Roberto from Italy. I will give birth within 2 weeks.
Freja Friborg at her studio with Roberto and the cat
What do you like to do?
- I like drawing and painting of course. And I like to travel. Right now I take it easy, because I'm pregnant, so I'm mostly home. I still draw a lot, though. I just received an order to illustrate a children's book. Now we have to see how I get time for that, but it's very exciting.
You have traveled extensively around the world. Where have you been?
- I've visited 41 countries so far. The biggest trip was from Denmark to India over land, where we just tried to get by with what we made along the way. I actually sold some artmoney on the road. We also played music. We wandered through Europe, the Middle East, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan and India. It took a year to reach India.
Did you travel on foot?
- No, we hitchhiked most of the time. We used bicycles through China and Pakistan and then sold the bicycles in India and traveled there mostly by train.
Was it you and Roberto?
- No, actually it was with some other friends. Roberto and I met only last year when we were in the United States, and then we went to Central America and traveled around there together.
Do you have a dream of how your life should be?
- Hmm. I do not really have any proper education, because I chose to travel instead of going to school, which I think has taught me more than a school would. But then I draw a lot and get by with that. But I do not know if that could support me in the long run. So it's a little uncertain... How is the future going to be, now that I am having a child? But it's been easy so far to be hounest. I trust in life, so I suppose that what I need will come to me, when I need it. But yes, I have a dream of finding some place where we can grow a lot of food and be self-sufficient and try to live as minimalistic as possible, so I do not have to have an education and a steady job. I prefer to do things my own way. Just follow day after day without the feeling of anything I "must do." Like a job that I must wake up early to do, for someone else. Yes, I would rather be in control my own life.
Is there anything in the world you would like to change?
- Good question! Well, I have seen a lot and especially it has touched me to see the way that people mistreat the Earth. Especially in Kazakhstan I witnessed how people can fuck up nature. Like the Aral Sea that was once as big as a sea and now it's just a third the size of what it used to be and the whole nature around it and peoples life has been destroyed thereby. So, well, I wish that people could be a little more aware and responsible. I also think it seems like there is some positive changes happening in the world at the moment, but there is so much that is controlled by money. Yes, this is also why I am very interested in artmoney, because it's like an alternative to money. I feel the money system is, if not the "root of all evil," then all the decisions made based on money will not be made in the light of love, or for the sake of what is most convenient and good for all.
What kind of music do you play?
- In our travelling band ("Caspian Caravan") we were four people who played the accordion, the mandolin, the melodica, the guitar and the violin. It was a little Balkan inspired with a twist of our own.
What's your instrument?
- I play the guitar, mandolin and melodica. I also have a ukulele.
What do you feel art can do? Does art matter?
- Yes! But sometimes it's hard. Yes, it can definitely change people's views on things. Art is something people are doing to change something or to show how they feel. Most artists are not artists to become rich. They are artists, because they have something to say. So, yes, I think so, because clearly, art has something to say. There must be something there.
Now that you are having a child. Do you think you can use your artmoney to buy some children’s clothing and stuff like that? Do you think it might help you?
- Perhaps, yes. I have not tried it yet. I've never actually paid directly with artmoney. Well, I have paid with some artmoney to live with people when I travel. But without them knowing about artmoney beforehand, but then found out eventually. But then, maybe I should try to find out if there is anyone who will accept artmoney. But then again, just to sell them occasionally helps me too.
Is there anything else you would like to tell about yourself here? Do you have something to tell the world?
I have plenty, I just have to remember it! Hmm, I do not know. I'm a little blank right now. Roberto and I are thinking about moving to Italy a few months after we have received the child. Perhaps in February. Go to the mountains and live a little.